One of the mobility vendors that I spent time with last month at Mobile World Congress was Globo Plc. They don’t have have a very big profile in the space right now, but they’re busy bringing together all the components to become a full-featured player in the EMM space, including their own MAM and productivity apps, an app development platform, and MDM from their acquisition of Notify Technology. With all these parts coming together, it’s definitely worth taking a closer look.
Mobile App Management
Globo first entered the EMM space in 2011 with a product called GO!Enterprise. (They’ve actually been around since the late 90s, though, with other telecom products as well as messaging and social applications for feature phones.)
GO!Enterprise has a couple of components. GO!Enterprise Office offers an email client, a web browser, and a file syncing client, among other things. The corresponding management server can be on-premises or in the cloud. Essentially, this is just like any other dual-persona mobile app management product. The most recent updates have been adding document editing capabilities and the ability to connect to Sharepoint.
Mobile App Development
Besides the core pre-made productivity apps, GO!Enterprise can also be used to build, deploy, manage, and provide backend infrastructure for hybrid mobile apps. This is what was once called a MEAP (mobile enterprise application platform) and is now referred to as a MADP (mobile app development platform).
These features have been part of GO!Enterprise from the beginning, and most recently Globo announced GO!AppZone Studio, a new WYSIWYG development tool.
Last October Globo expanded into mobile device management by acquiring Notify Technology for $5 million. Notify’s products included basic MDM and NotifySync, software for syncing older BlackBerry devices directly to any Exchange ActiveSync-based email server without getting BlackBerry Enterprise Server involved. Globo is currently in the process of integrating MDM into the GO!Enterprise suite.
Bringing everything together
I’m not the right person to comment on how Globo’s mobile app development platform compares to others, but we can look at how the whole GO!Enterprise suite fits in the EMM space.
First of all, there’s no disputing that Globo has a huge task in front of it if it wants GO!Enterprise to take attention away from its more established competitors. However, the fact that it has a fairly full-featured EMM platform directly integrated with a mobile app development platform is attractive. There are other vendors that do this, too, of course. (IBM is one example. IBM MobileFirst is bringing together Worklight for app development and Fiberlink for EMM, among other products.) However, Globo could still find a sweet spot, perhaps for companies looking for less complexity.
At any rate, there’s a lot to like about platforms like GO!Enterprise. While some point out that MADP-based apps aren’t as fast or as good as apps written in platform-specific languages, for many in-house applications, who cares? If this approach makes it possible to mobilize more apps within the same time, skill, and budget constraints, then that’s great. I’ll always be a fan of anything that allows simple and fast app transformation.