This week Good Technology announced a range of updates and new features including a new version of the main Good email app, new cloud deployment options, and new ways to build authentication into Good Dynamics-enabled apps. Good also announced that they acquired parts of Fixmo, another enterprise mobility management vendor. All of this is on top of last month’s announcement that Good filed paperwork for a proposed initial public offering.
Let’s dig into each one of these announcements:
Fixmo was founded in 2009 and offers mobile device management (including support for Samsung Knox), a set of secure workspace apps, and something called Fixmo Sentinel Integrity Services. Fixmo conducts research in cooperation with various US government agencies, and emphasizes their public-sector experience.
Good isn’t buying all of Fixmo, just their US division and “certain assets.” (Fixmo is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.) This is Good’s second EMM vendor acquisition this year after buying BoxTone in February. Good intends to integrate Fixmo Sentinel Integrity Services, which are described as a “mobile device integrity and tamper detection solution.”
Good Secure Mobile Collaboration App
Ordinarily, when you buy into the whole Good platform, your end users get a range of apps, known as the Good Collaboration Suite. (This isn’t counting any other apps from partner ISVs that use Good Dynamics, Good’s mobile app management framework.)
The suite includes Good for Enterprise,the main email, contacts, and calendaring app; Good Share, a file syncing app that can be used to access various enterprise data repositories; Good Connect, an instant messaging app that can connect to Microsoft Lync or Good’s own messaging service; and Good Access, a secure web browser.
Currently these are all separate, discrete app packages, but in the new Good Secure Mobile Collaboration App most of these functions will be combined into a single package. (Only Access, the browser, will be its own package; this goes for both iOS and Android.)
Why does this make a difference? In the sandboxed world of mobile apps, there's a lot more you can when functions live together within a single app package, since inter-app communication can be limited. This can mean tighter integration, and more importantly it can also make things faster, since you don’t have to spend time waiting for other apps to open or resume.
The new Good Secure Mobile Collaboration App has been built from the ground up using Good Dynamics, the same mobile app management framework used by apps in the partner program, so everything should be more consistent now. Good also said the new app will enable a more “contextual” mobile experience—you can check out this video to see what they mean.
The new app will go into beta at the end of June. Good still plans to support its current suite of apps, but clearly this is the new way forward. Users have long complained that Good for Enterprise is slow, so if this new app is different enough for users to notice, then it—along with the background message downloading enabled by iOS 7—could help Good eliminate those complaints.
New cloud deployment
Good also announced new deployment options based on a multi-tenant cloud infrastructure. In the future, they even want to be able to offer quick access to cloud-based trials. Like with the new apps, these changes could help Good have wider appeal. Despite all their advances and being on the forefront of mobile app management technology, Good is often seen as a complex specialty product that’s mostly suited for finance and other regulated industries. A easier-to-deploy cloud offering could make it more attractive to small and midsize businesses that would have previously considered Good to be too much trouble.
Trusted Authentication Framework
One of the more unique announcements this week was Good’s Trusted Authentication Framework. Essentially, it allows a range of third-party authentication apps and services to be plugged into any Good Dynamics-enabled app, making it much easier to add two-factor, biometric, smart card, and other types of authentication to any app.
Good for Salesforce1 Mobile App
Good also made the requisite round of announcements about the most recent Good Dynamics partners and apps. One of these was the Good for Salesforce1 Mobile App. While Salesforce1 is itself an extensive platform-as-a-service offering, this isn’t a new version of Good running on that platform, but rather it’s a version of the Salesforce1 CRM app that can be managed and secured with Good Dynamics. The announcement was just a little confusing since this app doesn’t follow the usual naming convention for partner ISV apps, which is usually “[App Name] for Good.”