Novell jumps into the MDM game with ZenWorks Mobile Management

Open-source software giant Novell is jumping into the MDM game, with the release of ZENworks Mobile Management this week.

It might seem silly to some, what with an estimated 75 MDM solutions already out there, but open-source software giant Novell is jumping into the MDM game, with the release of ZENworks Mobile Management this week. ZMM, as its referred to, is built off ZENworks, which is Novell's network management suite.

At present, the two products are not integrated, but Novell said future releases will bring the two products together, so IT has a central place to manage all of its various endpoint devices, whether it's a laptop, desktop, mobile phone, or tablet.

ZMM sounds like it will be a fairly bread-and-butt MDM product out of the box, with support for all ActiveSync enabled mobile devices, including iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone whether the device is corporate issued or enters the organization via BYOD.

ZMM features include automated enrollment using the ActiveSync server, application provisioning and file sharing via an Enterprise App Store, integrated third-party email client NitroDesk TouchDown, customizable security settings (password enforcement, encryption on devices, device tracking, etc.), inventory and asset management, along with alerts and notifications to the IT department. On the BYOD side, ZMM can also perform selective wipes so that only company owned data is affected and be self-provisioned by employees.

Novell ZMM is available now for $59 per device and $15 per year for maintenance. Alternatively, subscriptions are available $30 per year. It sounds like a product that would entice companies already using ZENworks for traditional device management, but don't yet have a solution in place for mobility -- hardly out of the norm for many IT shops.

Perhaps, more than anything, the release signals a slight shift in approach at Novell from its days of NetWare, SUSE Linux, and Groupwise after being purchased by The Attachmate Group in 2011. The company says the MDM solution is just the first part of a broader corporate initiative, that will include things like an enterprise file storage and syncing client called Filr, and the merging of ZMM with ZENworks, as previously mentioned.

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