VMware made several enterprise mobility announcements this week, the most significant of which was a new emphasis on identity and access management (IAM).
VMware Identity Manager
VMware and AirWatch have both had a number of SSO, identity, and app portal products for a few years now: VMware has Workspace Portal (formerly known as Horizon App Manager, Project Horizon, and Project Origami) for SSO and access to desktop and web apps. AirWatch has the AirWatch Container app (formerly AirWatch Workspace) for SSO and access to mobile apps.
New this week is VMware Identity Manager, their next generation IAM product. By integrating EMM from AirWatch, Identity Manager can create access policies that take the state of users’ devices into account. Known, managed devices can also be used as an authentication factor. Identity Manager will be avialble on-premises and as a service. There are a lot details to unpack here, so stay tuned for an in-depth conversation with VMware’s Noah Wasmer.
To go along with this announcement, VMware also emphasized the integration between AirWatch and NSX network micro-segmentation, first announced in April.
We’re obviously pleased to see this move on a number of levels. Combining EMM and the desktop side is where end-user computing has been heading for years, and these particular announcements are another significant step forward in the process of integrating VMware and AirWatch.
This event is also a resounding response to Microsoft, who for the last several months have been very vocal about their combination of EMM and IAM in their Enterprise Mobility Suite.
Update on ACE
VMware also talked about the ACE (App Configuration for Enterprise) program and announced 15 new ISV partners. ACE is an effort to encourage the use of the mobile app configuration frameworks that are natively part of iOS and Android for Work as an alternative to proprietary mobile app management SDKs and app wrapping tools.
I shared my full thoughts on ACE back in March when it was announced. The short version is that a lot of developers and companies will get a lot of use out of the concept, and I love that it’s based on an open standard that will benefit everyone; but on the other hand there are plenty of reasons why we still need SDKs and app wrapping. My opinion hasn’t changed since then, and really it will take at least a year or two to see how the balance between different mobile app management technologies changes.
AT&T Work integration
Lastly, AirWatch now fully supports the AT&T Work platform, which provides support for split work and personal voice plans and data billing. (This was first announced back in January.)