It’s been about a year since AppSense released MobileNow, its enterprise file syncing product. At Citrix Synergy in Anaheim I talked to Doug Lane, the director of product marketing for MobileNow, to find out what was new. (A video of our conversation is below the fold.)
DataNow gives a Dropbox-like file syncing experience, with clients for web, iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac clients. The difference is that the back-end storage can plug into existing on-prem enterprise storage (so there’s no need to move anything into the cloud or change storage formats or anything) and the clients and user access are all managed by IT. We’ve been saying for a while now that these types of “enterprise versions of Dropbox” are absolutely critical—there’s no way for a user to open a network folder on an iPhone, so unless IT provides some sort of mobile access users will be left to their own means and probably do something that's completely unsafe.
Anyway, what’s new with DataNow is that there are more options for back-end storage: in addition to standard file shares, it can now connect to SharePoint and WebDAV servers. When connections are made, the user gets an automatic syncing experience, but DataNow also still respects any access rules that may be in place.
On the client side, management policies have gotten a lot more granular. Since the initial release, they’ve added policies to control access from different platforms, offline syncing permissions, expiration for offline storage on the client, wiping based on failed logons, and whether files can be opened in other apps.
Aside from DataNow, the other big change for AppSense in the last year has been the introduction of MobileNow, a full enterprise mobility management suite that includes mobile device management and mobile app management. DataNow mobile apps can now be managed with MobileNow, and when used together, it’s possible to enforce policies so that files from DataNow can only be opened with apps managed by MobileNow, and not users’ personal apps.