Mobility

Good Work: A people centric approach to enterprise mobility management

Despite some rough edges, Good Work is an enterprise mobility management solution with a people centric approach that may ease EMM adoption for enterprises of all sizes.

Recently, Good Technology announced the availability of Good Work, a cloud-based (with Office 365 required) or on-premise enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution for corporate owned devices and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

I wanted to test the platform, so Good Technology set me up with a Good Work trial environment.

Setting up Good Work platform

Setting up an account and configuring the environment went smoothly. The growth of mobile devices in enterprises of all stripes means that it may not always be full-time IT staff managing mobile devices, so I always look for easy to manage setups in EMM platforms. The Good Work platform setup and environmental configuration is in plain English, and a power user could make their way through it without much trouble.

However, it can be easy to miss at first glance is that the cloud version requires Microsoft Office 365. This fact isn't too clear in the setup, and while I love Office 365 as much as the next guy does, but we live in a world where not everybody is standardized on the platform. It would be good if Good Technology made allowances for supporting non-Office 365 users in a future release.

In any policy driven platform, there can be a tendency to go a bit overboard or to under utilize them. Good Work includes the following default policies:

  • Set Good Work as primary for authentication
  • Require a password with 4 or more characters
  • Lock apps after ten password failures
  • Prevent data leakage
  • Allow Android devices
  • Allow Apple iOS devices
  • Allow any version of Good Developer SDK
  • Wipe apps on jail broken devices
  • Wipe apps after 30 days of inactivity

Good Work includes a nice balance of default policies for an EMM platform. My only suggestion here is perhaps a link to an overview of what each of the default policies affords the administrator.

Good Work then prompts you to invite some of your co-workers to collaborate with you using either the Good Access or Good Work apps. More on how the mobile device setup went, later on in this article. This shows the elegant simplicity of the invite:


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Inviting users to Good Work
Image: Will Kelly

Inside the Good Administrator portal

There's a What's Next sidebar, that includes a link that take you to the Good Administrator portal where you can deploy and manage Good Work and any other Good solutions you may be using.

My only complaint is that the Good Administrator portal might be trying to do too much up front. When you first open the portal, you see a well laid out top menu bar and then an advertisement for a Good Technology webinar and Good Work bombard you. If you come into the portal frustrated over an issue, or multitasking while trying to resolve an issue, the advertisements may prove to be a distraction for some users. Below is an image of the Administrator portal:


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Good Administrator portal
Image: Will Kelly

However, once I got past that initial distraction, I found the help features to be well laid, the knowledge base articles are clear, concise, and well written. Good also avoids falling into the trap of using videos front and center for admin and user help.

There's also a private online community for administrators available as part of the portal.

Inside the Good Control Configuration Dashboard

The Good Control Dashboard is well laid out. In fact, the Administrator portal could take some cues from dashboard's design. Administrators can perform the following configuration tasks over the users and mobile devices under the control:

  • Define custom policy sets or modify existing ones
  • Create application groups to assign specific applications to specific users
  • Give admin privileges to specific users
  • Manage servers and configurations
  • Send access keys to your users and lock or wipe their applications
  • Generate reports
  • Monitor and troubleshoot your deployment

Below is an example of the Good Control Configuration Dashboard:

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Good Control Configuration Dashboard
Image: Will Kelly

Good Work and mobile devices

I sent an invite from Good Work to my Office 365 email address. The invitation does a solid job of describing both Good Access (Android/iOS) and Good Work (Android/iOS) and gives download links. For purposes of this article, I downloaded Good Work to my iPad Air running iOS 8.1.

Good Work is a containerized solution for protecting corporate data (emails, business contacts, and files) on corporate managed and BYOD devices keeping corporate and personal data separate.

When a user receives the invite, they can download either Good Work or Good Access from the appropriate app store. When I was installing the Good Work app on my iPad, I chose to let the app send me alerts, unavoidable with containerized productivity apps in my opinion. The app then ran through a setup routine, and prompted me to enter a new password.

Pricing

Good Work is available as part of the Good Enterprise Mobility Suites. The pricing is as follows:

  • Good Enterprise Suite: $5/user/month
  • Good Collaboration Suite: $10/user/month
  • Good Mobility Suite: $15/user/month

Final thoughts

While I didn't like some elements of the administrator portal, and think that cloud setup could be documented better, the technology is what's important. Both issues are easy to resolve in future platform iterations. Nevertheless, Good Work is worth a look for enterprises seeking an easy to manage EMM solution because of its nice mix of security policies and features.

About Will Kelly

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

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