As enterprise mobility and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) enter 2014, we are certain to see more platform-based solutions for mobile device management, productivity, and security. One company to watch for platform-level enterprise mobility and productivity solutions is Good Technology.
I recently had a chance to learn more about the Good Secure Mobility Solution from John Herrema, the company's senior vice president of product management. It provides services for iOS and Android devices. Contact Good Technology for pricing information.
Good Secure Mobility Solution components
"When we refer to the overall Good Secure Mobility Solution, it has two major components to it," explains Herrema. "There is one called the Good Collaboration Suite, and there's what we call the Good Dynamics Platform." Good uses their own Good Dynamics Platform to build certain applications comprising the Good Collaboration Suite.
Inside the Good Collaboration Suite
The goal of the Good Collaboration Suite is to get users live with a core set of productivity applications that cover the basics of securing mobile worker productivity. Three products come together to form the Good Collaboration Suite, according to Herrema:
- Good for Enterprise, the company's flagship product, is a combination of secure email and PIM application, along with a secure browser application. Good offers those two things together because they're universal use cases for enterprises and knowledge workers.
- Good Share provides access to file repositories including network drives, Network Attached Storage (NAS), and SharePoint.
- Good Connect is a secure messaging and presence product that supports Office Communications Server (OCS), Lync, and Sametime, which complements the asynchronous email component.
"One of the key aspects of the Good Collaboration Suite and the way we've built it is the concept of secure workflow," says Herrema. You don't use the applications in isolation from one another. For example, you might be writing an email and want to attachment a document that's stored in a SharePoint site while conducting an IM session in real time with a coworker. Good Collaboration Suite supports an authentication model that lets a user authenticated with one app and move securely without reentering passwords.
Extend the Good Collaboration Suite via Good Dynamics Platform
The Good Dynamics Platform handles crucial security functions, including:
- Jailbreak detection
- Secure storage
- Policy management
- Secure workflow between applications
"We've built an abstraction around the Good Dynamics Platform in the form of an SDK that developers can use to build their own secure applications, which can then seamlessly interoperate with our apps and a broader ecosystem of applications out there," explains Herrema.
He adds, "We have had the Good Dynamics Platform on the market for two years now. We've had a set of 40 partners who've built apps on the platform." Their partners include some apps we've previously covered on TechRepublic, such as harmon.ie, Alfresco Mobile, Roambi, and Box.
Recently, Good Technology began offering Salesforce Touch Platform support. Herrema tells me that Good's enterprise customers can use the platform to build custom apps to fit their business requirements. Over 1,000 custom apps have been built already.
"The suite manages the core set of problems," relates Herrema. Good Technology has done a great job of translating mobile technology implementation into a Windows/Microsoft Office/PC model, which is highly relatable to non-technical management and others "who sign the check." The core platform serves the role of Microsoft Windows, and their customers can round out the core platform to meet their particular requirements.
Run, grow, transform enterprise mobility
Herrema says that Good Technology uses a "run, grow, transform" metaphor for the Good Collaboration Suite, based on the idea that many enterprises are going to be at different states in their mobile evolution. Good's metaphor is applicable to either a mobile first or BYOD strategy, and a platform play like Good Collaboration Suite has the muscle to grow with an enterprise through these phases.
Herrema states, "We refer to somebody in this initial run phase where they're trying to get up and running with some of the very basic things. No surprise that one of the first things people want to do is secure email."
"One of the things that follow right after that is getting access to their intranet and other web-based applications securely. And, then, no surprise you get into secure file repositories and things like SharePoint and depending on the customer, especially in key verticals like financial services, where time is money and real time communications are important to many of these customers. So. secure instant messaging and presence start to become very important."
Herrema draws a parallel between that initial phase, getting up, and running in a desktop or laptop deployment that's familiar to many knowledge workers.
Herrema describes the Growth phase as when the enterprise moves beyond the initial collaboration suite by adding other apps like Box, Roambi, and/or document editing or annotating tools. Good Technology has a number of big name iOS and Android apps in their Good Dynamics Marketplace.
"How am I going to use mobility and mobile apps to fundamentally change how I'm doing business?" is the question at the center of the Transform phase. This is where proprietary and custom mobile apps come into play inside the enterprise. Herrema says that their customers consume more apps from their ecosystem during this phase, including:
- Good Technology developed apps
- Independent Software Vendor (ISV) developed apps
- Customer developed apps
Going with a platform model ensures consistent security, data integrity, and identity — across all apps in use by the mobile workforce. Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), and developers are freed from many of the internal and external worries that come from using mobile apps for business.
Good Collaboration Suite leverages Good's core Dynamics Platform, a burgeoning application ecosystem, and a process that is highly identifiable and adaptable by enterprises of all sizes, making it definitely worth consideration for enterprises seeking a total solution for mobile first and BYOD initiatives.
Is your enterprise considering a platform solution for mobile device management and security in 2014? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.
Will Kelly also writes for The Mobility Hub, a blog sponsored by Good Technology.
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 applications, Google Apps, Microsoft technologies, and online collaboration for TechRepublic and other sites. Will also works as a contract technical writer for clients in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.