Many people say that the iPhone helped launch Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) into the phenomenon it is today. Of course, this is a matter of opinion, but I do keep my eyes open for easy-to-use BYOD security and management tools that support the iPhone that organizations can implement without taxing a lot of technical resources. I give extra points if they have a great user experience on the mobile app side.
Recently, I came across Divide, a secure workspace app that I like for BYOD iPhones, especially for Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) and even larger enterprises who are launching BYOD initiatives.
- Divide Basic is free and doesn’t require backend management tools
- Divide Enterprise cost $5.00 (USD)/month per user
Setting up Divide
I used Divide Basic during the writing of this post. Setting up a secure workspace with Divide is easy. After downloading and opening the app, tap Enable Secure Workspace. The app then prompts you to setup your email. Enter your email credential, and then tap Activate. Figure A shows the Setup Email screen:
Setup Email Screen in the Divide app.
Divide offers the following options for setting a screen lock over the secure workspace it creates:
- No Password
- Set Pin
- Set Password
Once you set a screen lock, Divide proceeds to setup your secure workspace. This is the kind of simple setup that makes Divide worth a look for SMBs and even larger enterprises who may not have the available technical resources to lock down BYOD iOS devices. Figure B shows the secure workspace setting pulling in contacts from my Google Apps for Business account:
Setting up a secure workspace in Divide.
The Divide app supports Exchange ActiveSync, Google Apps, and other major enterprise email platforms. I ran my test using a Google Apps account, and it was pain free. In fact, the setup could be accomplished by a novice iPhone user.
Inside the Divide secure workspace
The Divide secure workspace includes the following features:
- Mail client
- Secure browser with shortcuts for web apps
LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Box also appear, even if you don’t have those apps installed on your device.
Mail with Divide
My fat fingers and I have a love/hate relationship with iOS mail, so I was anxious to try out the mail app available in the workspace. While it follows nearly the same design as the iOS mail app, the Divide mail app seems to have a friendlier layout. The bottom line is that users won’t be shortchanged on features at all. I didn’t notice any lapses in performance from using mail inside the Divide secure container vs. my usual iOS app. Figure C shows the Divide mail app:
The Divide mail app.
Contacts with Divide
The Contact app is very user friendly and even lets you select Favorites from your corporate contacts for easier access. However, the ownership of business contacts can be an overlooked challenge for BYOD initiatives. For example, think of the corporate sales person who has a smartphone full of your existing customer contacts and prospects. If that person leaves the company, his phone still has that critical information. The Divide secure container could be a potential option for segregating corporate contacts from personal contacts on a phone. When the employee leaves the company, you can wipe the corporate contacts from his or her device.
Divide also includes a secure browser from which you can add shortcuts to corporate web apps. Figure D shows the secure browser open in the Divide workspace:
Secure browser in Divide.
The Divide secure container includes typical settings that govern the user experience. There also are a few nice touches, like an email signature for “Sent via Divide iOS” and a big red button at the bottom to Wipe Divide from the iOS device. A user could take themselves out of a BYOD program all by themselves, without intervention from IT. Figure E shows the Divide Settings screen:
The Divide Settings screen.
IT management of Divide
Divide Enterprise includes cloud-based management tools, which I prefer for SMBs and other organizations that want to make a gradual move to BYOD. The cloud features include:
- Remote management support
- Screen lock enforcement
- Corporate-only data wipe
- Cloud-based activation and deployment of Divide to iOS and Android devices
Go to Divide for BYOD
From a pure setup and user experience perspective, Divide is a viable BYOD security option for SMBs. Consider taking Divide for a test drive, whether you’re looking for full deployment or if you want to be IT resource conservative in your initial BYOD launch. Do you have experience with Divide? Share your opinion of this app in the discussion thread below.
TechRepublic and ZDNet delve deeper into this topic in a special report page: BYOD and the Consumerization of IT.