Enterprises interested in supporting a mobile workforce figured out a while ago that they needed Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), even if it wasn’t always called that, and they didn’t really know precisely what they needed at the time. But they needed something. As the evolution and adoption of EMM has increased, so has the realization that it is not enough. The first goal of EMM was security, the second productivity. This is why stand-alone MDM failed – all security, no productivity.
Where are the files?
Aside from reading and responding to corporate email, most productivity requires access to documents – reading, editing, sharing, etc. And enterprises are still figuring out where is the right place for those documents. For security sake, many businesses, especially those in regulated industries, are inclined to leave them right where they are, inside the firewall in traditional and dependable file shares, like SharePoint and a multitude of Windows File Shares. Others, often with some trepidation, are moving into the cloud or to some alternate on-premises solution. No sane IT administrator looks forward to a data migration project; they are long, expensive, complicated, and nobody looks forward to re-training users. So why do they do it.
What is the role of EFSS?
Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) offers improved access to files from any device, including mobile devices, with different solutions offering different pros and cons. But it is essential for users to have universal access to ALL documents, regardless of where they are, and it is essential to IT that this access be controlled by an EMM solution and not by randomly by the individual. EMM solutions rely on a managed ecosystem in order to have the proper visibility and control over user activities. But participation is still inconsistent, and certainly not universal. For example, XenMobile users can work with Box in the Worx environment, but will have to go outside of XenMobile if they use Office 365 because Office 365 is not part of the Worx Verified program. This diversity of solutions and lack of universal adoption across all EFSS and ALL EMM introduces unnecessary complications for both users and IT.
Integrate, Unify, Simplify
A better approach, especially for those with files in multiple locations, is to work with a virtual file manager that aggregates access to all EFSS solutions AND works with all major EMM solutions. Then users will have simple and secure access to any file in any system, and all transactions remain within the control and visibility of the company’s EMM.
Unifyle is the only such solution that I am aware of today. Unifyle is partnered with Citrix (XenMobile), VMware (AirWatch), Symantec (Sealed), CA EMM and MobileIron. Add to that a multitude of connectors for both enterprise file shares and cloud-based file storage solutions, and there is no reason for any user to access any file that isn’t accessed within the safe confines of their EMM solution.
And perhaps the best part for all involved is that everyone’s files can remain right where they are today. There may be other reasons to move files around. But secure mobile file access should not require a file migration project.
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