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Mobile device management

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Wavelink Avalanche 5 shows promise

By Tom Henderson and Brendan Allen, Network World
May 23, 2011 12:03 AM ET

Network World - One of the largest mobile device managers is Wavelink — but their strength has been in hand-held scanners, WiFi industrial devices, and the mobile non-phone marketplace.

Wavelink Avalanche 5 is a SaaS-based MDM application poised towards simple mobile device management. Wavelink tried to get their Smartphone Console ready in time, but didn't make it.

What we did see was encouraging. Avalanche 5 places a strong emphasis on policies related to WiFi use, application policy restrictions, forced encryption of critical data (mail, contracts, and specific folders) and blackout periods.

Wavelink plans to add support for Android, Motorola, HTC, Apple, Samsung, and Blackberry devices by model, or "generic" hardware models, which is a unique way to look at controls — as everyone else supports by operating system constraints. Each model in turn, is tied to a carrier, and only U.S. domestic carriers are currently supported by the version we reviewed.

There are device constraints related to specific software. We could ban the Apple App Store, restrict explicit content (we were unable to test exactly how) disable screen shots, YouTube, iTunes, and Safari. We could also kill a device's camera or completely control the requirements and characteristics of a PIN.

By comparison, Avalanche 5 was primitive compared to the other packages we reviewed, but admittedly, only a few Avalanche Apple iOS functions were deemed production worthy by Wavelink.

If Wavelink brings Avalanche up to the speed of its other mobile device applications, there'll be something competitive to work with. Today, it's just not ready.

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Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.

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