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Blackberry Mobility Featured Article


June 23, 2010

3G-Optimized, Real-Time Policy Management From iPass

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor


iPass (News - Alert) has announced a broad set of enhancements to its iPass Open Mobile Platform to help enterprises re-engineer mobility costs with instant access to free Wi-Fi and real-time 3G control for least cost connection management. 

 
The new platform functionality gives enterprises more flexibility to define, tailor and control their own mobility services, especially with an eye to cost control and security.
 
In a recent iPass survey of information technology managers, 68 percent reported that their mobility costs will increase in the next 12 months. For enterprises the key drivers of these increased mobility costs include more smartphone usage (36 percent of those surveyed) and greater 3G usage (31 percent of those surveyed).  The new functionality allows IT managers to switch users automatically from 3G network to Wi-Fi networks.
 
The firm also has added between 15,000 and 20,000 'free' Wi-Fi hotspots to the 140,000 already in service, allowing enterprises to decide when they want to switch from a 'paid' Wi-Fi service to a 'free' access, if the security parameters are in place. 
 
Some years ago, enterprise information technology managers supporting their traveling employees discovered a need to support laptops in remote locations. These days, the tasks are more complex as supported devices include smartphones, netbooks and tablet devices.
 
The basic idea is take all need for manual end user actions out of the process of automatically selecting the lowest-cost access choice at any end user location.
 
The first addition is a new free Wi-Fi service, called OpenAccess. OpenAccess gives mobile employees instant access to thousands of validated free Wi-Fi hotspots. Since the logon process is fully scripted, mobile employees do not need to present credentials or sign-up to an unknown network, they simply boot up their mobile device, and are instantly connected through the Open Mobile (News - Alert) Platform. Enterprises can ensure that their employees are logged into the least-cost network based on preset policies including their location, 3G availability, department and role within the organization.
 
"On average, our customers report that they spend over $120 per month for each mobile employee,'  said Evan Kaplan, president and CEO of iPass. 
 
The second addition to the Open Mobile Platform is that iPass is providing enterprises with greater insight and real-time control of their 3G usage. iPass is adding new reports that detail 3G usage by user and location, not just mobile phone number, including the network used and whether it was a roaming session. This enables simpler integration with existing management systems for business unit monitoring and charge back.  Enterprises are also able to set thresholds to alert mobile employees or end a session when thresholds are reached. Administrators can also set policy blocks for 3G roaming, recognizing when an employee's 3G card is being used on a roaming network.
 
Enterprises now have more control over the look and feel of the client, as well.

Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda


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