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Dell endpoint management tools arrive for iOS, Android

Dell's new endpoint management tools will let IT admins do more from their mobile devices, but the company has yet to fully integrate these products.

IT administrators who want endpoint management tools for iOS and Android devices have new options from Dell.

The biggest thing is it saves us on time.

Karl Ewing,
IT manager, Nesco Sales and Rentals

The company released a number of endpoint management updates this week that stem from recent technology acquisitions. However, questions remain as to how and when the company will integrate products from KACE, Wyse, SonicWALL, Quest Software and others to present a converged strategy.

Dell needs to do a massive integration of its products, said Steve Brasen, research director for Enterprise Management Associates Inc., based in Boulder, Colo. "When they get there, it will be an unbelievable management solution."

Dell hasn't offered an integration timeline but hinted at a long-term strategy. In theory, the KACE product lineup could be integrated with Cloud Client Manager to provide enterprise IT administrators a Software as a Service-based model.

For now, Dell's mobile endpoint management products remain complementary to each other.

Dell management tools go mobile

Dell's endpoint management tools now include the KACE K1000 GO mobile app, an embedded version of Dell SonicWALL Mobile Connect in Windows 8.1, and support for iOS 7 smartphones and tablets with the Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager. The Dell KACE K1000 GO mobile app and SonicWALL Mobile Connect software are now available and ship for free for existing customers, while the Wyse Cloud Client Manager is now free for a 30-day trial.

The KACE K1000 GO mobile application enables IT administrators who have deployed the K1000 endpoint management console to use their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet and manage their endpoints without going through the product's existing Web-based mode.

This is a significant improvement for existing Dell management software users, according to Brasen.

"It will make their job easier [because you] remotely manage your KACE box from your mobile device," he said.

The big advantages of the K1000 GO mobile application are time saving and convenience, said Karl Ewing, IT manager and beta tester at Nesco Sales and Rentals, a fleet equipment provider in Bluffton, Ind.

"If I'm walking around in the shop and need to fix someone's computer … I can pull up my phone, submit the ticket on the app, and if I can't get back to the desk, at least someone else on my team can start working on it," Ewing said.

Ewing noted he would like additional functionality, including scripting capabilities and the ability to remotely turn on computers from within the application. For example, if a patch download failed, Ewing would normally need a PC to access the K1000 Web interface. If the GO mobile app supported additional remote capabilities, he could check on the problem and, within the app, restart the download from his smartphone or tablet.

The GO mobile application allows IT administrators to gain full access to inventory, provision new software and add new tickets using an application optimized for the screen, according to Dell.

SonicWALL Mobile Connect for iOS, Android

In addition, Dell's SonicWALL Mobile Connect security product now supports Windows 8.1, Android and iOS platforms. Dell SonicWALL security management appliances provide IT the ability to establish and enforce policies to ensure that mobile end users are authenticated for their corporate networks.

Mobile Connect will be embedded as part of Microsoft's Windows 8.1 on notebooks and tablets. Windows 8.1 will be commercially available on Oct. 18.

"This is a deeper level of integration, and it will be much easier for IT organizations to provision on an ongoing basis," said Jane Wasson, a SonicWALL spokesperson. Mobile Connect also supports iOS and Android devices as well.

Finally, the Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager has expanded support for iOS 7 and Dell's hardened Android-based devices such as the Project Ophelia USB stick, which turns compatible HDMI displays into a Citrix or VMware thin client, a Web client or a standalone device for local apps and content.

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