What is AirWatch software
AirWatch Express is based on the same platform as the AirWatch Management Suites for the more complex Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), but is reduced to the most important functions for fast and user-friendly Mobile Device Management (MDM). According to Blake Brannon, Vice President of Product Marketing, End-User Computing at VMware, the idea behind this is for companies to use AirWatch Express to support their increasingly mobile employees without the need for additional technical knowledge or more IT workers.
The result is a compromise that may not always suit the situation in smaller companies. For example, AirWatch Express is only available as a cloud solution - here the tool can be integrated directly into environments such as Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. In addition, AirWatch Express does not support containerization, which limits its use to fully managed company devices and largely excludes mixed usage scenarios (ByoD, COPE, etc.).
Apart from that, AirWatch Express offers the classic framework of MDM functions. Devices with Android, iOS, macOS and Windows operating systems can be conveniently managed from one console. The solution simplifies the setup of applications, e-mail and WLAN on mobile devices and integrates existing directory services such as Active Directory.
Blueprints make configuration and deployment easier
AirWatch Express offers the option of creating so-called blueprints that keep all apps, security, mail and WiFi settings in one place and can then be modified depending on the area of application.
In addition to the option of automatically distributing apps to the managed devices, employees can be provided with a self-service app catalog from which they can load suitable applications onto their device.
In terms of security, AirWatch Express offers the option of device encryption, the admin / service provider can also require the user to use passcodes and block access to unauthorized apps and settings in order to protect sensitive information. If a device is lost, there is the option of remote lock or remote wipe.
Last but not least, the current status of the deployment can be viewed at any time via a dashboard. The information provided includes the general security status, type and version of the operating system, owner etc ... Corresponding reports can of course also be exported.
AirWatch Express is intended for ten to a maximum of 500 devices; the "full-blown" AirWatch management suites are available for larger deployments.
The price is hot?
At a price of $ 2.50 per device per month, AirWatch Express is not always a bargain - even in comparison with other AirWatch solutions. The problem lies with the device-based licensing: Since some employees now have three mobile devices (smartphone, tablet, notebook) in use, the total price for these adds up to $ 7.50. According to the price list, it is thus above the cheapest user-based license of the green AirWatch Management Suite with 83.45 or 81.05 (on-premise) euros per year, which in addition to MDM and App Catalog also includes containerization (= ByoD / COPE Suitability). But even with device-based licensing, the green AirWatch Management Suite is not significantly more expensive with a list price of 42.15 euros (cloud version).
Interested companies should therefore pay more attention to AirWatch Express to make it easier to use than to save money. Last but not least, VMware will have placed the offer to give companies without an MDM or EMM solution a taste and to show the other possibilities around the topic.
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