In addition to updating its enterprise mobility solution, DataNow Essentials, AppSense has introduced an enhanced DataNow application to give consumers a single way to both access and aggregate on-premise corporate data and personal data stored in popular cloud storage solutions. “DataNow offers secure policy-driven sharing of data… with protection policies in an easy way,” said analyst Rich Ptak, Ptak/Noel. “I think they’re the first ones to offer the complete package.”
According to Enterprise Strategy Group, there are more than 40 business-oriented online file sharing and collaboration (OFS) services available, and that number is growing. The OFS market is red-hot because businesses are trying to support mobile workforces addicted to alternative endpoint devices, said ESG Senior Analyst Terri McClure. IT teams need to rein in data sprawl and maintain file security while empowering those users, she added, and OFS vendors, knowing this, are aggressively building out business-focused services.
In the beginning, AppSense considered becoming the DropBox for the enterprise, and even started designing a product but realized that wasn’t the approach enterprises needed, said Mike Mills, Director of Technology, AppSense. “What was needed was an aggregator with a consumer interface…that would be the winner. If you look at the free app we just released, it encompasses what we’re trying to deliver… to bring all data under single pane of glass.”
Ptak has been following AppSense for the last three years and has been very impressed with their approach. “And now their strategy has gone from simply people-centric computing and user-centric computing, allowing people to use data in the way they want, a very Libertarian point of view. They’re implementing on a broad front… MobileNow (manages mobility issues and implementation), DesktopNow (manages policy, personalization and use profile migration; applications – manage user rights, app control and license compliance;, and performance – system resource manager) and now DataNow (manages the access to and protection of the user and enterprise data). They’re providing it in pieces that make it consumable, a synergistic package (i.e. DataNow and MobileNow combine to provide a complete mobile solution). I’m impressed with their strategy, and their ability to execute the technology.”
Following the recent AppSense analyst summit, Ptak said the company has established a strong message and market presence for itself with an enterprise user virtualization solution that deploys a consistent virtual desktop user experience across multiple, different platforms. Companies worldwide use AppSense to ensure nearly 2 million users have the same application and interactive experience on any device (including Smartphones, PCs, desktop, tablets, etc.) as they would have sitting at their office computer.
“Given the track record of previous attempts to move users to a thin-client, consistent interface world, AppSense has achieved a significant level of success delivering on the long-term IT dream of providing a user-specific experience while allowing IT to retain centralized control and support services. And, they do this across a broad range of technologies, platforms and applications.”
Security is a huge concern, said Mills. “Most organizations that come to us, their bigger concern, bar none, is security.” Customers say they have users in their environment using cloud storage, but they can’t track the data, can’t link to it and don’t know where it is being used.
According to the ESG survey, 40% of organizations have policies saying you can’t use a personal account to store data, but and almost 40% of those with such a policy know people have personal accounts, said McClure. “We suspect that the actual numbers are up to 80%.”
In addition to the connector to the DataNow broker for enterprise data, the updated – and free – DataNow app, available for both the iPhone and iPad, includes connectors to Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive and Citrix ShareFile among others. DataNow Essentials features: enterprise-class security and policy applied to corporate and user data; simple integration with on-premise storage; no migration of data required, no disruption to business process or data access approaches, and the storage agnostic approach allows for future flexibility.