Hewlett-Packard is looking to give communications service providers and businesses the tools to better deal with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend by enabling employees to safely access corporate data.
HP officials on April 18 said they are launching a mobile apps store that enables service providers and enterprises to create, distribute and manage mobile versions of company apps, and a platform through which employees can access the apps through any mobile device they want.
The offerings--the HP Enterprise Mobile App Store and HP Enterprise Mobile Gateway--make up HP's enterprise mobility platform, which will let enterprises and service providers more easily adapt to the BYOD trend, according to HP officials, with employees demanding access to corporate data and networks from their personal mobile devices.
The BYOD trend has been fueled by the rise of smartphones and, more recently, tablet PCs. Employees are saying they want to be able to use these devices--which they've bought themselves--for work. Businesses see that the trend can help with productivity, but it also comes with management and security headaches.
HP is joining a growing list of tech vendors looking to enable employees to use these devices while giving enterprises the management and security capabilities they need. For example, Cisco Systems last month rolled out new tools designed to give businesses what officials called a holistic approach to BYOD. In a survey, Cisco found that 75 percent of IT managers in the United States say there needs to be new rules and policies for security and device use. However, many seem to be ignoring the issue: 48 percent of respondents said their companies would never authorize employees to bring their own devices, while 57 percent admitted that some employees use personal devices without consent. But a survey by Avanade found that about 60 percent of companies are adapting their IT infrastructures to deal with the BYOD trend.
HP's Enterprise Mobile App Store is designed to be hosted at service provider sites and managed for enterprises, and offers employees a portal for downloading mobile versions of their company s business apps. Through the store, companies can build and test their own business apps, and employees can access them through their smartphones and tablets.
Multichannel capabilities let employees browse for apps, and management features let enterprises determine which apps should be offered to which kinds of users, based on such factors as employee location and job type.
HP's Enterprise Mobility Gateway is the platform through which employees can access the mobile apps. It can be hosted via the cloud by either a service provider or the enterprise, or housed on-premise in the company s data center. Through the platform, businesses can offer employees secure and timely access to the mobile business apps from whatever device the employees want. There is server- and client-side caching, smart browsing and offline viewing of large sets of data for improved performance, and security is enabled through user authentication and authorization, according to HP.