Enterprise, Channel technologies, IT management, Distributed Workforce, MSP, Networking

MobileIron EMM Platform Meets Lenovo PCs, Mobile Devices

Lenovo has incorporated the MobileIron enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform into its PCs – something that could help Lenovo customers reduce their total cost of PC ownership by up to 80 percent, the companies claim.

As part of a new global partnership, Lenovo customers can use MobileIron's EMM platform to secure and manage their PCs and Android, iOS and Windows 10 devices.

Lenovo previously provided security and management software to enterprise customers. However, Lenovo customers that used Android, iOS and Windows 10 required new software to secure their devices.

Today, Lenovo customers can purchase MobileIron's EMM platform at the same time as Lenovo PCs, tablets and smartphones. This simplifies bring-your-own-device (BYOD), MobileIron said, and ensures applications can be securely provisioned.

MobileIron Targets the IoT Market

The Lenovo partnership may help MobileIron accelerate its push into the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

Toward that end, MobileIron last month announced an IoT division that will "focus on building an end-to-end chain of trust from sensor to app to gateway to cloud to network." The company said it expects to have its first IoT product to market later this year.

MobileIron pointed out it is designing an IoT platform that will feature:

  • A standards-based, open systems approach for interoperability.
  • Scalable, automated lifecycle management to limit the risk of human error.
  • Data protection capabilities.
  • Business continuity support for critical systems.

Mainz indicated the IoT provides a "tremendous opportunity" for MobileIron. In addition, he stated the company is collaborating with customers and partners to understand the IoT and the challenges associated with it.

How Did MobileIron Perform in 2016?

MobileIron remains in growth mode, though the overall EMM market growth rate appears to be slowing a bit. The company's 2o16 financial results included:

  • Gross billings of $182.1 million, up 10 percent year over year.
  • Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) revenue of $163.9 million, up 10 percent year over year.
  • Recurring revenue of $113.4 million, up 25 percent year over year.

More than 12,000 cumulative customers have purchased MobileIron's EMM platform since 2009. Thanks in part to MobileIron's partnership with Lenovo and its IoT division, the company may be able to further increase its customer base and earnings in the foreseeable future.

Lenovo, MSPs and EMM

Meanwhile, Lenovo is preparing to launch several partner program updates on April 1, 2017 -- the start of the company's new fiscal year. North America Channel Chief says key priorities will include workstation, server and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) perks.

It's unclear if or how Lenovo will connect the dots between the MobileIron relationship and the PC company's own emerging MSP efforts -- which were formalized in 2015. During the Lenovo Accelerate 2016 conference, the company offered subtle MSP updates but didn't go into deep details about new partner initiatives on that front.

We'll be checking for updates at this year's Lenovo Accelerate 2017 conference, which is set for April.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.