As mobile device usage has continued to grow, so too has the opportunity for managed IT services providers. In fact, it's predicted that by 2018, the average professional will have 10 web-connected devices. With the growing number of devices per individual, the need for MDM solutions becomes more and more obvious, yet many MSPs neglect this very fact.

On this episode of MSPradio, we chat with Jay McBain, Co-Founder of ChannelEyes and Francois Daumard, VP of Channels at Fiberlink, about the MDM opportunity for MSPs and how they can take advantage.

Are you forgetting about mobile device management? Tune in to this week's episode to learn how to take advantage.

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Episode Transcription:

Nate:                       Alright thank you Paul. Hey everyone, welcome to MSP radio. I am your host Nate Teplow. We’ve got another great episode lined up for you here today. We’re going to be talking about mobile device management, really important topic for MSP’s. I think it’s been a growing concern for them as well. So we’re going to be talking about the opportunity there and also how to take advantage of it and monetize it.

Before we get into the episode this week, just got to remind you all to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes; if you search for MSP radio, you can subscribe there, get episodes straight to your iTunes account. We are also available via the Stitcher app for android users. So if you go to the Android Marketplace and download the Stitcher app, you can search for MSP radio and find is there as well.

Lastly, just want to remind you to follow us on using the handle @follow Continuum and you can also let us know what you think of the radio show here by using the #MSP radio.

So now that we’ve got kind of the housekeeping taken care of, I want to get into the episode. We’ve got two great guests here on the line today; both MDM experts. They work in the field, are very knowledgeable.

So first up we have Jay McBain, he is the cofounder of Channeleyes which is an enterprise mobile platform that connects vendors and channel partners. So Jay, welcome to MSP radio.

Jay:                           Thanks Nate and I’m glad to be here.

Nate:                       Great, while you are here, can you give us a quick little elevator pitch on Channeleyes, what you guys do and what your platform is?

Jay:                           Sure, we started the company a couple of years ago and we are really solving the problem that is very difficult for channel partners, managed service providers to connect to their vendors. Each managed service provider has a dozen or more vendors that they work with, trying to keep up-to-date on programs and products and everything else. We solved that in a mobile, social, cloud kind of way and we have over 100 vendors now that you can download their apps from the stores and we are the platform that they deliver services over.

Nate:                       And also on the line here is François Daumar. He is the VP of channels at Fiberlink. Fiberlink is a mobility solutions company. They were acquired by IBM at the end of 2013. They have a product called MAAS 360, it’s their mobile device management products. They are actually also the MDM technology partner of continuum. So François is very knowledgeable about the channel, about MDM, so François, welcome to MSP radio as well.

François:               Thank you Nate, very happy to be here.

Nate:                       We are happy to have you. Did I get that info right? Anything else you wanted to add about Fiberlink or MAAS 360?

François:               Not for now.

Nate:                       So as I mentioned, I am really excited about this episode and not them ever not excited for our episodes but I think MDM is an important topic for MSP’s. And I think sometimes it’s neglected or just forgotten about as not necessarily a primary service but I think touching on it today will be great and talking about it today will be great for our partners and for MSP’s. So I am glad we could bring this episode to you.

Before I talk about MDM, both Jay and François will be at Continuum’s user conference this coming September.

Jay, just wanted to ask you, what are you most excited for about the event in September; Navigate 2014?

Jay:                           Well probably most excited about engaging with the community. Continuum has done a great job of collecting managed service providers and other technology professionals around the industry as well as consultants and media and others. And I think is going to be a great event for digging into some of the most pressing features across the industry, issues across the industry and MDM is one of them we’re talking about today that I think will be top of mind and whether it’s in the sessions or just in the hallways, I think there’s going to be a lot of engaging conversation and connections that are made.

Nate:                       Our events team has been working very hard to pull together a really broad and information packed agenda so we will be covering a lot of topics they are; MDM will definitely be one of them.

François, same question to you. What are you most excited for about Navigate 2014?

François:               Well, very excited to be participating in the first Navigate ever and it will be an opportunity for us to meet in person. You are one of our first continuum partners that have already used MAAS 360 and to meet with plenty others. So we are extremely excited, very appreciative to be at the event and we can’t wait to meet in September.

Nate:                       Great, neither can we. As much as we enjoy the summer, September is beautiful in Boston and it’s going to be a great, great event at Navigate 2014.

So getting into MDM, François, I would like to start with you. Fiberlink has been in the mobility space for quite some time now. What are some of the trends that you have seen over the last five years or so, just regarding mobility solutions, MDM and how has that affected MSP’s?

François:               Well recent and the last five years is an oxymoron when it comes to mobility in general in MDM in particular, five years is more like a century. Two trends that everyone knows about: number one, proliferation of devices three, four, five even more devices per user.

Number two: BOYD, owning your own device, acceleration of BYOB, BYOB S, doing your own applications. Everybody knows that on the show so I am not going to pontificate on those lines. But what’s more interesting is two facts; number one, MSP’s have for a long time, somewhat ignored those two trends. It’s not that MSP’s don’t feel or understand how the marketplace is changing, it’s just that they haven’t consulted the company needed to manage phones and tablets the way they manage servers or PCs. And the thick and soft is that no one vendor has developed a world-class solution or found the possibility to powerfully, seamlessly and centrally manage those phones and tablets. This is what we see in the marketplace.

Nate:                       No, absolutely. Those are some important trends taking place and I agree that I think MSP’s have ignored MDM is almost like an ugly stepchild to servers and desktops.

So Jay, you started a company based on this need for mobile engagement. Where do you feel MSP’s are in terms of adopting MDM, providing the services and understand the importance of it?

Jay:                           That’s a great question and the actual number that the latest research I saw had 5.5% of MSP’s with a formal mobility practice built into their organization with a team and a list of services that they provided as part of that expertise. But really, we are at an exciting inflection point in the industry. In 2007, people started carrying a device, a phone that was a computer beyond their main PC. By 2010, they added a third device which was a tablet and then in 2014, we are starting to now see this movement into the Internet of things which, by 2018, most analysts agree that we will be up to 10 devices and you can already see what those are going to be; whether they are health monitors. There are over 100 cars coming out in the 2015 model lineup that will have either Siri or Google in your dash and off to refrigerators and basketballs and toothbrushes and the amount of Internet access and the business use of them across 10 devices and that will go to 20 and some pundits are talking about 100 devices that we are going to own over time that have this Internet connection that we may want to transact business over.

The exciting thing for MSP’s is that it’s not just a couple of ancillary devices now that you are managing; working with Continuum, working with Fiberlink, you’re going to be managing perhaps thousands or tens of thousands of devices across a pretty complex network and focusing on the security and the loss and the control and viruses and everything else, it’s time to build this mobility practice if it isn’t there today and if it is there today, is looking at ways to monetize which we’ll be talking about in-kind of the second part of this show.

Nate:                       Yeah, absolutely. So just thinking of some of the examples you mentioned. I mean you mentioned like basketballs, cars, even heart monitors. Do you feel there is a line between personal devices, personal Internet connected devices compared to the professional business applications? Because obviously MSP’s are serving their clients but do you feel that that’s going to end somewhere? Do you think these lines between business and personal devices are going to cross? And how do you see those working with each other as the years come?

Jay:                           Well it’s interesting. That’s end-user businesses would like a line, much bigger of a line then there is today. But the fact of the matter is, the Internet of things is just another way of saying that technology will be wrapped into everything we do; whether we are driving, sleeping, eating, at home, artwork, 24/7, there will be devices added to our life that somehow make things easier or better and we won’t to go down that conversation whether it’s actually going to happen or not.

But the fact of the matter is, not too many people disagree that with 10 or 12 devices influencing us 24 seven, there will be no line from the user point of view. Whether they are sitting in their car or sitting in their kitchen at home, they are going to want the same type of access that they have grown to know now on their phone and their tablet. They are going to see this as seamless and they are not going to be concerned about security and the loss and unauthorized use and they are not going to be concerned about all these things but obviously, the big companies and the IT managers of those companies are going to lose sleep over it.

Nate:                       Yeah, absolutely.

So François, same question to you, kind of from the technology perspective, how do you see these lines of personal and business devices merging and meshing in the coming years?

François:               The consumerization of IT has started a long time ago and is just accelerating so I agree with everything that Jay said. I would add to this what’s coming next, which is wearables those devices, all those wearable things will be interconnected and that would be a need to manage wearables as well and that’s the reason why we think that the need to manage mobile devices or wearables and therefore opportunity for MSP’s to monetize this trend is huge.

Nate:                       Yeah, I agree. I mean if we are all going to be having even 10 devices, that seems like a ton. I have a smart phone and my computer but I am two right now and even that is like behind the curve. I think the average person has 2.5 or something at this point. And thinking about 10 devices, just even in a few years seems like a lot and even more down the line. So it’s really interesting what’s happening in the marketplace and I think it’s clear that these mobile devices can’t be ignored anymore. MSP’s need to have a solution in place that they can offer to their clients and clients need help more than ever when it comes to mobility solutions.

So we are going to take a quick commercial break here. Coming up after this, we’re going to talk about, a little bit more about this MDM opportunity and how you can actually take advantage of it as an MSP so again, commercial break. I think Paul is going to help take us into it and we will see you guys in a few minutes.

Nate:                       Great, thank you Paul. Where welcome back everyone to MSP radio. We are talking about Mobile Device Management, the opportunity there is for MSP’s and we’re going to kind of switch the conversation now into how MSP’s can take advantage of this MDM opportunity.

So as I mentioned earlier to start the program, Fiberlink and MAAS 360 is the official MDM technology partner of Continuum and François, I wanted to give you the opportunity. Just tell us a little bit more about MAAS 360 and why your solution is unique in the marketplace.

François:               MAAS 360 stands for Mobility As A Service. It’s a Suite of what analysts in the market calls EMM which stands for Enterprise Mobility Management which is MDM, Mobile Device Management, MAM, Mobile Application Management and MCM, Mobile Content Management. So it’s all of that wrapped into one single tool, fully integrated with Continuum.

It’s a fast solution but we also have an unplanned offering for certain types of customers. It is unique, very am a very powerful in the sense that we have a unique partnership with Continuum. We’ve had this partnership for quite a while, for a year and it’s full integration of the MAAS 360 tool within the Continuum interface. So for MSP partners, using Continuum, it is the dream come true of the Single Pane of Glass allowing you to manage phones, tablets and MP3s like from the Continuum interface.

Nate:                       Exactly. It fits right into our Single Pane of Glass value prop and I don’t want to go too much into the solution but it really is a top-level product and I don’t think MSP’s and even our partners are doing enough with it and I am glad we could touch on some of the points here and I really hope that MSP’s can recognize this need and take advantage of the opportunity and obviously a solution like that would be a great example.

So Jay, your company is focused on mobile engagement. What are some ways that me, if I am an MSP, can talk to my clients about this solution and open up an opportunity to provide these MDM services to my clients?

Jay:                           Good question. I actually sat for a couple years on a managed services community as chair at CompTIA and we spent a lot of time on mobility obviously in the last couple of years as the trend has taken off. And we got to do some research as well as some roundtable and things like that so I was able to glean kind of best practices for those mobility led practices and what things that they were selling successfully and most importantly, making money. And so I kind of broke it into five steps for either building or growing a mobility practice.

The first one is around consulting and there is two real pieces of it which is risk assessment; going into your client, looking at information and the protection of that information, looking at the users and the sensitivity around at-risk users and who gets what out on mobile. And then the final was system risk; things like encryption, on device VPN’s, multifactor authentication, those types of things is part A of the consulting. But part B is business level consulting. So taking any business whether a flower shop, government, medical, whatever it is, there are opportunities to have either single, multiple or 10 devices out there per user and how they can be more productive and take their business to the next level. So it allows the MSP to not only go in there from a security and risk assessment point of view but obviously a business view and see where they can take the company to the next level.

The second part of the mobility services is around policy and to this day, if you can believe it, only a third of companies have a formal bolted down, fully communicated mobile policy. And while 99% of them have users coming in on mobile devices, there is two thirds of the market left that needs this work done. So to be able to get in there and get all of the compliancy and privacy and everything bolted down depending on the industry to make sure that employees are aware as well as you are adhering to government regulations and legislation around information.

The third which we’re talking about here is MDM, using Continuum, using the technology from Fiberlink that we’ve talked about and deploying that device management with all the services wrapped around it.

The fourth opportunity is around infrastructure and support and not a lot of people talk about this in the mobile world but when this first came out in five, six, seven years ago, most people put up a wireless router just for guest access and just kind of, because it was needed. But now that you have 10 devices per user coming in a few years from now, this is no longer just putting out a router for fun, this is going to run your absolute organization. So the same thought you put into building your network and the redundancies and the speed and the capabilities and scalability, have to go into the network but there’s a lot more.

So there is the support and help desk scenarios; when people are calling in on multiple devices, provisioning of all these devices. So if there is encryption and security and multifactor, how these devices get put through the system and deployed to the users. The line of business consulting; so going into finance and HR and marketing and sales and looking at the organization differently at how they are going to use the mobile technology. Hot Spear programs, think of audio/video, all of these devices don’t have cable so how are your printers going to work? How are your overhead projectors going to work in the boardrooms, there’s that piece.

There is then very simple, building electrical upgrades; so most hospitals today don’t have electrical outlets to support all of these different types of devices. You go into different industries and these buildings and these factories and these retail outlets weren’t built with the infrastructure to run this type of environment because every single one of these 10 devices has a charger that needs to go into the wall. And these are the types of things that MSP’s can take advantage of and make sure that all of the different printing, electrical, audio/video as well as networking and security is taken care of at the customer.

And then finally, number five is ongoing strategy and integration. So these are going to be users out there with Facebook and Twitter. These are business applications that need to be bolted into the backend and obviously secured but everything needs to be integrated front and back end and across all of these different mobile devices as well as a strategy of what ought to be mobile and how to better enable the users mobile. Again, it gives MSP’s really for the first time, an open door into the line of businesses as well as the core boardroom of their customer to be that business consultant that they are striving to be.

Nate:                       Yeah, absolutely. I actually just want to go back to that stat that you mentioned earlier that one third of companies have an MDM policy in place. I would imagine that that is much, much smaller amongst small businesses who are the clients of MSP’s. I would imagine that the corporations and enterprise-level companies have policies but not necessarily small businesses. Do you know any stats on that on the top of your head or… I am just curious.

Jay:                           I do. There is a waterfall. So you look at the Fortune 500 and it’s over 90% now have a formal policy in place. If you look at the bid market which is, think of 1000 employees kind of plus or minus, it’s over 50% now and it’s closer to 60%, have a mobility plan and policy in place.

And when you get into small business, defined as a couple, 500 employees or less or even very small business, hundred employees or less, it falls down from the 30% range down to very small businesses, it’s single digits.

Nate:                       Yeah, well all right, so we’ve got to wrap up you’re here quick. We’ve only got about a minute left.

François, I just wanted to direct one question to you. What would you say to someone from a getting started standpoint, how can you get started in the MDM marketplace and I think as I mentioned a lot of MSP’s ignore this, and I think a lot of them don’t even think about it, they don’t even offer it, so how can I get started as an MSP offering MDM services?

François:               So number one, there is no minimum size requirements, we just spoke about the size matched with [24:58 inaudible] and manage one device of 10 of 10,000 so no minimum size. Number two: it’s common sense but I recommend MSP’s to have saved projects. When you are an MSP dealing with customers that have 50 employees, it’s not necessary to immediately talk about how to improve everybody’s devices on an MDM solution. It’s fine to start small and scale up and the tool allows you to do that as it might be needed.

Nate:                       Yeah, well, that’s great. Well thank you Jay and François for joining me here today on MSP here today. I thought we had a great discussion on MDM and the opportunity for MSP’s.

Jay I will just start with you, thank you for joining and if people want to learn more about your company Channeleyes, where can they go?

Jay:                           They can start at www.Channeleyes.com but I think I’m across nine social networks so very, very easy to find us.

Nate:                       And François, same question for you. If people want to learn more about Fiberlink or MAAS 360, where can they go?

François:               To www.MAAS360.com and also of course at Navigate in September.

Nate:                       Great. Where we can’t wait to see you there, hope to see a lot of our audience there and gentlemen, thank you again for joining me here on MSP radio.

Jay:                           Thanks!