Talking BYOD, MDM, and MOBILITYSolv with Adnon Dow

In an interview with ChannelPro-SMB, SYNNEX's VP of Global Mobility Solutions discusses mobility, security, networking, and opportunities for VARs. By Cecilia Galvin

IT distributor SYNNEX Corporation has been taking its channel mobility strategy, MOBILITYSolv, on the road with a series of educational events. Led by Adnon Dow, a mobility-industry veteran and vice president of the distributor's Global Mobility Solutions business unit, the MOBILITYSolv road shows are designed to provide SYNNEX resellers with the applied knowledge required in deploying robust, scalable, and secure mobility solutions for mission-critical applications.

ChannelPro-SMB sat down with Dow at the distributor's Varnex event in Orlando to learn about MobilitySolv and how VARs can take advantage of it.

How would you explain the MOBILITYSolv offerings for VARs?

If you look at [MobilitySolv], it breaks down into six modules: One is mobility. The second is machine-to-machine. Then there's intelligent networks, advanced communications, products and solutions, and security.

So, depending on where you are as a VAR, you could pick one of those modules and really drill down and offer the things that we have available within each one or you could bring them together to provide solutions.

And the topics blend into each other, don't they?

Absolutely, they are all related. Take mobility. It's everything from being able to sell the mobile device to the activation through any of the numerous carrier agreements, to selling accessories and peripheral solutions, to application management and optimization and control.

So, when we bring in our vendor partners, we want to help them deliver the whole solution - provide the technical capability, understand the vertical application. We also allow the VARs to be able to white-label any of our solutions and take them to market.

MOBILITY
We hear a lot of VARs talking about opportunities in BYOD and MDM…

Right. And for the first time, we have networks that are robust enough to be able to support the data transmissions. You have devices that are so intelligent, the CPU is so robust that they're able to be more power than a computer.

I mean, you've got such an abundance and omnipresence of content and data that now you've got carriers, hardware manufacturers, and software developers all working together.

Not since the creation of the cell phone or the Internet have we faced such an opportunity to provide technology.

You say, though, that there is still fragmentation about mobile technology. Can you explain that?

As I mentioned this morning, chaos creates opportunity, and the market is very fragmented today. People talk about BYOD [bring your own device], and they talk about MDM [mobile device management], but I don't think they understand what they're talking about, what it really is.

We really need to ask ourselves, “What is enterprise mobility?”

So what is it?

When you're talking about mobile device management, you're really in a sense talking about business needs. Is it security? Or do I need to be able to upload new drivers, new software, new applications to certain devices? Do I need to allow users some sort of secured capability to the corporate network?

In that sense, MDM is really just managing the device. But do we need to take it a step further and put a container on that device and put all the corporate applications in there?

In other words, are you managing the device or managing the device's access to data?

Exactly. You could take it a step further so that users have to enter a username and password in order to get into the “container” just to feed and access information. It's all encrypted, and it's never in the device - it's just letting you view it. The data is sitting somewhere out in the cloud so that if the device does get stolen, the data is not readily available there.

So, MDM, then, is managing the device, managing the application, managing the connection, and encrypting all the content.

SECURITY & MACHINE-TO-MACHINE
So, you touched on security as you discussed MDM. How are you teaching VARs about security at the road show events?

We bring in key vendors to talk about security policy, applications, device capabilities, etc., and it really comes down to policies.

I've been in security a long time. Security is not about encryption. It's not about being worried over the guy who's going to come in and steal stuff. Believe it or not, about 90 percent of the time, it's about somebody within an organization accessing information they shouldn't be accessing.

So, it's about policy. It's about asking, “Who do I want to access my information? Should he be allowed to access that data on his own device?” Based on that criteria, I can come up with a process to “containerize” information, encrypt it, and limit access based on policies - based on what we call the ACL, the access control list. If your device is lost or you get fired, I can push one command and it's wiped without touching your personal information.

About the Author

Cecilia Galvin is Executive Editor of ChannelPro-SMB.