The big complaint most enterprises have about smartphones is that they can be easily lost. That’s bad news if corporate data is left in memory on these devices, and it’s a veritable deal-killer for some enterprise applications. Bitzer Mobile yesterday released software that wraps enterprise data in a virtualization layer that keeps it off of end-user phones, but is still accessible for end-user applications.
Previously, enterprises favored RIM’s BlackBerry because it can be wiped remotely if lost. But with Android and iPhone devices already in the pockets of many employees, requiring BlackBerry devices typically means giving employees a second phone.
Ali Ahmed, founder and CTO of Bitzer Mobile, said forcing employees to carry two phones is the way many enterprises deal with the data safety problem. “If someone is bringing in a personal device, do they lock it down? No, but that’s why people use two devices. With our solution, they will take the device and put the virtual application on that. They don’t need to lock down the device,” he said.
Instead of relying on remote wipes or custom-built software, Bitzer focused on a server-side solution and an HTML-based scripting system for moving enterprise applications onto mobile devices. Bitzer Mobile runs as a single application on Android, BlackBerry or iPhone devices. Developers then build a custom interface for existing desktop enterprise applications using the HTML-based tagging system created by Bitzer.
The result is a single application that opens a window into the corporate data stores without bringing that data down to the local device. Thus, if a phone is lost or stolen, the data remains behind corporate firewalls, and the mobile application that accesses that data remains protected. Access can be cut off to any users who may have lost their device, meaning enterprises no longer have to wait for device manufacturers to add remote wiping capabilities.
For developers tasked with bringing existing applications to mobile platforms, Bitzer Mobile offers a quick way to wrap those applications in HTML-like markup. Once created, this markup can bring legacy desktop applications to phones, without the need to recode the business logic behind them. Bitzer Mobile charges $100 per year per user, with discounts offered as more users are added.