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Good Technology Rides Smartphone Wave

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 8:13am
Monica Alleven

Whether IT managers like it or not, iPhones and Android models are working their way into the enterprise, and Good Technology is seeing the fruits of that growth.

The company, which supplies push e-mail and device management services to enterprises, says the shift of personal phones doubling as work phones is driving "substantial" growth for the company. In the first half of this year, more than 1,500 enterprises turned to Good to secure and manage these popular new devices and enable them for business applications and data. Intel and Costco are among its big-name customers.

When the iPhone was first introduced in 2007, some analysts cautioned IT departments that it wasn't ready for the enterprise. Flash forward four years, and there's no stopping the iPhone from infiltrating the enterprise – along with a string of Android models.

Good reports that Apple's iOS and Android devices have penetrated 43 percent of its deployments and nearly one-fifth of its enterprise customers are now supporting three or more device platforms.

As far as who pays for the device and data plan, there's no one clear-cut trend. "We see all kinds of models," says Dmitri Volkmann, who leads the product team at Good Technology. Some companies are willing to pay for everything; others let the employee buy the device. "The technology we have allows you to do whatever model you want" while keeping the IT department happy.

Good's technology allows, for example, an enterprise to separate a worker's personal data from the enterprise data, so if a person leaves the company, the enterprise-related data can be removed and the personal data left in tact.

The company intends to support whatever devices are massively adopted, but it hasn't yet worked up a solution for the upcoming Windows Phone 7 because it doesn't have all the information it needs from Microsoft to do so. A similar situation arose with the WebOS that Palm created. "We did encounter difficulties with WebOS due to the APIs limitation and had to put the project on hold a few months ago," Volkmann says. "We have seen signs of change recently, so we will continue to monitor and evaluate, especially as/if we see growing market acceptance."

Good essentially is providing solutions for pretty much any popular OS that is not BlackBerry, similar to what Seven does, but Volkmann says Good doesn't encounter Seven so much in the enterprise – it's main competition is the native e-mail client that comes on devices.

Good Technology is having conversations about getting its technology embedded in devices, but it isn't announcing anything in that realm.

Good Technology was acquired by Motorola in 2006, then in 2009 it was sold to Visto, which renamed the company to Good.

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