Friday, February 09, 2007

Is there a need for WiFi alliance like body for enterprise device management?

Daniel Taylor had a thought provoking post on his weblog, where he argues why a Standards Development Organization like WiFi Alliance is needed for enterprise device management standards. His argument that OMA DM is designed for carrier’s supply chain is very valid. Even though there are device makers on the OMA membership list, they also go with what makes sense for the big carriers, because carriers are the only channel and user of their devices. As long as carrier controls the device, it is going to be hard for an enterprise specific device management standard to gain momentum. If the devices are liberated from carriers (see my post about unlocked phones), and device makers are in control of how devices are brought to market (just like 802.11 devices are done today), the support for enterprise device management standard certification will be higher.

Certainly WiFi is very popular standard, and almost all client devices work with access points, in a plug-and-play manner. I think the reason for WiFi’s success is because it is a standard at access layer, where there is just a single function involved, and that is how to provide secure access to the enterprise network infrastructure. The WiFi devices do not have standardized management functions such as user authentication, device wipe, lock, reset, over the air updates. WiFi devices do not have active users trying to do things to these devices, and changes the need for management requirements of these devices.

Read all of my comments on Dan's blog.

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