Device Management

Mobile Device Management Software Expands Reach

Odyssey Software has released the latest version of its mobile device management system, Athena, adding additional functionality to Windows System Center Configuration Manager version 5.0, a platform for updating and maintaining mobile and virtual assets, like iPads and smartphones.

Odyssey Software has released the latest version of its mobile device management system, Athena, adding additional functionality to Windows System Center Configuration Manager version 5.0, a platform for updating and maintaining mobile and virtual assets, like iPads and smartphones.

The program provides IT and systems management departments with access into a number of managed devices, currently supporting iOS and Android operating systems. The company is also working on adding an agent for Windows Phone, which it plans to roll out soon.

Athena allows users to maintain devices in a variety of ways, from managing PIN passwords on devices, to account settings directly on the Configuration Manager platform.

Administrators can also advise end users of software, documents, and a variety of media that needs to be installed via a mobile library, which appears as an application icon on the device. Users can see and install these updates right from the icon.

"The fact that we are able to deploy applications onto an iOS or an Android device is critically important because you want to assure everyone across the organization--say a teacher in a certain school that is supposed to have a core set of applications--has access to those applications, " said David Yeaple, the company's chief technology officer. 

Although Athena users cannot "push" software to managed devices, like they can on laptops, due to the inherent self-service model employed by mobile devices, Yeaple said administrators can still help to ensure that devices are being properly updated.

"Let's say a device doesn't have an app that's tagged as being required for the device," he said. "With our solution, you have the ability to actually remediate that, whereby if a user declines to install that software on the device, you could turn off their access to corporate e-mail. You have both the carrot and the stick, so to speak."

While the company directly markets its Athena software only for the Configuration Manager platform, it also partners with a number of independent software providers that incorporate the technology into additional platforms.

About the Author

Stephen Noonoo is the former associate editor of THE Journal. He is on Twitter @stephenoonoo.

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