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As More Apps Go Mobile, IT Execs Want More Management Capabilities

More desktop apps are migrating to mobile devices, and IT administrators are scrambling to figure out how to manage them, even as the number of mobile devices on which these applications run multiplies, too.

"Mobile devices are predominantly a personal choice," says Paul Fulton, senior director of mobility at Cisco's Unified Communications unit. And more often than not, companies don't want to own those devices. "But they do need to own the data, and they need to be in control," he says.

Cisco took a step in that direction last week when it rolled out version 6.0 of its Unified Communications System, which provides one number for a person's office and mobile phones and a single voice mailbox with attached presence information that shows if callers are available. Cisco's system includes the Unified Mobile Communicator, a feature that extends unified communications to smartphones running the BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, or Symbian operating systems, and to cell phones that use the Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless application development platform. The upgrade includes a portal where IT administrators can monitor and authenticate users, decide who can receive presence information, and remotely wipe data from devices. Another portal lets users download apps and set preferences.

Sybase iAnywhere, Sybase's mobile technology subsidiary, added mobile instant messaging and presence capabilities to its Information Anywhere suite. It lets companies synchronize information among mobile devices and business software from BMC Software, Business Objects, Lotus, SAP, and others, so workers can share information when they're away from the office. Sybase addressed compliance and auditing issues by providing support for instant messaging security and management software, such as apps from Akonix, FaceTime Communications, and IMlogic.

Which Vendor Are You Likely To Use To Manage Handhelds?
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