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Fiberlink Provides View Into Users' Mobile Habits

Fiberlink has announced the addition of the Any Connection Reporting (ACR) module as part of their Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform. The new module enables administrators to not only help find savings in the enterprise budget, but to ensure that end-users are following policy when it comes to remote connectivity.

The ACR module consists of two components: the back-end collection and reporting tool on Fiberlink's MaaS360 servers and a small agent deployed on the endpoint Windows clients.  The agent sits at the network-driver level, so unlike alternative solutions that rely on a common connection manager, it has visibility into all connections made by the end user. So whether the user is connecting via WiFi, 3G wireless broadband adapter, or even tethered to a smartphone such as a Blackberry, the ACR agent catches the activity.

The data collected in the ACR has a number of applications within the in the enterprise, both within IT and around the corporate office. For administrators, connection reporting enables enforcement of policy, for example, requiring remote workers to only connect to certain hotspots or not connecting to open, insecure ones. Beyond pure policy, tracking connection usage can also ensure the wireless data plans match the end user's usage habits. Using ACR, enterprises could find 3G wireless plans that are being underutilized and move that user to a smaller data plan, or in the opposite extreme, find users that are exceeding their data allotments or frequently roaming and adjust accordingly.  

"Fiberlink's ACR bridges the gap between the wireless invoice and the enterprise's actual usage, connectivity, device inventory, and security habits." noted Kitty Weldon, principal analyst for Enterprise Mobility at Current Analysis, "By collecting data on every network connection the user makes, ACR gives a complete view of how remote workers operate outside the corporate walls."  The notion of building a profile of user habits is a compelling one, as it does allow the right-sizing of mobile tools to the user's actual usage patterns, but enterprises will certainly have to be upfront that they are tracking their employee's activity, even if it is on corporate-owned devices.