AT&T deploys Windows Mobile BES killer

AT&T has been one of the first to deploy Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, Microsoft’s answer to the mobile device manageability features of RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Mobile Device Manager is an enterprise-grade mobile device management solution that also provides security, mobile Virtual Private Network (VPN) and software distribution for Windows Mobile devices. With Mobile Device Manager, Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphones now have secured access to applications, files, corporate data and other information that is located on the corporate network and previously inaccessible without a secure VPN connection. Mobile Device Manager also gives the corporate information technology (IT) departments that use Microsoft software’s new security and management tools that work well with existing infrastructure investments, such as Active Directory and SQL Server. Mobile Device Manager’s tight integration into Active Directory extends group policy management capabilities to Windows Mobile smartphones. This integration allows IT managers to manage smartphones similar to the way they manage desktop computers, making them first-class citizens on the corporate network.

AT&T also announced today the availability of the MDM Early Adopter QuickStart Program that was developed cooperatively by AT&T and Enterprise Mobile to assist AT&T customers with deploying the Microsoft mobility solution. The MDM Early Adopter QuickStart Program enables enterprises to try Mobile Device Manager’s unique abilities to manage mobile devices, define access rights, provide additional security features for data transmissions, coordinate over-the-air software updates and protect the corporate network from unauthorized access.

This deployment follows a rash of Windows Mobile 6.1 updates, including to the AT&T Tilt and other smartphones, meaning there is a ready installed base able to take advantage of new improved enterprise features on Windows Mobile.

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