Earlier today, I had a good conversation with a well-known industry analyst who focuses on the mobile collaboration space.  We spent a fair amount of time discussing the latest updates to Lotus Notes Traveler, LotusLive Notes and mobile, what's happening in the RIM world, and what devices/OSs/manufacturers my team and I are seeing as relevant these days.  As I've discussed recently here and at user groups, this is a fast-moving and challenging space, since the hot new device this week is old news next week.  

There are also shifting sands and schools of thought around the increasing presence of personal mobile devices and smartphones in the corporate environment.  The analyst confirmed that many inquiries are on this topic as well -- companies are struggling with how to manage and secure personally-liable handhelds in the context of their corporate collaboration tools.

We've done a good job with Lotus Notes Traveler 8.5.2 of implementing mainstream security policies.  However, as evidenced by the analyst call and recent customer interactions, there are multiple, sometimes-conflicting desires for more in the corporate space.  Some customers tell us that you want to have minimal footprint on these personal devices, opting for web-delivered experiences or native applications (e.g. mail/calendar/contacts) as the start and end of what you will support.  Others say that you want to provide more, but need to do so in a more secure manner.  We receive requests for Notes Traveler to be able to apply security features only to corporate apps -- remote wipe of, say, just mail/calendar but not other apps -- or in some cases, a desire for "sandboxed" device applications, that won't interfere with the personal mail/calendar/contacts already on the device.

It's impossible to design a mainstream service like Notes Traveler, included in existing CALs, to do all of this and yet maintain the simplicity of deployment and usage that has been our #1 priority.  As many of you tell me, Traveler deployments "just work", so I am hesitant to extend our reach in ways that will be more complicated and/or invasive.  We will implement more management capabilities over time, but if you want the most control over your mobile devices, you should deploy a Blackberry Enterprise Server.  Or, for non-Blackberry devices, consider a range of 3rd party solutions.

Increasingly, I'm hearing more about mobile device management apps that are being deployed in conjunction with Lotus Notes Traveler.  Boxtone, Tangoe, and Trust Digital have all been on my radar recently.  Some of these make more sense to me than deploying a parallel infrastructure on the devices -- for my iPad, for example, I really don't want to have to deviate from using the very good built-in calendar.  But they are all trade-offs of security, flexibility, and ease-of-use.  

In Notes Traveler 8.5.2, for those OSs (Symbian/WinMo/soon Android) where we install something on the client, we've built a mobile installer to automatically keep that device install up-to-date.  It also ensures we have some control over the device for policy/security management.  Beyond that, I feel like this is a good space and opportunity for these partner solutions.  There doesn't appear to be one right answer as to how to address personally-liable devices, but what do you think we should be thinking about in this space for Notes Traveler in 2011?

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