Well today I find myself at my first AirWatch Connect Conference event in London, this is a two day event for me, Day 1 (today) has been full of sessions covering all aspects of AirWatch and mobile device management. Day 2 tomorrow is AirWatch Certification Training which will hopefully give me a head start to achieving the AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Associate.
Today’s highlights have been several sessions hosted by the two main speakers Dor Zakai @DorZakai and Thibaut Bekkin @thibaut_bellon. Both of these guys are Sales Engineering Managers for AirWatch and are passionate about AirWatch and what it can do for you, which make’s listening to them easy. I saw Dor at VMworld so was keen to hear him speak again and wasn’t disappointed.
“Identity Management built for the Mobile Cloud Era” There was certainly a lot of posts on the Connect application and Twitter about this session by Dor. It introduces the VMware Identity Manager and how it can integrate with AirWatch, bringing you easy application deployment and SSO. VMware Identity Manager is free if you are a Blue or Yellow AirWatch Suite user, so I urge you to check it out.
Dor also introduced the Per App VPN that allows you to configure seamless logons to your private applications by a seamless VPN that combined with SSO, allows the user with just one click on the Icon to logon to your Private applications. Taking this even further you can then containerise the applications so that only work data can be opened with work applications and users personal applications cant integration with this data.
After lunch Dor took us through “Enterprise Innovations for Apple IOS and OSX “which introduced how Apple Device Enrolment Program (DEP) can give you out of the box device enrolment in to AirWatch and your environment. And how the AirWatch Unified App Catalog can bring the same applications and user experience to the devices.
Then it was over to Thibaut who gave us “Android to Work”. Android for Work from Google allows you to run 2 separate user personas on a device, one the work persona with work applications and one the user’s personal persona that lets them do what they like on the device. One thing to mention is that Android for Work requires Android 5 or above, however Android 4 users can also download the Android for Work App that brings most of the functionality to the devices.The coolest function here is bulk enrolment feature that’s coming in the next release of Android Marshmallow. This allows you to bulk deploy new devices with your image using NFC. Just bump the out of the box device to your master device and that’s it your build is deployed!
This was followed up by Thibaut showing us what AirWatch can do for Windows 10 Devices and by devices we are talking about laptop and tablets as well as mobile phones. This for me was a real eye opener and requires a radical rethink to how you deploy new devices, but the benefits are huge especially if you want to maintain application compatibility and security on devices.
To close the day out there Dor brought us “NSX and AirWatch” and “Securing your enterprise with VPN and Networking” there is a great deal of overlap on these subjects but basically by bringing NSX to AirWatch you can start to secure your applications using the Micro Segmentation that NSX brings you. For example You can create a Software defined Network on NSX then switch to AirWatch and simply configure your applications to only allow access to devices that are on this network. I for one see a future where all this can be managed by one console. Regarding VPN app tunnelling this requires upgrading to the new AirWatch 8.1 Linux Mag that supports the VPN app tunnelling. It has been hinted that in the future this appliance may well come in the form of a OVF file so ready to deploy, as someone who is a Windows person and not a Linux person this is something that I really want ASAP.
This wouldn’t be a conference without the free swag and Networking Party and AirWatch didn’t disappoint bringing us vouchers that we could spend on swag of our choice at the stand and an excellent reception in to the evening.