If you've been following the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement, then you most likely already know that it isn't just a trend. It's here to stay, with analyst firm Gartner predicting that a majority of enterprises will make BYOD mandatory by 2017. And while BYOD will ultimately cut businesses' costs and make employees' lives easier and simpler, the concept isn't without its own challenges. Provisioning is one of those challenges. How can enterprises instantaneously and securely onboard all the personal devices employees bring onto the corporate network? Needs will vary by industry, but here are four provisioning applications with near-universal appeal.
Juniper Networks SmartPass Connect offers an array of benefits for enterprises looking at BYOD provisioning solutions. One of the most attractive is that SmartPass Connect is clientless. Nothing needs to be installed on employee devices, easing employee privacy and device control concerns. Additionally, SmartPass Connect is automated and self-service to ease the burden on the IT department. It also offers secure wireless and wired network access and works with Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, iOS, and Android, covering the spectrum of consumer device operating systems.
While FlexConnect is a wireless access point technology rather than an independent BYOD provisioning application, Cisco's enormous footprint within the enterprise and the importance of wireless to a BYOD deployment make FlexConnect vital for VARs to understand. Cisco FlexConnect enables BYOD provisioning by integrating with the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) and corporate Active Directory for user authentication and access. Profile-based identification and authentication help ensure secure access and keep out rogue devices and users.
While we're on the subject of Cisco, Cisco ISE's role in BYOD provisioning is large enough to warrant its own entry in this list. Cisco ISE enables secure BYOD by centralizing policy and permissions enforcement. An administration node provides system-level configuration capabilities. A monitoring node collects logs and offers tools for monitoring and troubleshooting. The policy service node handles access, authentication, and provisioning services. ISE is scalable for enterprises of different sizes and integrates with third-party MDM solutions for even greater security.
Finally, for organizations that may not be quite ready for the scope or complexities of a Juniper Networks or Cisco deployment, Meru Networks' Identity Manager onboarding platform claims to automate and simplify both BYOD and guest provisioning and access management. Identity Manager works with Mac OS X and iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems, covering the most common OSes encountered in consumer devices. It's self-service and can onboard devices to both wired and wireless networks.
BYOD provisioning is already a big deal and will only continue to get bigger as the BYOD movement continues making inroads into the enterprise. Security, reliability, ease of use, and interoperability are all critical factors in whether a BYOD provisioning application will pass muster. Start learning the ecosystem now, and if you're having trouble at any step along the way, get help from your distributor. Your business will thank you later.
What BYOD provisioning solutions do you recommend? Tell us in the comments.