‘Providing a secure foundation for companies around the world to transform into Mobile First organizations’
The leader in security and management for mobile apps, documents, and devices, MobileIron’s mission is to enable organizations around the world to embrace mobility as their primary IT platform in order to transform their businesses and increase their competitiveness. More than 12,000 companies rely on MobileIron’s scalable architecture, rapid innovation, and best practices for their mobile initiatives. Founded in 2007,
MobileIron is headquartered at Mountain View, California, with offices across the world.
Candid Q&A with Ojas Rege, Key Executive
Why was the company set up?
MobileIron was founded in 2007 by Ajay Mishra and Suresh Batchu. The first iPhone had just been released and Android wouldn’t launch for another year. Ajay and Suresh founded the company on two core beliefs: 1) that apps and data would be more important than voice on smartphones, and 2) that, unlike laptops, enterprise mobility would be driven by employees, not IT.
The influx of iPhones, iPads, and Android devices to the enterprise was unprecedented. IT suddenly had to become an expert on wireless cost management, mobile apps, mobile security, and privacy. The 3-5 year OS upgrade cycle was a thing of the past. IT had to move at the speed of consumer mobility. Mobile-savvy employees came to work expecting to use their favorite consumer apps and devices to be productive. If IT said “no,” employees simply found a way to go around them.
Tell us about your first product that was launched?
MobileIron had ten betas in progress and four paying customers when we launched our enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform in August 2009. In the seven years that followed, MobileIron has served over 12,000 customers and sold more than 10 million seats.
When we first launched, we focused on building out capabilities to support our belief on the importance of employee choice. We supported multiple platforms (Apple, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and later, Google Android) to meet employee demands. That list is actually a great proof point for the speed of mobile evolution – Symbian was the most popular smartphone OS in the world then and now it is completely gone. We also launched the concept of selective management, for which we now have a patent, to separate personal and business data on the device and protect the privacy of that personal data. This enabled BYOD initiatives for smartphones.
How has your product evolved over the years?
In 2010, we launched our patented enterprise app store and certificate management capabilities. This was because of our belief in the importance of apps and providing a seamless authentication experience for the user. As customer initiatives became more sophisticated, we added a new suite of app, document, and web security capabilities in 2012.
There are so many memories from those days. I remember the launch of the first iPad very well in 2010. Two weeks before the launch, Apple contacted us to see if we could build a great business app. We got together a tiger team of six people and built our “Sentry for iPad” app, which won recognition as one of the top business launch apps for the device.
MobileIron continues to lead enterprise mobility innovation with two industry firsts in 2016:
Solving the app-to-cloud security gap: Apps have a very different security model than browsers. Most cloud services have a mobile app as their front-end. That means that identity alone is not enough to ensure data security because is data downloaded to the device as part of the app. If that device or that app is compromised, the data is at risk, even if the user is trusted. To solve this app-to-cloud security gap, in April 2016, we launched MobileIron Access, the first solution to ensure that only trusted apps on trusted devices with trusted users can access corporate data.
Accelerating desktop modernization: In October 2016, we announced MobileIron Bridge, the first solution to truly unify mobile and desktop operations for Windows 10. MobileIron Bridge lets companies start using enterprise mobility management (EMM) to modernize their Windows operations now, without sacrificing the sophisticated security policies and actions of traditional client management tools.
What do you feel are the reasons behind your consistent growth as an organization?
Mobile is becoming increasingly strategic to our customers and so the security our solution provides becomes increasingly important for the success of their mobile strategies. Our customer base is amazing and never fails to inspire me. The most security-conscious organizations in the world choose MobileIron, including government organizations and businesses in regulated industries like healthcare and financial services. They rely on our awesome and agile engineering team to build the software they need to transform their
Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be rolled out into the market?
We just launched an update to MobileIron Access which for the first time lets employees securely sign into corporate mobile apps without a username and password. MobileIron Access is a perfect example of security as an enabler, not a constraint. Security should be invisible to employees. MobileIron Access enables IT to securely deploy the best-of-breed cloud services employees want with a user experience they love.
Meet the Expert
Ojas Rege, Chief Strategy Officer: Ojas Rege is Chief Strategy Officer at MobileIron. Ojas coined the term “Mobile First” on TechCrunch in 2007, one week after the launch of the first iPhone, to represent a new model of personal and business computing. He is co-inventor on seven mobility patents, including the enterprise app store and BYOD privacy. Ojas has been with MobileIron for eight years as the company has grown from just an idea to a mobile security platform with over 12,000 enterprise customers.
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