Leading EMM Platform Expands to Embrace New OS and Improve Mobile UX

This week, AirWatch released AirWatch 8.1, the latest edition of its leading EMM platform. The new release will encompass support for newly-announced operating systems and mobile devices.

The new solution will also concentrate on features that make the end user's experience more fluid and intuitive, a key component of successful mobile platforms. Additionally, in an effort to continue comprehensive support for enterprises, AirWatch 8.1 will enable new integration features to further equip organisations for mobile deployments.

AirWatch have summarised the 8.1 release features into three themes: expanded OS support, administrative and serviceability upgrades, and enterprise-readiness features.

Expanded OS support with new functionality across device platforms

In AirWatch 8.1, new enrollment and management features will support recent OS releases such as Windows 10 and iOS 9. AirWatch 8.1 will also introduce Apple iBeacon integration, to add accurate location-based configuration. For the Apple Watch, IT administrators will now be able to enforce passcodes, disable certain features and automatically lock the devices when not being worn.

For Android devices, AirWatch 8.1 will offer support for per-app VPN on Android through the AirWatch Tunnel and other third-party VPN such as Pulse Secure, F5 and GlobalProtect. IT departments will be able to add granular management to Android devices based on manufacturer. For Samsung KNOX devices, AirWatch 8.1 will support full device containerisation and biometric authentication.

Furthermore, AirWatch 8.1 will debut support for the Tizen operating system, an open source standards-based OS built in some of the latest Samsung devices, and for laptop and desktops, it will enable remote control for OS X devices and include new Chromebook enhancements. For rugged devices, AirWatch 8.1 will extend support for rugged device platforms including policy engine improvements and new APIs.

Enhanced administration and serviceability to enable easier workflows for IT administrators

The new solution is set to introduce a number of enhancements to make life easier for IT administrators as well. Device lifecycle management will be improved through flexibility and performance for compliance violations, additional notifications for enrollment workflows and optimised shared device and kiosk workflows.

To ensure acute visibility into system processes, AirWatch 8.1 will include more details on compliance status for troubleshooting, logging for profiles installation errors, Smart Group assignment changes and AirWatch Tunnel usage. The updated console will also provide useful details for Apple APNs certificate management.

In terms of user experience, the updated platform will boast several improvements to its user interface across web app management, profile management, the end user self-service portal, telecom dashboards and administrator role management with a new tool for role comparisons. To further enable easier workflows for IT departments, the updated console will look to benefit bulk management actions for both users and their devices.

Enterprise readiness to enable new integrations and business processes

Finally, in addition to core improvements to directory services, certificate management and mobile email management, new features expand capabilities around integrations. AirWatch 8.1 will improve Syslog integration to allow more control of Syslog event logging based on event category. Palo Alto Network's Wildfire for app reputation analysis, and app blacklisting, will also integrate into the AirWatch compliance engine.