Did Google throw kink into RIM's device management plan?

It's possible that Google's existing Apps for Business customers will use the search giant to manage devices. A crowded field just cringed.

Google may have just dropped a mobile device management bomb on plans by Research In Motion--as well as about 25 other vendors--with an effort to manage multiple diverse devices in the enterprise.

At a powwow at Google's headquarters, Dave Girouard, chief of Google's enterprise efforts, said the company will layer in mobile device management into Google Apps. Google Apps will support Android, iOS, Windows, and other devices via a dashboard.

With the move, it's possible that Google's existing customers will use the search giant to manage devices. And if the features hold up, these customers may dump others including SAP's Sybase, Good Technology, and Research In Motion, which announced plans to manage all devices as part of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Now the key question here is how Google's mobile device management plan works relative to rivals. It's possible that Google is offering mobile device management in Google Apps just to portray Android devices as safe for the enterprise. But just based on the pricing (free), Google could raise a few big worries for vendors in the mobile management market. Microsoft supports remote wiping with ActiveSync.

The Gartner quadrant on the sector looks like this:

And that view is dated. IBM announced plans for mobile device management on Monday. RIM said at BlackBerry World it will support both Android and iOS and put mobile device management vendors on notice. Now RIM is on notice.

The big theme for Google executives was consumerization and allowing employees to bring their own devices. Given that Google Apps users may be closer to the consumerization trend, it only makes sense to include mobile device management in Google Apps.

No matter how you add the Google move up the outlook for RIM, which desperately has to defend its enterprise server base, looks a bit cloudy--especially Google Apps customers that use the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

This story was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines as "Google just rattled RIM's mobile device management plans."

 

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