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MDM Bakeoff: Citrix Mobile Solutions Bundle with ShareFile vs. DataNow

Brad Truman
Posted by Brad Truman on Apr 3, 2013 9:56:00 AM

Note: This is a continuation of our previous article "What is Mobile Device Management (MDM)?"  

The previous article will give you the background of what these products basically do and why they are exciting to so many people. So let’s compare them and see which one is best for you.

Both products include universal mobile device management, secure application packaging that separates the corporate apps and data from the personal stuff, and cloud based access to local storage. More specifically, they both:  

--Rapid Over-the-Air (OTA) self-registration and provisioning
--Comprehensive device policies and management  
--Shut off services when out of range of authorized location
--Containerized separation of personal and corporate apps/data.

--The ability to wipe only corporate apps/Data

--Secure email, attachment launch, browser and data sharing

--Secure access to SharePoint

--Cloud-based access to shared data 

Beyond that, things vary a little. Here are the places where we see some discernible differences. 

Secure email, web, and data sharing applications. Both products offer this feature, but they do it in different ways. Citrix actually includes to new applications for this… @WorkMail and @WorkWeb. AppSense containerizes native IOS and Android Mail, or could containerize any third party mail as well. Users will undoubtedly prefer this option since the will be able to natively use IOS or Android e-mail and web, or IT could containerize other 3rd party apps for them to use if desired.  ADVANTAGE:  AppSense

Unified App Store. Citrix has the ability to list all types of applications in its downloadable app store… mobile, web, SaaS and Windows. This is a nice convenience for users to be able to come to one site to download apps for their mobile device. AppSense can do this as well, but must use their own app site (for mobile, web and SaaS apps), plus Citrix StoreFront (for web, SaaS and Windows apps). Just a little more cumbersome for the user. Note that web and SaaS apps could be delivered either way depending on if there is an IOS or Android front end natively available.  ADVANTAGE:  Citrix

Single Sign-on and direct integration into XenApp/XenDesktop. This can save the user some time and make things more convenient, IF SSO is implemented. We rarely see companies do this because it seems to confuse users. If it is implemented correctly, it is an advantage.ADVANTAGE: Citrix

Access and Security Policies. Both are good at this, but AppSense is considerably more flexible. It makes sense as that is what they built their reputation on… flexibility in controlling the user’s environment. There are 22 access and security policy areas that can be used in AppSense MobileNow. ADVANTAGE: AppSense

ShareFile vs. DataNow. This one is interesting. ShareFile give the user a choice as to where the data reside for it to control… in their cloud, or in the user’s data center, BUT, the control mechanism is SaaS only using Citrix’ cloud-based ShareFile Manager. AppSense DataNow is 100% inside the User’s environment. The data does not need to move from where it is now on corporate SANs, you just need to install the DataNow control server in your data center and provide the appropriate secure access from the internet through your access mechanism to it. This will appeal to many people that do not want any part of this housed outside their environment. Nor do you have to pay twice to store data (once in the cloud and once in your data center). ADVANTAGE:  AppSense

So what’s the bottom line? If you look at the three and five year total costs, two things stand out. First, if you decide to buy Citrix products, the perpetual licenses are a better deal, and second, AppSense is cheaper in all situations. So which one do you buy? It all comes down to one question…Do you need any of the features that one has and the other doesn’t? Then buy that vendor’s product. If not, AppSense has a real cost advantage and you might as well save some money.

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Topics: Citrix, Tools and Technology, XenMobile, ShareFile, MDM