By Nate Adcock updated on 01/21/2011
During CES there are several venues that showcase vendor products. Seeing eveything in a couple of days is simply not possible, so often the best products are found by going to the side events. Lunch at Piero's is one of those events (free lunch and cool gadgets...who could want more?). At Piero's, the rep from Absolute Software gave me a convincing demo on how their software can help manage a fleet of iOS devices in your business, or simply protect the data on your own personal laptop.
If you have a small or medium-sized business (or especially a large one), you will find that managing a burgeoning fleet of devices as your sales force grows is no trivial matter. A good management product is key, and without it you open your newly successful business to serious problems. An unmanaged iPad or iPhone in the hands of an employee could come back to bite you. Valuable customer data, or your own competitive secrets could end up in the wrong hands. A good management product allows your IT people to control that data via mobile device policies, stopping employees from downloading/running certain apps, wasting time on YouTube all day, or losing your critical company data. This is where Absolute comes in.
The Absolute Manage product is actually a suite of software that allows your IT section to remotely administer aspects of your iOS deployment. The product appeared (at least from the demo) to be very simple to configure and manage. The rep was able to demonstrate adding and removing access to certain apps, sending messages to remote devices (see above), or even remotely wipe a device (though the rep didn't want to demo that during his short time at Pieros).
Lock or even remotely wipe devices on demand...
Combined with Absolute's Computrace product, you can do a ton more stuff with the Manage software suite which includes: track on a map and recover, inventory, patch, even dictate a power management policy on remote PC, Mac and mobile devices.
Absolute also has Consumer grade protection products including Computrace combined with Lo Jack for Laptops. You can track and recover (through a theft recovery service) a lost or stolen device, freeze the OS or delete all data from it remotely. The more economical Data Protect product allows you to locate, block access and delete data.
I asked the rep if the service included hard drive encryption (it doesn't), so you should know that a savvy criminal could simply pull your hard drive or root your device and still get at your data. You should always use some kind of third-party encryption product to protect private data like account numbers, PIN, password or other personal information.
If you are looking for a device management product for your business or simply to protect your private data, you might want to have a look at Absolute Software. You can get more information at their web-site here.