Westcon Offers BYOD-as-a-Service

Westcon CTO Bill Hurley

Westcon CTO Bill Hurley

Westcon Group is offering its partners a new tool to manage customers Bring Your Own Device initiatives, offering a new package called BYODshield that combines two vendors’ offerings with some custom code and is packaged for partners to sell as a monthly service to customers.

BYODShield aims to offer solution providers a single SKU, available as a service, to handle network access management and security, mobile application management, and mobile device management. The package brings together network security and virtual appliance delivery from BlueCat, and MDM capabilities from Fiberlink’s MaaS360 offering.

The solution is cloud-based, and can be offered by solution providers as a white-label offering – Westcon CTO Bill Hurley is adamant that the company “has no interest in the name Westcon Group going through to the end user.” Westcon casts a wide net for BYODshield. As it’s cloud-based, Hurley said the distributor knows it can scale to “tens of thousands of users,” although he said the biggest opportunity for channel partners is likely to be with midsize organizations that are facing significant management complexity with employee-owned mobile devices.

The BYODshield bundle also handles device self-registration and IP Address management, measures which aim to help customers be ready for the deluge of additional IP addresses and inbound requests that BYOD strategies can bring to a company’s network. BYOD is a key challenge for many organizations, as it has rapidly become a concept that needs to be supported, whether or not IT would like to do so. Any many solution providers have fashioned their own repeatable solutions around the initiative, combining any of a number of MDM offerings with other functionality for a BYOD solution for customers. While it may make a case for BYODshield with these types of solution providers, it appears its main market will be solution providers who’ve yet to build a specific practice around BYOD, offering them a pre-configured service that will be much quicker to bring to market than anything speced out by the solution provider.

The distributor, like many of its peers, is no stranger to bringing together pre-integrated solutions from multiple vendors’ technologies. But what makes it unique, Hurley said, is that for the first time, the distributor had “code specifically written based on Westcon’s requirements” for BYODshield. That code gets the two products working together seamlessly, and allows Westcon and its resellers to offer it on a subscription basis.

“We believe distribution is going to bring more and more of these multi-vendor solutions together, wrapped with services so the reseller can easily bring it to market,” Hurley said. “We think it’s unique, and we think it’s an example of one of the future roles distribution plays in the channel.”

And while many parties in the IT supply chain will talk about “eating their own dog food” – using their own technology in their business, BYODshield is more a case of Westcon liking its own dog food so much it decided to market it. The solution was originally developed by Hurley and his team as a way to address the distributor’s own growing challenge with the BYOD revolution among its user base.