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Apr 15, 2013

What is Dual Persona Mobile Application Management?

In the world of mobile application management, dual persona MAM refers to duplicating apps and specifying one environment for work and the other for personal use. Users switch between the two depending on what mode they’re operating in. Dual persona technology helps companies deal with one of the major challenges of the BYOD (bring your own device) movement -- how to control employees’ personal devices without trampling on their privacy rights. Dual persona mobile application management enables an organization to keep its enterprise apps and data isolated and secured on an employee’s personal mobile device. One way to approach dual persona is through mobile virtualization, which uses a virtual machine manager to divide hardware resources between two operating systems on the same device.

Alternatively, an employee can download and install software that creates a container -- a segregated, work-only environment. The container, which is launched like any other mobile app, lets an administrator set security policies for the work side of the device without interfering with the personal side of the device. Mobile application management lets IT secure individual enterprise mobile apps. However, IT doesn't have any control over the rest of the device or the employees’ personal apps. That means the IT shop can only access and manage the assets in the business environment. Therefore, if an employee leaves the company, IT can wipe the business environment but not touch the employee’s personal information and apps. With dual persona mobile app management solutions, all of the enterprise apps on a device can communicate to one another, and they’re all centrally managed within the same system.

IT can encrypt cutting and pasting so that it only works between managed apps, and companies can develop applications so only other corporate apps, and not user apps, can open documents and links. The management server sets policy, authenticates users, and wipes the device remote, when necessary. Practically speaking, this means if you’re in your work email app and you want to open an attachment, you can only open it with an app from your company not one of your personal applications. So you can’t let just any random app be part of your system.

Although it’s early days in the world of dual persona mobile application management, there are a number of vendors developing dual-persona MAM components and putting them all together. Installing dual persona software will give IT more control over the devices employees use for work, even if the employees own them, which is one of the major reasons installing dual persona software has become so popular.  


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