HP's cloud services will add a set of mobile device services that includes file sharing capabilities to challenge Dropbox.
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HP Enterprise Services has added HP Enterprise Cloud Services-Mobility, a set of mobile support services, to its Converged Cloud. Converged Cloud already includes public and private cloud computing; Mobility gives companies help in handling the bring-your-own device (BYOD) environment.
The Mobility service, launched April 4, supports Android, Apple iOS and Windows devices of every stripe, including tablets, smartphones and laptops, said Tadd Koziel, HP's senior director of Enterprise Cloud Services-Mobility. Among other things, the Mobility services can ensure that mobile data is encrypted both in transit and at rest. And it can provide a secure file-sharing service so that mobile device users aren't resorting to online services that may later prove to have been a security exposure, said Koziel in an interview.
The new HP Cloud File Management service is "like a Dropbox for the enterprise," said Koziel. Many IT managers "want to know that not all my files are sitting out there in consumer services somewhere. And when an employee leaves, IT can shut down his access to the shared files," he noted.
The Cloud File Management service works in conjunction with other mobile services. It can be either purchased separately or as part of a package of mobile services. HP charges per user for mobile services, not per device. That way, a user may change devices or use more than one type of device without altering the contract.
HP's Converged Cloud is the umbrella name that HP gives to a gamut of services, which include managed hosted services as well as public and private cloud services where users self-provision and manage their own workloads. The Mobility service is meant to be one of the latter, rather than a managed service where HP experts would take over the BYOD environment on behalf of a company, Kozeil explained.
The Mobility service can enable a company to put the mobile applications it wants its employees to use in an "app store" where they can be downloaded. The service provides for security measures to ensure employees are dealing with the unaltered, IT-approved applications.
Mobility can provide an on-premises, local storage system for a company's mobile devices so that data that needs to remain on premises to be in compliance can be handled properly. It can allow synchronization of files on mobile devices and in HP Cloud infrastructure. It also provides user access controls and privilege management.
HP can also provide BlackBerry management services for Android, iOS and Windows devices, but it is not doing so with Mobility's launch. It will see how much customer demand is there before adding it, Koziel said.
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