Some Partnerships are Meant to Be … Or, Why Apperian & Mocana Make Plenty of Mobile Security Sense Together

Padlocks on a Chain Link FenceVeteran mobile and embedded security player Mocana, and Apperian – the pioneering company that I believe delivers the best (I’m tempted to say the only “true”) mobile application management (MAM) platform available to any enterprise, have had an ongoing working relationship for some time. Primarily, Mocana has been there to deliver their own state-of-the-art mobile app wrapping technology whenever Apperian’s customers require, for whatever reason, that additional level of mobile security that the combination of Apperian and Mocana make possible.

So I confess that I was hardly surprised when, several weeks ago, both Mocana and Apperian announced that they were extending their partnership. Specifically, the two companies have been working together to integrate Apperian’s MAM platform with Mocana’s next-generation, Fortune 1,000-grade Atlas mobile security platform. The importance of this is actually hugely non-trivial IMHO, and as I usually tend to do, I wait for the “news” aspect of such announcements to go away before I take a look at what makes such partnerships extremely valuable to enterprises.

I recently wrote about Atlas at some length in a research report, Mocana Taps Perfectly into the New Mobile Enterprise with its Atlas Platform, within which I explored Mocana’s well-intuited need to provide maximum security capability for large enterprises while also specifically targeting the need to ensure that security remains invisible to the end user. I won’t detail any of the platform particulars here as my report goes into it in great detail. I’ll simply summarize by saying that Atlas delivers powerful security while ensuring that mobile apps provide enormous “delight the end user” experiences – what the company refers to as its “Mocana ON end-user security experience.”

One point I do want to highlight is that Mocana’s appliance-based architecture permits large enterprises to easily allow their mobile apps to deliver both “single-sign-on” and “always-connected” capabilities to any mobile app. These are hugely important, but I’ll leave the details of why to my Mocana report. I can say that I have been speaking to a number of very large enterprises that are in the process of deploying Atlas, and they have all confirmed to me not only the uniqueness of the appliance-based solution (it is critical to the Mocana ON experience), but also that it works enormously well and at very large enterprise scale – easily well beyond 25,000 users.

Though Mocana of course can be integrated with a variety of MAM and MDM platforms, the integration with Apperian is of particular interest to me because I believe that the two together truly deliver the best possible end-to-end security capabilities for large enterprises. I am currently working on a Blue Hill Anatomy of a Decision report on Apperian’s MAM platform, and though I won’t provide details here, I can say that Apperian’s own customers that I have spoken with all point to both Apperian’s ease of deployment capabilities as well as the exact same “delight the user” experiences Mocana is focused on.

I can point to another blog post I’ve written, Apperian Snags a Major Certification with TSA – A Game-Changer for Enterprise Mobile App Management?, that begins to touch on what Apperian brings to the MAM game. More specifically, Apperian offers a level of a mobile app security that has been approved for federal government use through a very difficult-to-obtain Authority to Operate (ATO) certification. By extension, this translates into state-of-the-art security for enterprises, no matter how large or small. Yes, those verticals with high compliance and regulated security and privacy needs benefit the most, but in this day and age, every enterprise should be delivering on these levels of security.

The Apperian platform provides fine-grained security and dynamic policy controls at the individual app level. The approach essentially eliminates the need to worry about implementing mobile device management (MDM).

Truly Delighting the End User

Both Mocana and Apperian speak to the very real need to deliver end-user experiences that, at a minimum, equal the types of delightful end-user experiences provided at the highest levels of consumer mobile apps. This is a very high bar for both companies to have set, but it is a major need enterprises have, and the two companies are pulling it off. This is why I am expressing such a high level of enthusiasm here – for someone who has been watching and observing the progress (or lack thereof, to be much more direct about it) in delivering such enterprise mobile workforce experiences since the early 2000s … finally!

Apperian also brings to the game the ability for enterprises to build out their own state-of-the-art app stores. Again, I won’t go into details here, but one important aspect of the Apperian enterprise app store experience worth pointing out is that depending on the type of mobile device a user has – let’s say iOS, Android – the app store will present the end user with either an Apple App Store experience or with a Google Play experience. Trivial? No … critical to the end-user experience!

To date, most enterprises have either deployed a MAM solution, or have struggled with trying to mimic some aspects of what Mocana Atlas now delivers (in truth, it can’t really be done without Atlas, especially at the very large enterprise end of the scale) independently of each other. Far more typical, it has been an “old-school MDM” approach, or some effort at MAM, with most enterprises simply accepting as fact that security is going to be painful for end users. Well, that is no longer the case!

That makes three consecutive paragraphs ending with exclamation points – if you’ve been researching enterprise mobility for as long as I have you would understand why (!!).

What’s on the Mocana & Apperian Table

So let me quickly summarize what enterprises gain through bringing Mocana Atlas into play in the case where Apperian already is in use or being considered for deployment. The combined end-to-end solution now allows any large business to:

– Securely Connect Mobile Apps to a Private Network – Easily apply the Mocana Atlas per-app VPN policy to apps through Apperian’s admin console with one click that requires no coding or software development kit; connect any app into secured corporate networks via a high-volume, high-performance VPN connection, giving users outside the corporate firewall (such as partners, contractors, suppliers, agents, resellers and other third parties) who are using unmanaged devices access to critical information

– Significantly Elevate Security Profiles – Secure any app with strong, two-factor certificate-based authentication and a FIPS-certified termination point at the edge of their network

– Gain Enhanced Visibility into App Usage – In addition to deployment and life cycle metrics, customers now get detailed analytics into app usage and can correlate that usage data with user information, authentication method, device posture and many other contextual attributes in order to gain deep insight into which apps are being consumed, and under what circumstances

– Incorporate Security Policy Application into App Life-cycle Management Workflow – Customers can simplify applying policies by enabling them directly through the Apperian application life cycle workflow, which includes app onboarding directly through developer IDE tools, app inspection, assignment to groups and roles, app signing and distribution through a private enterprise app store.

– Separate Business App Traffic from Other Device Traffic – Ensure that only enterprise relevant traffic enters the corporate network, keeping malware at bay and raising compliance standards

It needs to be said that even with Mocana and Apperian in hand, they are only part of the “delighting the end user” solution. Mocana eliminates the mobile security connectivity and login issues that have bedeviled organizations for over a decade. Apperian makes your mobile apps and data secure and easy to securely access. Between the two, any enterprise will now be able to easily get their mobile apps into the hands of their workforces.


OK, but enterprises of course still need to concern themselves with what the apps themselves ultimately do once users have them in hand. Mocana and Apperian eliminate a great deal of developer work – that means your developers have no excuses left to deliver poor mobile app UIs and user experiences. None. How enterprises get there is another thing altogether (hint: think MBaaS).

Thank you, Mocana and Apperian … we can finally leave the middle ages of enterprise mobility behind.

About Tony Rizzo

Tony Rizzo joined Blue Hill Research following a 20 month stint heading up TMC's enterprise mobility and wearable technology coverage. Prior to TMC Tony spent several years within the mobile vendor community. Before his journey into the vendor community Tony spent five years as the Director of Mobile Research for research analyst firm The 451 Group, covering all aspects of enterprise mobility. There he lived through both the early and later stages of both consumer and enterprise mobility and the first stages of the BYOD enterprise mobility consumerization phenomenon following the release of the original iPhone. Tony has served as the Editor in Chief of Mobile Enterprise, Internet World, as the Editorial Director of an Ernst & Young Financial Services Web Advisory project, as the Editor in Chief of NetGuide (the first Internet magazine), as a founding editor and Editor of Network Computing Magazine, and as the founding Technical Editor of Microsoft Systems Journal. Prior to moving into tech journalism, research and analysis, Tony served as the Assistant Director for Information Technology at New York University's School of Continuing and Business Education, delivering extensive computer technology training programs.
Posted on May 1, 2015 by Tony Rizzo

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