We are excited to announce availability of VMware AirWatch 9.2. This release offers:
A) Console and agent integration of AirWatch unified endpoint management (UEM) and VMware Workspace ONE identity and access management
B) Deeper PC management support for Windows 10, macOS and Chrome OS devices
Integration with Workspace ONE
Workspace ONE configuration and enablement is now built into the AirWatch console. IT organizations can set up their Workspace ONE app catalog, assign different app types (Software as a Service a.k.a. SaaS, web, virtual, native), enable single sign-on (SSO) and even configure Microsoft Office 365 with just a few clicks.
In addition, the AirWatch enrollment process can now be launched via the Workspace ONE native application on iOS and Android. So, there’s no need to download both the Workspace ONE app and the AirWatch Agent. From the console, IT can easily enforce AirWatch device enrollment through the Workspace ONE app.
The AirWatch Agent should still be used for non-Workspace ONE app use cases, such as kiosks and rugged devices. The choice is entirely up to the customer on what to use for which use case.
Windows 10 Support
AirWatch 9.2 expands Windows 10 support with a plethora of new announcements.
- Windows 10 Provisioning: Dell recently released a jointly developed service called Windows 10 Provisioning for AirWatch. This free service from Dell places the AirWatch Agent on new Dell PCs at the Dell factory prior to drop-shipping directly to your users. At first boot, the AirWatch Agent prompts the user for corporate credentials upon which AirWatch initiates out-of-box enrollment, including OS configuration, Win32 and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications and even setup of the Workspace ONE app catalog.
- Dell PC Management: At Dell EMC World this year, AirWatch announced it was the first UEM solution to manage and update Dell BIOS and firmware configurations. AirWatch 9.2 adds several more capabilities through this integration with the Dell Client Command Suite:
- Battery Peak Shift Management: Define the how and when of battery charging. For example, you can shift energy usage policies during peak hours to minimize electricity costs and enable a “greener” energy policy.
- Hard Drive Reliability: Enable SMART error reporting, which indicates imminent storage device failure.
- Asset Management: Collect asset ID and warranty and manufacture dates for PC and desktop monitors.
- BIOS & Hardware-Based Security: Remotely manage BIOS dependencies (e.g. boot from USB) and security settings (e.g. Secure Boot).
- P2P Software Distribution: To minimize software distribution infrastructure many organizations rely on for large Win32 applications, AirWatch now supports peer-to-peer (P2P) software distribution. This makes moving large applications simpler for organizations with a central IT and multiple remote sites, like retail stores, bank branches, schools and hospitals. Once a single PC has downloaded a Win32 application, other PCs in its LAN at a specific site become aware of the available software and retrieve it from its peer over local LAN rather than over slower, more expansive WAN from headquarters.
- Cloud Provisioning Policies: Most organizations use Group Policy Objects (GPOs) for legacy Windows management. Now with AirWatch modern management for Windows 10 PCs, admins can migrate existing GPOs to AirWatch and cloud-provision policies to devices on or off the company network.
- Migrating SCCM App Packages: Similarly, most organizations leverage Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to deploy Win32 applications. AirWatch admins can seamlessly migrate existing SCCM app packages to AirWatch without repackaging or uploading individual software in the AirWatch console.
With the recent release of macOS High Sierra, Macs move to Apple File System (APFS), making imaging-based management of Macs less viable and driving the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) as the preferred “go forward” model.
AirWatch offers deep expertise and support for DEP and added a new capability called “bootstrap packages.” Bootstrap packages provide operating system (OS) customization, configuration and additional tools during DEP enrollment. This takes Macs into the realm of modern management, enabling true, over-the-air onboarding and eliminating resource-intensive imaging processes.
Chrome OS Support
In partnership with Google, AirWatch is now the first UEM to manage Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices. For the past few years, the only management APIs available to EMM/UEM vendors for Chrome was management of the Chrome browser and browser extensions. AirWatch supported these for years.
AirWatch integrates with the Chrome device management service console to unify management alongside all other platforms with AirWatch. Chrome OS customers can leverage all of the enterprise-grade management features of AirWatch, such as multi-tenancy, role-based access control (RBAC), internationalization, the compliance engine, reporting, asset management and more.
Purpose-Built & IoT Device Support
Together, Google and VMware enable Android enterprise for Zebra mobile computers and barcode scanners. Support for Android enterprise on Zebra devices provides IT with unparalleled security features and the ability to lock down devices, silently install apps and push updates.
In addition, with the proliferation of consumer-grade devices in the enterprise, peripheral add-ons and enterprise sleds are becoming more popular. Sleds increase a device’s functionality with an additional layer of protection, as well as scanning and payment processing capabilities.
To address this growing market, VMware partnered with Infinite Peripherals (IPC), which manufactures iOS peripherals specifically designed for Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Organizations will now be able to manage any IPC peripheral alongside their current mobile and laptop deployments with AirWatch UEM.
UEM Requires Unified Management—But Also Platform Depth
UEM is the new buzzword, but don’t move to UEM for UEM’s sake. A single management platform with a single, central console is great. But if your mobility management vendor cannot provide the depth of management capabilities to support your organization’s policies and processes, how valuable is that UEM platform?
With Workspace ONE and AirWatch UEM, you don’t have to take a step back to take a step forward. Customers get both unified management and a single console, along with the depth of Windows and Mac management your IT organization demands.