VMware AirWatch Review

Self-service and automation, along with integration with major players, are key for us

What is our primary use case?

We use it for device management. We have an on-premise environment, we are looking to go to cloud, and we want to manage the device, manage the applications of the device, manage the contents, and of course, manage e-mail on the device.

How has it helped my organization?

There are various MDM vendors, and I've used at least five of them. The reason I prefer AirWatch is simply because it helps me to think more in terms of a future perspective. It has given me the right tools for my enterprise. That's the key thing. It aligns with our IT strategy in a very good way.

What is most valuable?

For me, the integration of AirWatch with various enterprise components is something I like. The way they are partnering with various services, like security services, or some of the big guys like Google, Android, Apple, and including Microsoft; that's really awesome. And the way they look at providing functionality to create self-service and automation, that's really usefully and beneficial. That's where I see they differentiate themselves.

What needs improvement?

AirWatch has all the features. One of the things that I want them to improve on, if possible, is the management of Mac devices, MacBook Pro, for example. They do it, but they have scope for improvement, in my opinion. It's not that it's that bad, it's just a small need. They have set the bar very high already so that's the expectation.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's absolutely stable, no issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have a large instance. We have tens of thousands of devices already, and I don't think there are any issues at that scale. We are probably one of the top-10 customers in terms of scale.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is really awesome. They follow up, they have it 24/7, they handle things in multiple regions. It's not like just one person will be there and they're not responsive. They are responsive, they ensure that they give the right priority to their customers. If it's a critical item, which means it's a showstopper, they do help us immediately and ensure that there is proper follow-up among the team members. It's not like they leave you hanging there. There are very good documented records in terms of what actions have been taken, and what the next engineer is going to come in and do.

How was the initial setup?

I was the one who set it up. It was not complex, it was an appliance-based setup and it was pretty easy. AirWatch was there, but I was the one who was there from day one.

What other advice do I have?

It's important to understand your requirements: What is important, what is your environment, and what are you looking for? If you are a government company, that means you are looking at a lot of data protection, security is the highest priority. If your back office is Microsoft and you are looking at an integration with your Microsoft products, that would be a different thing. If you are a salesperson, with Salesforce and you're application oriented... it all depends. Each organization has different needs. It depends on your priorities, what you need in terms of making sure your productivity, your top line and the bottom line, grow. It's nothing like one size fits all.

When selecting a vendor, there are multiple things to consider, there is not just one. But one of the things I would really look at this moment, because so many vendors already give that, is the ability to do discovery/self-services analytics: How the solution is going to help. It should give some kind of a blueprint in terms of what's happening in an enterprise, so that you can take an informed decision. I would make analytics a key decision point.

I rate AirWatch at about nine out of 10. I would not give them 10 because there is always room for improvement. I have had no issues and it has been really awesome for me. I have been using it for five years, and I have seen how they have moved up on the ladder, how they've integrated, how they have gone forward moving into the enterprise, and the rate of change, of transformations. It's really excellent.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We sell our products through them.
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