VMware is rolling out a paired down, low-cost version of its AirWatch mobile device management platform. Called AirWatch Express, the toolset is geared toward SMBs with a small or nonexistent IT department.

AirWatch Express is built on the same platform as the traditional AirWatch suite, but offers the basics in terms of management and security features for businesses “struggling to keep up with the device and app proliferation,” VMware said.

The cloud-based suite supposedly takes just a few minutes and very little training to get up and running. Admins create so-called “blueprints” that assign apps and security policies for various teams and employee roles. Employee devices will automatically receive all of the properties of a specific blueprint after they’re enrolled in the system.

Of all the features that were slimmed down for Express, the suite still offers some of the more critical features required of an MDM platform, such as the ability to configure email, set policies for data encryption and remotely wipe devices.

In terms of pricing, Express starts at $2.50 per device, which is indeed cheaper than VMware’s most-used AirWatch offering priced at $6.33 per device. Naturally, VMware is making it easy for businesses to upgrade from Express to more substantial AirWatch bundles. For VMware, this allows the company to attract entry-level customers and slowly sell them on more sophisticated mobility services.

Like other AirWatch offerings, Express supports iOS, MacOS, Android and Windows 10 devices.Airwatch-blueprint

The 3 big takeaways for TechOptimals readers

  1. VMware launched AirWatch Express, a new MDM solution that offers a simpler alternative to VMware’s existing AirWatch EMM solution.
  2. Because of its simplicity, AirWatch Express could be a great option for SMB customers, while still providing security, email, and connectivity features.
  3. The growing number of mobile devices in business, whether BYOD or corporate-owned, is making MDM and EMM solutions a necessary part of nearly every IT department.

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