Why Google partnered with MobileIron – and what they plan to offer

Google will use MobileIron's enterprise mobility management platform and analytics software to create App Store-like instances that can be offered through telecom providers.

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Google Cloud and MobileIron have announced a partnership to provide a secure enterprise applications and services portal.

Why Google Cloud and MobileIron? Because Google wants to use its Orbitera commerce platform, which enables the buying and selling of software and services in the cloud – and it needs an OS- and hardware-agnostic distribution and security partner.

MobileIron will not only help Google distribute the apps through its enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform, but its software can also provide analytics that show which apps and services are the most popular, and with whom.

"When you think about cloud service, you're accessing it through applications living on devices that could be mobile or a Mac or a PC," a MobileIron spokesperson said. "And even those [desktop] operating systems are increasingly looking like mobile OSes."

The new service, expected to be available in the second half of the year, will mostly be built atop the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), an open standard for authenticating and authorizing data transfers between an identify provider, like MobileIron, and a service provider, such as Google.

The first instances of the new service will likely come through a telecom operator, such as a Deutsche Telekom or AT&T, which would create a cloud services marketplace that would feel a lot like the Google Apps Store, according to the MobileIron spokesperson. An enterprise would then select an app or service and any charges for them would simply be applied to the enterprise's monthly telecom bill.

"Each enterprise will deploy dozens or even hundreds of cloud services and they need an easy way to buy those services, distribute them to employees, and help ensure the security of the corporate data they contain," Simon Biddiscombe, CEO of MobileIron said in a statement. "Operators have a fantastic business opportunity to become a bridge for [a] secure cloud services marketplace for their customers. Our work with Google Cloud will look at ways we can help operators sell the way they want to sell and help CIOs to buy the way they want to buy."

Planned features of the cloud portal include:

  • Customized bundles to enable operators to create bundles of services by customer segments
  • Customized branding for both operators and customers of the marketplace
  • One bill for everything across all of a customer's devices, data, voice, and third-party cloud services on a monthly invoice
  • Secure cloud access to ensure only trusted users, using trusted apps on trusted devices, get access to the cloud services
  • Usage analytics for customers to track what's being used and by whom.