Ten things you might not know about IBM MaaS360

I wrote this article when I worked at IBM.  I’m now working at VMware supporting partners and clients with Workspace One.  See here for further details. 


As we start 2016, there is a renewed focus on doing more with less.  Our clients are looking more than ever to consolidate and simplify their IT management solutions.

IBM MaaS360 resonates with our clients when we detail it’s unique unified mobility management capabilities.  This management is available across a wide variety of mobile, PC and Mac devices.  MaaS360 was recently named the clear leader in the Forrester Wave: Enterprise Mobile Management, Q4 2015 report.

1-MaaS360 Overview

The following article outlines ten solution capabilities, which are unique to the enterprise mobility management (EMM) market.

#1 – Fastest Time to Trust (Trial and On-premises components)

The MaaS360 solution is unique, in that anyone can easily start a production trial in just a few minutes.  Simply go to www.maas360.com/trial and start a free 30-day trial of our solution.  As part of the 30 day trial you’ll be provided technical assistance as you need it at anytime (via remote Webex or 24×7 chat service).

The trial is in our production service, so you can the validate how easy our solution is to use.  When you wish to proceed as an active client, there is no additional migration effort or activation fees.  Your account status is changed in a few minutes, it’s that easy.

Likewise, the on-premises components are very easy to setup and configure.  For the example the Cloud Extender is a small Windows executable (which can be downloaded from the MaaS360 portal).   The MaaS360 Cloud Extender (CE) communicates outbound to our SaaS platform on port 443, so is very firewall and proxy friendly.  You can typically install and setup the cloud extender in less than 30 minutes. The Enterprise Gateway is now an activated module as part of the CE, so also very easy to enable too.

2-MaaS360 Architecture

#2 – Multi Tenant Hierarchy for Mobile Service Providers (MSPs)

As mentioned in a previous post, IBM MaaS360 provides inherant multi-tenancy services, which provides the following services for a MMS organisation:

  • Multi-Tenant Hierarchy
  • Easily supports multi-channel model
  • Easily onboard new customers/partners
  • Single login to manage customers
  • Branding
  • Dashboards and Reports

This is depicted in the following diagram:

MaaS360 multitenant architecture

The key benefit for MSPs (and large organisations) is the speed and simplicity in managing large number of devices with complete separation (client or division).  The ability for an MSP to provide their clients a unique trial URL is very compelling.  This allows an MSP’s client to start a production trial in less than 3 minutes.

#3 – Flexible Branding Options

Various elements of MaaS360 can be easily branded via the MSP portal.  This includes the trial registration page, service name, portal logo etc.  Elements of MaaS360 can also be branded for each client of the MSP too (such as inside the Secure Productivity Suite, the logo can be changed).

3 - Flexible Branding

#4 – Secure Container for iOS, Android and Windows Phone

MaaS360 Secure Productivity Suite (secure container) keeps your staff work services in one secure easy-to-use app. They can manage all their emails, contacts, calendars, enterprise applications and the web (+intranet) from an isolated workspace on their mobile devices.

4 - SPS 3 in one

This is great for BYOD and is available for iOS, Android and even Windows Phone !   The application is fully encrypted (includes FIPS 140-2 compliant, AES-256 encryption for iOS, Android and Windows Phone) so doesn’t rely on any device encryption or policies.

#5 – Integrated Mobile Threat Management

MaaS360 is the only leading EMM with integrated mobile anti-malware capability.  This includes anti-malware services for iOS and Android.

Threat Management detects, analyses and remediates mobile risks delivering a new layer of security (without the need of another application or system).  Threat Protection leverages IBM Security Trusteer® using over the air updates to protect against:

  • Mobile malware (iOS and Android)
  • Suspicious system configurations
  • Compromised devices
  • Seek out hiders & active hiding techniques that try to mask detection of jailbroken & rooted devices

Here is a link to a great video overview.

#6 – Leading technology integrations

MaaS360 provides a range of integration capabilities with IBM and 3rd party solutions.  For example:

  • Directory Services – Microsoft Active Directory, Open LDAP, Novell eDirectory, SAML, Open LDAP
  • Email Systems – Exchange, Office 365, Google Apps, Lotus, Blackberry BES
  • Certificate PKI – Microsoft, Symantec and Entrust
  • Network Access – Cisco, ForeScout, Aruba, Bluecat, Juniper, F5, BlueCoat, Airpatrol, Aruba, Dell SonicWALL
  • IT Service Management – ServiceNow, Continuum, LabTech, Spiceworks
  • Content Repositories – Sharepoint, Office 365, Box, DAV, Connections
  • Mobile App Platforms – Worklight, Xamarin
  • Containers – Android for Work, Samsung Knox
  • APIs – REST
  • Security Information Event Management (SIEM) – QRadar
  • Single Sign-On – IBM Security Access Manager
  • App Reputation – Trusteer (Integrated), Veracode, Appthority, Checkpoint

No matter what your IT environment, we’re sure to have you covered!

#7 – Manage PCs (Windows 7 – 10) and Mac OS X

MaaS360 has a number of unique PC and Mac Management capabilities, even for older operating systems as far back as Windows XP!

7 - PC and Mac

The following is a summary of MaaS360’s PC and Mac services:

Gain Instant Insight

  • Hardware inventory
  • Software inventory
  • Security & compliance
  • Custom attributes
  • Operating system details, patch levels
  • Location history

Take Immediate Action

  • Enroll over-the-air
  • Locate, lock, restart or shutdown device
  • Deploy OS patches for latest security updates
  • Distribute software and documents
  • Send message
  • Wipe the hard drive
  • Update Antivirus definitions
  • Patch Management (Windows)

I highlighted some of those unique capabilities above in bold.  With MaaS360 you can distribute software to Windows PC and Apple Mac OS X.

#8 – MaaS360 can work alongside an existing MDM

For those clients who have an existing MDM and cannot yet change, MaaS360 can also work alongside those MDM solutions.  For example, iOS only allows one MDM solution to be managing a device at a time.  MaaS360 can still be deployed to provide a secure productivity suite or enterprise application distribution capabilities.

8 - Alongside another MDM

This capability has proven effective for clients who have struggled with an existing legacy MDM solution. Particularly those solutions which struggle to scale with larger numbers of enterprise applications.

#9 – SaaS scalability and automatic updates & monitoring

The MaaS360 multi-tenant SaaS service provides a number key benefits.  Clients are always on the latest version of the product and new mobile features from iOS, Android and Windows Phone.    This delivers much faster time-to-value than any on-premises solution, with set-up measured in minutes.  See here for further information.

In addition, the on-premises components included integrated health check and monitoring services.  This is particularly valuable for clients and mobile service providers (as no customer monitoring is required)

9 - SaaS monitoring

#10 – Readily Delivered MaaS360 Packages (Per device/Per User)

With MaaS360 clients pay only for what you need, when you need it: start managing a small group of users now, and scale upwards as needed.  Clients can choose the license bundles they need, plus IBM can provide a fixed MaaS360 licensing in Australian or New Zealand dollar licensing.  Both per device or per user (unlimited number of devices) is available.

10 - MaaS360 bundles

When we’ve outlined some of the above features with organisations, they recognise how MaaS360 can provide a powerful platform for their clients.   Of course, if you would like to try out MaaS360, you can register for a free 30-day trial by going to www.maas360.com/trial.

If you would like further information, you can contact me via my blog contact page.


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