Strengths: Very easy for the user and allows good organisational control with minimum intrusiveness to the user.
Weaknesses: Requires use of an app store.
Verdict: First-rate product for mobile application management (MAM), easy on users in a BYOD environment.
Of the products we reviewed, Citrix XenMobile was the easiest to deploy, use and provision. It also has very straightforward functionality that is obvious to the device user, simplifying the transition to an organisationally managed personal device. Sadly, Citrix forces one to go to a commercial app store to get started. We deployed the product to our own Samsung Note 10.1 in about five minutes, including configuring the user enrollment process. We tested the cloud implementation, but it also is available as a virtual machine for VMware, XenServer or Hyper-V.
XenMobile supports most Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices. Our experience with Android was flawless. If you opt for the on-premises virtual appliance, you can use the built-in PostgreSQL backend database or, if you have your own Microsoft SQL database, it will support that as well.
Citrix very thoughtfully provided us with a reviewer's guide that walked us through deployment, and this may be the only product we looked at that was simple to deploy. The reviewer's guide was all we needed. The system we tested was set up for mobile application management (MAM) and for many organisations that may be all you need. If you need more, there also is a fully functional MDM product available.
The secret behind the Citrix product's ease of use is that it makes sense even to most of your users - who are not IT professionals. Our testing was from the user perspective. We first went to the Google Play store and downloaded Citrix Worx Home. Once that was installed, we began self-enrollment. We then launched Worx. On iOS there are a couple of additional steps but nothing too daunting. We entered our email address (provided by Citrix for this demo, but typical of what you will need to set up) and we continued enrollment by filling in a few simple fields on our tablet. We created a PIN and we were done.
Next, we were able to download apps that are specific to XenMobile. Using these apps protects all of the data that are associated with them. There are a few core apps - word processing, email, notepad, etc. - specifically for use with XenMobile. However, you can add most other productivity apps as well. Even if these apps duplicate what you are using already, using the XenMobile instance has the same effect as using a specific XenMobile application.
Next we checked the applicable policy and found everything we expected and more. Virtually every control policy that makes sense is here if your system administrator wishes to deploy it. Since XenMobile-protected data are kept separate from your personal data, the organisational side of your device can be wiped or get a PIN reset without affecting your personal data. This is not an unusual capability today but we were pleased with how clearly organisational data are delimited from personal data. That helps a lot with user acceptance on their own devices. Of course, nothing in the organisation can be accessed except through the XenMobile path.
We found pricing for this product to be quite reasonable and administration is pretty straightforward. Support is as you would expect from Citrix.