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Rogers offers mobile device management for business customers

The carrier has partnered with Trellia Networks Inc. to offer MDM solutions to its business customers

Telecom giant Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI.B) has launched a formal partnership with Montreal-based Trellia Networks Inc. to offer mobile device management (MDM) solutions to its business customers.

Trellia’s MDM solutions help IT departments to take inventory of, control and manage various mobile devices that run on different operating systems from a single platform. Its solutions currently support Android devices, Apple iOS devices and, by the end of the year, will support Windows Phone 7. It also supports Blackberry devices through the Blackberry Enterprise Server.

Previously, the company had an informal relationship with Rogers where the carrier would recommend Trellia’s solutions to business customers. Now, Rogers will be offering the MDM solutions as part of its offering for businesses.

“Through our offering, they’re going to be able to provide a management system,” said Raffi Tchakmakjian, Trellia’s vice-president of product management. “(It) allows enterprises to start adopting consumer-type devices.”

The company has been expanding through a recent partnership with U.K.-based Evolve North, which now acts as a VAR for Trellia. It also has informal relationships with carriers in the U.S.

Related story: Trellia Networks expands to U.K.

Trellia’s expansion is due, in part, to the bring your own device (BYOD) trend among businesses. Rogers is one of the carriers at the forefront of helping businesses integrate consumer devices into their environments, Tchakmakjian said. Trellia’s cloud-based model aligns well with how carriers work, since they want to be able to offer services quickly, he added. The MDM offering will be incorporated into Rogers customers’ bills.

“We’re talking in the realm here of $3.50 per device, per month,” he said.  “(It’s) going to be a very simple, easy way to add it onto their existing Rogers bill,” he added. Having one bill is actually an important element for businesses, he said.

“It’s really easy to implement,” added Mansell Nelson, vice-president of Rogers’ M2M division. That means not involving too many IT people. “I think everyone’s looking at Android and iOS right now, and thinking ‘how do I manage this?’”

The partnership mainly intended to augment Rogers’ offerings to existing customers, but it may help with recruiting new ones, Nelson said. Eventually, Rogers may partner with other MDM companies to fill gaps.

For its larger enterprise and government customers, Rogers will likely seek Trellia’s own support staff on the ground, Nelson said. Rogers’ own team will also have training with the solutions and will be able to service customers.

Trellia will maintain the co-sale go-to-market model it has with other carriers, Tchakmakjian said. The company will be announcing more formal partnerships with other carriers in the coming year.

Follow Harmeet Singh on Twitter: @HarmeetCDN.