VMware (VMW) previewed the upcoming release of VMware AirWatch 8.3, which will act as the enterprise mobility management (EMM) component for the company’s revamped end-user computing strategy.  

VMware is differentiating its latest EMM solution from its previous offerings with an emphasis on increasing data protection capabilities as well as educating customers about the protection process itself.

VMware AirWatch 8.3 allows users to manage all of their sensitive corporate data and applications on their mobile device while providing simpler access via a tokenized single sign-on process called SATS (Security App Token System).

“Employees will be able to access virtually any app with one-click in a new mobile experience that’s focused on protecting privacy,” said Noah Wasmer, senior vice president of mobile products, End-User Computing, VMware, in a statement. “For administrators, AirWatch 8.3 will facilitate new workflows for line of business built on the VMware foundation of world-class security and management.”

Another big different in VMware AirWatch 8.3 (formerly called AirWatch by VMware) is its integration with the recently announced Workspace ONE platform. Included access to the Workspace ONE app allows users to access all of the apps within their ecosystem no matter what device they are housed on. The app also includes a new user-facing website and visual privacy notice for the AirWatch Privacy First Program, according to the announcement.

Additionally, customers will have access to a dedicated microsite explaining the difference between EMM, mobile application management and mobile device management, as well as disclosures that state VMware cannot alter or access any personal information on BYOD devices. iOS users will also have access to a redesigned version of VMware AirWatch Content Locker.

VMware Vice President of Product Marketing Blake Brannon said the goal of VMware AirWatch 8.3 is to continue the company’s mission of bringing together all of its solutions under a single umbrella, thus eliminating the company’s previously siloed approach to protection and virtualization.

“We want to help organizations mobilize the workloads that they are doing,” said Brannon, in an interview with The VAR Guy. “[We want to] give them greater efficiencies, greater levels of optimization by being able to execute and complete those work tasks in the moment, with the device that is in their pocket.”

Straight from the press release, other additions to AirWatch 8.3 include:

  • The introduction of industry templates, which are generated from anonymous data collected from VMware’s End-User Computing customers to help administrators choose the appropriate iOS apps, configurations and policies for their business.
  • Conditional access to mobile apps via VMware Identity Manager with no SDK, app wrapping or code changes required.
  • Device-to-datacenter security via expanded integration between AirWatch and VMware NSX network virtualization, allowing for customizable policy setup between AirWatch and VMware NSX from a single console.

“We have to continue to focus on how do we make the experience of consuming these apps and services easy for the user,” said Brannon. “We have been on this path of unity and consolidation but we continue to bring it together more and more with the 8.3 release to provide a consolidated application interface for the user across every endpoint device.”

VMware AirWatch is expected to launch in Q1 2016, although a specific release date has not been announced. It is likely that both VMware AirWatch 8.3 and Workspace ONE will launch within the same time period, especially since both solutions are so tightly connected.