Mobility and secure access to data both are matters of high priority in every business and something that no business owner wants to compromise on. Restrictions on an employee’s mobility hamper his/her freedom to work while being away from work and hence, impact productivity. Based in the Silicon Valley, Bitzer Mobile was started with an aim to shake up the enterprise mobility space by providing a solution that provides enterprise-grade security while preserving user experience. Indus Khaitan, who is an entrepreneur at heart and has played critical roles with many startups over the years, is the co-founder of Bitzer Mobile.
“Corporate data is exciting to deal with as addressing security is of paramount concern to a CIO of a large enterprise. Solving this makes for a very good business case,” says Indus when asked about venturing into the field. Competing with the likes of Good Technology, MobileIron, Nukona (now part of Symantec), Mocana and Fixmo, Bitzer has a huge market to take a bite off. “As I see it only 10% of our overall vision is in our current product. There is a lot more to come”.
Traditionally, Enterprise mobility has been synonymous with e-mail on Blackberry. However, that is changing as employees are demanding access to the corporate intranet with their new smartphones and tablets. “In addition to e-mail access, the mobile workforce is demanding a user-interface that is comparable to a consumer app.We have built a secure remote access product which enables employees to access corporate intranet, files/folders, applications on the go, and it goes way beyond email.” he adds.
Ali Ahmed, an enterprise software architect, is the man behind the concept of Bitzer solution. He moved across the country from New Jersey to Silicon Valley to turn his idea into a reality. While he was tinkering with a few ideas, Naeem Zafar and Indus joined the team. Naeem is a serial entrepreneur, and most recently, he has been teaching entrepreneurship at Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley. This entrepreneurial power house forms the core team of Bitzer which is now 30 members strong.
“Today, our secure container on iPad/iPhone enables access to any web property in the intranet with a Windows-like single-sign-on. We want to take it to the next level of enabling access to files, folders, messaging (holding breath : ) ) to name a few, and also, support other standard authentication protocols. We also are releasing the secure container on Android pretty soon” says Indus when describing Bitzer’s unique offering.
Targeting large (5000+ employees) to medium (1000-5000 employees) enterprises, the Bitzer solution is suitable for every company that allows employees access to corporate network and apps. Bitzer works on a subscription model wherein the enterprise is charged based on the number of devices on which the software is deployed. Bitzer has generated a significant buzz with the events they’ve been doing targeting IT Managers and CIOs.
“We see tremendous opportunity in India with respect to business alliances with developers, system integrators, and mobility entrepreneurs”, says Indus. He has been actively seeking talent in the iOS and Android community.
A Peek into the Technology
The product consists of two main components; a secure container (which is a specialized app on iPhone/iPad and Android), and a network gateway which resides in the datacenter of the enterprise. The secure container protects the data at rest on the smart device, whereas another technology called AppTunnel protects the data in transit from the device to the enterprise. We use a good mix of C/C++, Java, Objective-C and a fair amount of cryptography on a daily basis to build the product.
More about Bitzer here.