Citrix XenMobile and VMware AirWatch are hot competitors in the EMM space. XenMobile is the better solution, and here are the top three reasons why:

  1. Better Apps – XenMobile includes a number of business-oriented productivity apps. Apps are an important part of an EMM solution, and the end-user experience is critical. If the end-user experience is poor, the solution won’t be adopted.

The most-used of the XenMobile Apps is Secure Mail, which provides users with secure mobile access to their corporate email, calendar, and contacts. AirWatch has two email apps – Inbox (the original), and Boxer (via acquisition). Boxer is a big improvement over Inbox, but neither can match the end–user experience of Secure Mail.

Here are just a few examples of the many business-oriented features of Secure Mail that Boxer and Inbox don’t have:

  • Personal Calendar Overlay
  • Calendar Attachment Viewing
  • Calendar Search
  • Mark Events as Private
  • Meeting Invitee Availability and Scheduling Suggestions
  • Tap to Join Online Meetings
  • Attachment Repository
  • FaceTime from Contacts
  • VIP Mail Folder
  • Inbox Triage (Quick Read and Delete)

Please note that many of these features aren’t in the native device email clients either.

  1. Better BYOD Security – It is becoming more and more common for people to refuse to enroll their personal devices in corporate MDM. XenMobile in MAM-only mode is significantly more secure than AirWatch.

AirWatch relies on device OS encryption. Did you know that an iOS device doesn’t encrypt local storage unless the device has a passcode? In a BYO (MAM-only) scenario, nothing is encrypted if the user doesn’t have a passcode on their device.

XenMobile doesn’t rely on device encryption and doesn’t depend on the iOS Keychain like AirWatch does. XenMobile provides its own AES-256 encryption as part of MDX. This means that data is encrypted regardless of whether the device is MDM enrolled or not. In MAM-only mode, XenMobile also provides 50+ MAM policies, including copy/paste/open-in protection, the ability to require a device passcode (which provides device encryption for non-MDX apps), and a kill pill that locks or wipes the container if the device doesn’t contact the server within a configurable period (e.g. a stolen device in airplane mode). AirWatch can’t do any of this without an MDM profile installed on the device.

  1. Better Scalability – XenMobile costs less to scale, and requires less operational cost to maintain. XenMobile can support up to 10,000 users with a single XenMobile Server. AirWatch can’t come close to that. (XenMobile scalability information can be found here.) In addition, XenMobile Server is a Linux appliance while AirWatch runs on Windows. XenMobile Server doesn’t require regular security patching. But even in a medium size deployment, there’s a lot of Windows patching to do with AirWatch, and in a large deployment it represents a significant amount of work.

These are just the top three reasons. Two more reasons are tight integration with the other products in the Citrix Workspace Suite, and a superior file syncing and sharing solution (ShareFile).

For more information on XenMobile, check out Or, if you’re at VMworld this week, stop by Citrix booth #1307 for a hands-on demo.

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