MobileIron creates new IoT division with R&D led by former Wind River exec, Santhosh Nair

Santhosh Nair, VP IoT, MobileIron

MobileIron, which specialises in security for the digital enterprise, has formed an Internet of Things (IoT) division which will focus on building a comprehensive platform to secure IoT deployments from sensor applications to gateways to the resources they connect to.

The company also announced that Santhosh Nair has joined MobileIron as vice president of IoT to lead the division. MobileIron aims to have an IoT product ready for sale later this year. Bain & Company estimates that by 2020 IoT vendor revenue could exceed US$470 billion.

Many existing IoT systems have significant limitations because they are highly customised and inflexible, which makes them very hard to configure and expensive to maintain over the system’s lifecycle.

MobileIron’s IoT platform will be designed to:

    • Use a standards-based, open systems approach for interoperability;
    • Deliver scalable, automated lifecycle management to mitigate against the possibility of human errors;
    • Protect the integrity and the security of petabytes of moving data; and
    • Provide continuity for systems that are too critical to fail.

“There’s been a lot of hype around the Internet of Things and most of it is just that: hype. The mistake that a lot of companies make with IoT is that they start by looking at the problem from the sensor up,”said Barry Mainz, president and CEO, MobileIron. “Our customer-focused approach is exactly the opposite.

“Over the last year, we have worked hand-in-hand with our leading customers to understand how they want to use IoT and what challenges they face. As a result, we have defined specific use cases in healthcare, energy, manufacturing, and automotive that we can solve for our customers. And this creates a tremendous opportunity for us.”

The Internet of Things is the next frontier of the Information Age. Core business workflows start relying on sensor and machine data to gather insights and drive physical action. Enterprise computing moves to the edge of the network.

The consequences of inaccurate information or inappropriate action can be costly (supply chain disruption), dangerous (a pipeline leak), or deadly (medical errors). In IoT, scale and security are critical. MobileIron’s goal is to provide a unified platform and a single pane of glass to secure and manage IoT services.

MobileIron’s IoT solution applies the company’s software leadership and innovation to this new market opportunity. MobileIron’s three-point architecture of policy engine, edge client, and network gateway is directly applicable to the challenges of IoT deployments.

Administrators automate rules using the policy engine. The edge client enforces actions on the IoT gateway and monitors security posture. The network gateway ensures that IoT data is transmitted securely and not susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. And all these actions must be done at massive scale.

Barry Mainz

Joining MobileIron to lead the new division is Santhosh Nair. Santhosh brings more than 20 years of international experience in strategy, engineering and product management. He joins from Wind River, an Intel company, where he was the vice president & general manager of the IoT business unit and managed key customer relationships across broad markets.

Prior to Wind River, he spent over 15 years at GE Healthcare culminating in his role as Worldwide Product Manager for the $1.5B Computed Tomography (CT) business. He holds an MBA in Strategy & Marketing from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and a BTech in electronics and telecommunications from Government College of Engineering, Trivandrum, India.

“When I met with the team at MobileIron, I was impressed with their insights on the Internet of Things and I’m excited to turn these insights into execution,” said Santhosh Nair, VP IoT, MobileIron. “Enterprise endpoint security is critical to the successful adoption of technologies for the Internet of Things and many of MobileIron’s engineering innovations are directly applicable to IoT. I believe we have a big opportunity and a huge market lead.”

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