Sophos Mobile Control v3.5
Strengths: Easy to deploy and manage with a vast set of features.
Weaknesses: Administrator guides could have had a few more visual elements.
Verdict: If the documentation was just a bit more complete, this would be a perfect-scoring product. Even so, Sophos Mobile Control receives our Recommended designation.
Sophos Mobile Control provides a full set of features and functionality for management and control of a broad range of mobile devices. Administrators can use this tool to secure both employee-owned and corporate devices, including iDevices, Android devices, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 8. Functionality includes creation of device profiles, such as allowing functionality of the camera, Bluetooth or SD card, among others; application control; and compliance to policies, such as encryption and PIN or password requirements.
This solution requires the use of a management server that can push policy and configurations to the mobile device. This server can be either hosted by Sophos or installed on the customer site as part of their infrastructure. All management is done via a web-based management console, which we found to be easy and intuitive to navigate. We also found many of the policy settings were a simple check in a box or click of a radio button, which made creating custom policies quick and easy. Policy can be created by device type and then assigned to company- or employee-owned devices or both.
To augment the compliance and security policy, Sophos offers integration of this product with its mobile app. This features malware protection for Android devices, as well as protection from malicious or fraudulent websites. Admins can control all of the functionality and settings of the app remotely in the Mobile Control admin console. This product also enables the capability to directly connect to the existing Active Directory or Exchange Active Sync system to push policy to devices. On the user side, users can access an easy-to-use, self-support portal to manage their device and perform tasks such as a remote lock or wipe.
Documentation included several PDF administrator and user guides along with an installation guide for on-premise server installations. We found all of the various guides to be well organized and to contain a great amount of detail with many clear, step-by-step configuration instructions. With that said, we did notice a lack of screen shots and diagrams, which are always helpful to have. We would prefer more.
Sophos offers support to customers as part of their subscription cost. Customers have access to standard, premium and platinum support levels, all of which can be purchased yearly or in two- or three-year terms. All levels offer 24/7/365 phone and email technical support, along with access to software downloads, updates and maintenance via a large online support area. Customers will find user forums and a knowledge base as part of the support area as well.
At a price of $31.50 per user per year for 100 to 199 users, we found this product to be a very good value for the money. While the cost is based on a subscription, we found that customers get a lot of value with that subscription, including standard support that includes product updates. Also factored into the overall value of this product is its impressive ease of use. We had no trouble at all getting the product up and running with a solid configuration in no time at all, and found it to be quite intuitive to manage after installation and initial deployment.