Interview with Anson Shiong - CEO at AirDroid

Shauli Zacks Shauli Zacks

SafetyDetectives Spoke with Anson Shiong, CEO of Sand Studio and AirDroid, about the challenges and advantages of MDM, data and privacy concerns, how MDM will evolve in the coming years, and more. 

Thank you for taking some time to answer my question. Can you introduce yourself and talk about your role at Sand Studio?

Since 2004, I have been closely connected with the corporate services industry, starting my first job with ERP solutions for manufacturing enterprises and deeply realizing the importance of productivity tools to enterprises in the digital age. In 2007, I became a pioneer in mobile internet as an iOS and Android programmer and product manager, developing many powerful mobile applications for managing mobile devices for individual users.

Despite achieving entrepreneurial success by successfully selling companies, I still harbored a dream of providing productivity tools for businesses. As automation, intelligence, and unmanned operations became major trends, enterprises faced increasing challenges managing their growing number of mobile devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, POS, self-service devices and etc. And due to all devices being scattered all over the place, the difficulty and cost of maintenance continue to rise. That’s why I founded Sand Studio, offering device management solutions for enterprises and reducing operational difficulties and costs while ensuring secure endpoints usage.

Our flagship product, AirDroid Business, is an enterprise-level mobile device management solution that enables companies to easily manage, monitor, and configure employees’ devices while ensuring data security and remote control, providing IT departments with automated operation and maintenance tools.

Can you talk about AirDroid Business – who is your ideal client, and what are your main services?

AirDroid Business is a comprehensive mobile device management (MDM) solution that helps enterprises easily manage and maintain mobile devices, reduce operation and maintenance costs, and realize automation, unmanned and intelligent. Our target customers include enterprises of all sizes, especially companies that rely on a large number of mobile devices for their business, covering multiple industries such as IT&MSP, Education, Medical & Healthcare, Retail, Logistics, and Digital signage.

With the proliferation of mobile devices and the expanding scope of the enterprise, businesses need more efficient IT management methods to deal with risks such as equipment failures, system crashes, and software service issues. What’s more, remote device management and support become more difficult, and on-site service costs increase. To address these challenges, AirDroid Business provides a series of automated and intelligent tools to simplify device management and remote support processes, improving productivity and security and reducing maintenance costs.

Compared with traditional MDM solutions, AirDroid Business has the following advantages: 1. Powerful operation and maintenance tools for providing convenience for equipment operation and maintenance and on-site collaboration; 2. Compatible with all Android devices and easy deployment, including Android Enterprise Enrolment, Zero Touch, and automated deployments without the need for device Factory Reset; 3. Powerful application management, providing a private application store, hosting Google Play, supporting silent installation and scheduled installation, reducing the difficulty of enterprise deployment and application updates.

Through these features and advantages, AirDroid Business provides enterprises with a full lifecycle device management solution, including device management, security, device status monitoring, device location tracking, remote control & support, etc.

What are some common challenges that organizations face when implementing an MDM solution, and how can they overcome them?

Nowadays, businesses of all sizes and industries prioritize mobility to boost productivity, cut costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. They rely more and more on mobile devices to carry their business, such as vehicle-mounted devices in logistics companies, tablets used by patients and doctors in the medical industry, handheld POS in the retail industry and etc. When implementing an MDM solution, enterprises will not only face the challenges of traditional device restrictions, security, and compliance issues but also great management difficulty and cost to the IT department because these devices are scattered everywhere. How to ensure the stable operation of these devices while allowing organizations to focus on the core business has become an urgent problem to be solved.

In order to deal with these challenges, we can propose solutions and suggestions from the following aspects:

  • Choose a powerful and easy-to-integrate MDM solution, such as AirDroid Business, which not only has the device management and security policy functions of traditional MDM but also provides a powerful operation and maintenance tools to help enterprises reduce the difficulty and cost of operation and maintenance.
  • Use the remote control function to realize visual management, helping enterprises discover potential problems in time, remote troubleshoot, and ensure the stable operation of equipment.
  • Through automation and workflow, it saves a lot of O&M time and provides continuous support for enterprise businesses, allowing the IT department to focus more on the core business.
  • Build a powerful corporate app store or use managed Google Play to avoid unauthorized app installation, helping protect corporate data security while reducing the difficulty of application deployment and updates.

How do you see the adoption of mobile device management (MDM) solutions impacting businesses’ overall productivity and efficiency?

When talking about the impact of an MDM solution on the productivity and efficiency of an enterprise, we first need to understand the benefits that traditional MDM has offered, including efficiently managing, monitoring, and controlling devices remotely, which can better reduce the time and effort for manual device management. At the same time, it can also help enterprises enforce security policies to protect sensitive data and reduce risks associated with device usage. Plus, simplify application management to ensure employees have the updated tools to perform tasks efficiently. What’s more, remote support and troubleshooting enable IT teams to quickly resolve device issues, minimizing downtime and maintaining productivity. These features allow businesses to streamline device management and control devices more efficiently, saving time and effort.

However, the next generation of MDM can bring much more than that. They provide more O&M tools and automation tools to ensure the stable use of all devices so that enterprises can take a break from the tedious device O&M management and focus on their core business. Moreover, these automatic workflow and components reduce the difficulty and cost of operation and maintenance.

And with the development of artificial intelligence technology, MDM solutions will bring more innovations and breakthroughs to enterprises in the future, bringing higher levels of automation and intelligence, such as automatic problem diagnosis and resolution, predictive maintenance, image recognition, and processing, etc. At the same time, by combining with natural language processing (NLP) technology, MDM solutions can also realize functions such as intelligent interaction, data analysis, troubleshooting, and intelligent supervision, becoming the management center of enterprise automation processes.

How do you approach data privacy and security concerns when managing mobile devices through an MDM solution?

As a company focused on providing mobile device management solutions for enterprises, AirDroid Business takes data security and privacy protection very seriously, and we understand that this is of utmost importance to our enterprise customers. In the process of managing mobile devices, we take a series of measures to ensure that data security and user privacy are fully protected.

  • We use strict security policy and encryption technology to protect the transmitted and stored data with encryption to ensure that the data is not stolen or tampered during transmission and storage. Meanwhile, our patented Black Screen Mode can protect data security while providing convenience for remote control. And we will regularly check and update for security to guard against potential security threats.
  • AirDroid Business offers a range of security features such as remote locking, locating, and wiping data to prevent data leakage in case of device loss or theft. In addition, we provide features such as App Management, Kiosk, and Policy, which allow enterprises to whitelist/blacklist applications and install and use authorized applications, avoiding potential security risks. We also provide permission management features to assign access permission based on employee responsibilities.
  • It supports real-time monitoring of mobile devices to detect abnormal behavior and take timely measures. Additionally, it will regularly generate security reports to help enterprises understand the security status of devices and provide enterprises with decision support.
  • AirDroid Business strictly abides by relevant laws and regulations and industry standards, such as GDPR, etc., and also sets up the server in an ISO 27001 compliant server to ensure that the service meets international data protection requirements. We are committed to providing our customers with safe and secure mobile device management solutions.

What future trends do you foresee in the mobile device management space, and how is your company preparing to address them?

Technology is evolving quickly and enterprises need ways to respond and keep up, like the IoT widely used, AI and ML development, and technology. The way employees and businesses use mobile devices has changed dramatically.

As IoT devices become more prevalent in the workplace, MDM solutions will need to extend their capabilities to manage and secure these devices. We are working on integrating IoT device management into our MDM offerings. With the growing number of cyber threats, MDM solutions will need to provide advanced security features and threat detection. We are continuously investing in research and development to enhance our security capabilities.

And AI and ML can help automate and optimize device management processes, improving efficiency and reducing human error. We are exploring ways to incorporate AI and ML technologies into our MDM solutions.

Besides, as remote work and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies become more common, MDM solutions will need to offer flexible and scalable management options. We are refining our solutions to cater to the evolving needs of remote and hybrid workforces.

By staying abreast of these trends and proactively addressing them, we aim to keep our MDM solutions relevant, secure, and effective for our clients in the ever-evolving mobile landscape.

About the Author

About the Author

Shauli Zacks is a tech enthusiast who has reviewed and compared hundreds of programs in multiple niches, including cybersecurity, office and productivity tools, and parental control apps. He enjoys researching and understanding what features are important to the people using these tools.