Managing mobile devices can present challenges such as provisioning and keeping devices up and running. Another challenge, according to Mark Gentile, Odyssey Software's CEO, is that "you're more apt to leave your mobile device on a counter or in a cab than you would with your laptop."<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

            Odyssey Software created Athena, a mobile device monitoring and management product, to meet the mobile device challenges faced by IT administrators. Athena is unique in that it doesn't run on an Odyssey proprietary server. Instead, Athena uses XML Web services to feed into your company's existing management infrastructure, such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS). If your company doesn't have a management infrastructure already in place, you can use Athena via a Microsoft ASP.NET Web site that is the basis of the Web console. The Web site is free and provides a fully functional directory of assets.

            Athena provides interactive support, asset reporting, and provisioning. The product also features security functionality, such as device lock and wipe, which can lock the mobile device, and, if necessary, delete everything on the device if it's lost or stolen. IT administrators can define rules for device thresholds and manage multiple device settings. For example, Athena's measurement setting compares the content and applications on a user's mobile device with the content and applications that the company dictates users should have on their devices. Athena also lets companies create a white list of trusted applications that they want their users to be able to run.

            Odyssey Software provides several interactive plug-ins for Athena such as System Manager Service and File Manager Service. For more information about Athena, go to http://www.odysseysoftware.com/products_athena.asp.