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Proton dashboard
The Proton dashboard give IT teams a broad overview of their company’s browser usage.

Lots of business activities take place within a browser, which can pose a problem for IT teams that need to know which web apps, browsers and add-ons employees are using. Proton, a new tool released today by Redmond, Wash.-based Browsium, aims to solve that problem, making it easier for IT departments to test apps and roll out updates.

Proton lets IT managers see which apps are being used, and by how many people, so they can test the most critical ones before upgrading to newer browsers.

For many enterprises, there are hundreds of web apps in use across the company, but when upgrading browsers, IT departments can’t test all of them. They likely don’t even know exactly what’s being used.

Proton reveals quite a few key details about employees’ browser setups. For example, there’s information about which versions of Java and Active X are running on each machine; whether machines are running on the local intranet, trusted sites, or on the internet at large; and which browser employees are using.

The system also lets IT departments monitor employee browsing habits, so it could be used to see how much time you spend on Twitter everyday. However, Browsium president Gary Schare said that doesn’t mean every company will use or even look at that type of data.

“We don’t want to be enabling employers to do things to employees that they wouldn’t otherwise do,” he said, but potential complications from web apps and add-ons are “a core thing that employers have to worry about.”

Browsium introduced Proton in part to help enterprise customers who are migrating to Internet Explorer 11 as Microsoft winds down support for older versions of the venerated browser. Many enterprise customers hung onto older IE version simply because they weren’t sure if their web apps would be stable in newer versions.

The company’s existing product, Browsium Ion, ensures compatibility between IE11 and apps coded for older versions of the browser. The company also operates Catalyst, a multi-browser web traffic manager. Down the line, Browsium hope to bring the products closer together for a seamless IT browser-management tool.

Browsium was founded by Matt Heller, a former Overture Services executive who also worked previously with Microsoft on Internet Explorer. They’ve recently stepped up hiring as more companies turn to Browsium for using web apps in IE11.

Proton is available today. IT teams can download a free evaluation kit on Browsium’s site. Final pricing is based on the number of employees in an organization. 

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