By Jennifer McCartney

7 mobile device management solutions you need to know

7 MDM solutions you need to know

With an increasingly mobile workforce and more employees using their own devices for work-related tasks, enterprises must ensure their employees’ mobile devices are safe and secure—whether they are company-issued or employee-owned (bring your own device or BYOD).

To ensure a safe and easy-to-manage fleet of devices, companies need to choose a mobile device management provider (MDM). There are an increasing number of MDMs that offer various benefits—from complete locked-down security for sensitive enterprises to flexible and quick cloud-based solutions—there’s an MDM for every need no matter the size of the business or the range of devices or operating systems.

Here are a selection of MDMs that are bringing interesting solutions to the marketplace:

1. AirWatch by VMWare

AirWatch, purchased by VMWare in January 2014, offers a comprehensive MDM solution across every mobile device (laptops, tablets, printers) and every mobile operating system. The company was recognized as a leader in the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant Report for its enterprise mobility management (EMM) and, accordingly, positions itself as the leading provider in the industry. Their service offers one administrative console that gives an overview of every enrolled device and a dashboard with real-time data for the device fleet. Enrollment is made easy, as once users are authenticated, the appropriate apps and content corresponding to security restrictions are pushed to the device automatically. Customers can then choose to use standalone apps or the AirWatch Workspace which allows users to separate their personal and corporate information. AirWatch is particularly popular with retailers including both Walgreens and Best Buy.

2. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10)

BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10), with its emphasis on security, is notable for its popularity with various governments around the world. Of the G20 Nations, 16 of them use BES10. It’s also the only provider cleared for use on U.S. Department of Defense networks. The service offers multi-OS device, app, and security management through one management console for Android, Blackberry, and iOS devices. It also allows users to switch between work and personal functions with its Secure Work Space solution which lets users to keep their social media, email, and apps separate—offering a greater amount of control and ensuring data leak prevention. For example, enterprises can specify whether a BlackBerry device user can forward email messages marked as private, or whether they can add a new recipient when they reply to a message. Its silver level service is geared towards small businesses while its gold level service is recommended for governments or security sensitive operations.

Read our Bes 10 review.

3. Good Technology Mobile Device Management

The aptly named Good Technology (founded as SpringThings in 2000) and bought by Visto in 2009 offers “automated device lifecycle management” with a focus on security—while the company keeps its eye on future growth by continually developing new technology. The company has filed over 250 technology patents and boasts 50 Fortune 100 companies as customers. The service allows apps secured with Good Technology to coexist alongside the user’s own apps. Good-secured apps can detect when a device has been compromised and allows data wiping or the ability to lock the app. With Good’s MDM service, IT has the ability to control the settings on any managed device while allowing users with iOS, Windows, and Android mobile devices the ability to self-enroll (with their access corresponding to their employee status in the corporate directory system)—saving on set-up time and support costs. Their MDM is available across a variety of Good’s offerings including Good for Enterprise, the Good Collaboration Suite, and the Good Dynamics Secure Mobility Platform.

4. MaaS360 by Fiberlink, an IBM Company

MaaS360 by Fiberlink is a cloud-based solution and bills itself as the “cloud mobility leader.” Privately held until its acquisition by IBM in December 2013, the service advertises seamless integration with an enterprise’s existing infrastructure, a three-minute enrollment process, as well as instant updates. It also provides a lightweight container solution for email as part of the application. A software development kit, as well as an application wrapper, are available for creating secure apps. While the provider emphasizes the speed and flexibility with which it can operate it also cites its security credentials including the fact that it’s FIPS 140-2 compliant, AICPA SOC-2 Type II compliant, and was the first MDM vendor to receive FISMA’s “Authority to Operate.”

MDM solutions you need to know #5-7

5. MobileIron

MobileIron works primarily with Android, Mac OS, iOS, and Windows Phone and provides a secure “intelligent gateway” that allows enterprise access to email, apps, and web traffic. Their large selection of third-party apps are secured with MobileIron AppConnect and are available in their app store. They also provide network management that can track things like international roaming—alerting customers to high cost-usage. Access to enterprise email, apps, docs, and Web traffic is controlled via the intelligent gateway ensuring only secured devices are able to connect. Enterprises can choose various policies based on their security preference—for example corporate apps on compromised devices can be wiped clean with one policy or users might simply receive an alert with another. Not just a technology company, MobileIron provides support and training for the lifecycle of each device as well as emphasizing their focus on design.

6. SAP Afaria MDM

First released in 1997, SAP Afaria emphasizes its scalable, secure architecture for managing Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8 devices. SAP Afaria is a market leader claiming over 150,000 devices managed and it also partners with Amazon for its cloud services. Operating in the cloud or on-premise, the service allows enterprises to install, delete, and update all of its devices at any time and also allows secure employee enrollment through its end user self-service portal. The company also offers extensive analytics—for example Afaria gives enterprises access to mobile app analytics to see how their employees are utilizing their devices. They offer an enterprise app store as well as investing capital in app development.

7. Symantec Mobile Management

Symantec Mobile Management (SMM) claims to offer the “broadest set of technologies” to secure a mobile workforce. The California-based Fortune 500 Company, founded in 1982 and known for its variety of security offerings, provides the Symantec Mobile Management Suite which includes application management, scalable device management, and threat protection for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows 8 devices. SMM also offers protection policies for individual apps—for example, enterprises can block iOS 7 features like Airprint or the user’s ability to add files to their Safari reading list. Wrapping technology is utilized for its apps and policies can be changed or revoked at any time. It offers secure corporate email as well as supporting native email apps. Features include a single sign-on across in-house, third-party and cloud-based apps as well as IT Analytics which provides enterprises with insight into device compliance. Symantec Mobile Security, an anti-malware protection solution, is also available on Android devices.

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