Understanding Your MDM Software Options

We talk a lot about our managed mobility services. There’s good reason for that: Effective use of mobility in business requires effective planning, proper mobile device selection, provisioning and deployment, wireless account expense management, a secure mobile device EOL strategy, and so much more. But aside from managing the mobility as a whole, there’s another facet that’s also important: The management of the devices themselves, commonly known as mobile device management, or simply by its acronym, MDM.

MDM software sits on the phone itself. Access management, identity management, device partitioning, and file synching are just a few of the device-centric features that come with typical MDM software. Because these typical feature sets enable both tighter security and increased efficiency, it’s easy to see why anyone tasked with overseeing mobility for their business would be wise to take a look at existing MDM options on the market.


Which MDM Software is Right for Your Business?

There are a variety of solid MDM choices on the market. MobileIron and VMware’s AirWatch are two leaders in the field, but Microsoft has made some inroads, too, by bundling its Intune MDM software as a part of Microsoft 365 Business packages. With multiple options, which MDM software should a business choose?

The answer, as with so many things, is that it depends on the particular needs of your business. All MDM software is not created equal, and MDM solutions that have richer feature sets are going to come with a higher price tag. Solutions like Intune, on the other hand, are relatively inexpensive, or even free for businesses that are already running Microsoft 365 Business -- but the lower price tag of course comes with some limitations that are not present in the more expensive solution.


MDM in the Real World: A Quick Example

As a quick example, consider the case where an executive uses both a personal and a company-issued mobile device to access company resources. With Intune, device management is per-user, and not per device, which means that the executive’s personal device will have to have the same applications, policies, and everything else as their corporate device -- a situation which may be far from ideal, from the executive’s perspective. Other solutions, like MobileIron and AirWatch, on the other hand, utilize device-based management -- and thus do not suffer from this kind of limitation.

None of which is to say that Intune is a bad solution, because it’s not -- it fits the needs of many businesses, and it’s our viewpoint that even a less-featured MDM solution is better than no solution at all. To that end, we work with all of our MDM customers to find and build out the solution that best meets their needs in terms of pricing and that has a feature set that’s in line with their plans, policies, and existing infrastructure.


How Wireless Watchdogs Approaches MDM

Because we work closely with our customer on finding the MDM solution that’s right, the first step is always consultative. After identifying their needs and which MDM software might be right, we’ll then typically build out a limited (in terms of number of users and devices) solution for them so that we can test, see it used in the field, and understand if it’s truly the right fit for them. Only once that limited deployment is proven correct do we move on to enrolling all devices and providing the ongoing management needed to ensure that the MDM software is always working properly.

So which MDM solution is right for your business? The one that fits your budget while simultaneously meeting your needs for mobile device management. If you’re considering MDM for your business’s mobility implementation, don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help sorting it all out.

And if you’d like a little more information on implementing MDM, please download our free eBook, A Guide to Implementing Mobile Device Management. It's full of great information on establishing MDM goals and policies, securing your mobile devices, and the like, and you can grab it right here:

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