MDM stands for Mobile Device Management. It allows administrators to centrally manage and track mobile devices (ex: iPhones) registered to its’ network.
Functionality runs the gamut, but there are a few features that usually top the list of importance:
-Can we force basic policies like screen locks?
-Can we remotely wipe the phone in the event it is lost?
-Can we track and control data usage, especially when roaming?
Many MDM platforms support this basic feature list; but as always – the devil is in the details. Following the primary function; there are many other questions that will become important to ensure you have coverage on most of your devices.
-What devices are you trying to support? (iDevices, Android, Windows, Blackberry?).
-Do you want to restrict installation of certain applications?
-Can we push WiFi profiles to the phone so they automatically connect to our networks?
-How do we generate reports and what kind of data can we get from the phones?
Common to most MDM platforms is that if you want to manage the device to its’ fullest, you have to install an application on the phone or tablet. There are a few ways to deploy this software, such as emailing all users a link they can launch from their device. However it is not a ‘hands off’ operation. You have to understand your environment and requirements before going down the MDM path.
The truth about MDM, as many other IT management products – is that there is no ‘one size fits all’. You have to know your requirements, your user base, and your device types before setting out.
Enterprise iOS has a great Wiki entry that they try to keep as up to date as possible comparing the features and functions of most of todays’ MDM platforms. I suggest you take a quick look, if only to see what features actually exist out there.
So MDM can simplify your life, however the process of getting there can be complex. If your organization needs an MDM platform to reign in your mobile devices – send us an email and we can assess your needs and get the right solution for your environment.