Mobile Device Management (MDM) has become an increasingly important part of business, to ensure security and compliance. This is especially with the ubiquitous use of smartphones in the office for accessing and using cloud-based business apps which can improve efficiency and productivity.
However, in security terms, smartphones in the workplace increase the attack surface of your business. MDM software aims to address this by providing a single platform where all mobile devices in use can be monitored and managed, as well as authorizing users with some form of identity management.
The result is the ability to provide access using smartphones and other mobile devices, without compromising security.
Additionally, MDM services can ensure that any company data used on a mobile device, whether provided by the business or brought in by staff, can be fenced off to protect and secure the data.
And in the event that a mobile device is lost, MDM services can help locate the device-or, alternatively, if it cannot be recovered, ensure that any company data is erased and the device locked against further use.
Overall, the increasing use of mobile devices and cloud services can contribute significantly to business efficiency and profitability. However, without the correct MDM solution for your business, these benefits may be outweighed by the costs.
Here we'll features the MDM solutions we think are currently the best on the market.
- We've also highlighted the best video conferencing software
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Best MDM solutions - at a glance
- Jamf Pro
- ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus
- Miradore Online
Manage Apple devices in the enterprise
Jamf Pro offers comprehensive management of Apple mobile devices in the enterprise, describing itself as the “The Swiss Army knife to handle your users’ needs.”
System administrators can troubleshoot iOS devices, keep them up to date, manage their security, and ensure all users have the apps and services they need. All of these tasks can be automated, offering a welcome convenience factor for IT professionals at the helm.
Additionally, the user interface is clear and simple to use, so unless you’re a total beginner in the world of device management, it shouldn’t take too long to get used to operating the Jamf Pro platform.
The software can be run via the cloud or as an on-premise service, and also works with asset management tools, network access controllers and other IT services thanks to built-in integrations. Should problems arise, a helpful customer service team is on hand via phone, email and live chat in business hours – with a Premium Support service also available for added technical and strategic expertise.
Jamf Pro Plan pricing begins at $3.33 per month per iOS or tvOS device, or $7.17 for each Mac.
Affordable device management for Android hardware
There was much concern and consternation when Android devices first penetrated ‘the enterprise’, with many regarding the OS as somewhat insecure compared to business favorites BlackBerry and iPhone. But with device management solutions like Scalefusion (formerly MobileLock Pro) now in the market, IT managers are increasingly relaxed about an Android presence in their organization.
Scalefusion is a cloud-based platform enabling users to control all their company’s Android devices. At the heart of the management controls is the system’s ability to lock devices into kiosk mode, replacing the standard device home screen with a customizable display that limits which apps and websites can be accessed by users.
Control is further enhanced by making certain OS functions inaccessible – preventing employees from adapting device settings or installing unapproved apps – while websites can be blocked and whitelisted.
Administrators can also push files to devices from their dashboard, remotely send alarms to make devices ring, send out one-way message broadcasts to any number of registered devices, and remotely wipe all images, videos, and audio files from device galleries.
But it’s not all bad news for the device carrier, as they can create device profiles with customized branding and use the pre-selected list of apps and websites at their leisure.
Pricing for Scalefusion begins at $30 per device per year for up to 25 devices with the Starter Tier. Pricing is reduced per device for the Pro and Business tiers: the Pro tier costs $24 per device per year for between 25 to 100 devices, and the Business tier is charged at $18 per device per year for over 100 devices.
Feature-packed device management for iOS and Android
ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager allows you to manage your organization’s mobile assets while maintaining strong security. It is available as both a cloud and on-premise service, and works across both Apple and Android devices.
Mobile Device Manager boasts a wide array of features and tools: device enrolment provides platform-specific bulk enrolment options, and device management enables remote control of devices in real-time with the ability to set up profile policies depending on department or hierarchy.
The there's app management which can blacklist certain apps in the business side of a user’s device (which is kept separate to their personal profile), along with mobile security that safeguards assets and information through passcodes, geo-fencing and remote locking and wiping.
Remote troubleshooting allows you to remotely view and control devices in real-time, and mobile content management pushes documents and other resources to employee devices. Finally, audit tools can update admins on the device count in the network, see what apps are being used by whom, and spot if any go outside of the set boundaries.
Pricing is free for the first 25 devices with both the Standard Edition and Professional Edition pricing tiers. After that, for the standard package, prices start from $10 per device per year-which is pretty good-with the professional tier charging just $18 per device per year.
Excellent BYOD management for SMBs
Aimed at small and mid-size businesses, healthcare companies and service providers, Miradore Online is a cloud-based MDM, looking after smartphones and tablets running Android, iOS and even Windows Phone.
Among the control features are passcodes, device encryption and remote locking – plus the ability to wipe the device of all data should it be lost or stolen. Matters are better still for iOS devices in the network, as these can be put into Lost Mode, locking the phone or tablet and displaying a contact number for those who may find it.
For bring your own device (BYOD) implementations, the nifty selective wipe feature enables the removal of all company-specific data from a device, while leaving personal data intact.
Elsewhere in the platform, Miradore Online has tools to track the location of all devices (with information including longitude and latitude, zip code and street address), the ability to configure email, Wi-Fi, and VPN settings, plus restriction options can be set on data roaming, web content, and app availability.
There's a free tier offering a free MDM solution for small businesses, with the Business tier with more features charged at $1 per device per month.
SimpleMDM is a solution specifically catered toward Apple device management. Because it uses only Apple protocols, the aim is to provide a service that's especially easy, fast, and simple to deploy.
This is especially due to SimpleMDM's support for the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) which means that new devices can be shipped out already pre-configured for use. Apps and settings can be centrally managed to ensure they follow company best use policies for security purposes.
There's also support for Apple's Volume Purchase Program (VPP), but SimpleMDM can happily cope with legacy devices that might turn up with any BYOD program.
Features of the SimpleMDM service include two-factor authentication, as well as the ability to share keys and passwords across authenticated macOS devices. Devices can be tracked without an Apple ID, and forcefully locked or unlocked as required.
Pricing is simple and plain: $3 per device when paid for monthly, or $2.50 per device when paid for annually. Enterprise discounts are available for very large deployments. Additionally, there's a 30-day free trial with no credit card required.
Other MDM solutions to consider
Another MDM service that covers iPhone, Android and Windows is SureMDM. Producer 42Gears describes the product as a simple and ‘lean’ solution for the enterprise, targeting SMBs and startups. Features include application deployment, security policies, location tracking, screen sharing and remote troubleshooting.
Another notable market player is Hexnode MDM, which also covers iPhone, Android and Windows. Stay on top of devices in your network through individual and group management, a kiosk mode, app management, web filtering, tracking, geofencing and expense management, among other features.
Cisco’s enterprise ubiquity stretches to mobile device management too, thanks to Cisco Meraki. The cloud-based platform provides centralized management, diagnostics, and monitoring for all the mobile devices managed by your organization, from iPads and Androids to Macs and PCs.