Unified device management: how to navigate among the publishers?

Unified Terminal Management ( UEM ) allows you to administer all terminals – workstations, mobile devices, etc. – with one tool. But to take advantage of unified terminal management, one must first look at a relatively nascent market.

The interest of EMU is largely due to the progress of mobile terminal administration ( MDM ) APIs in Windows 10 . In addition to Windows 10 computers, EMU covers iOS, Android, Chrome OS and macOS devices.

Understanding the EMU market

While UEM platform publishers are struggling to scale their tools and meet the demand, administrators must find the best solution for their organization. These platforms are relatively new, and Gartner’s magical quadrant for EMU tools can help to get things clear. The following editors are among the leaders:

VMware: VMware is a well-established player in this market, with a rich product history in the field of Enterprise Mobility Management ( EMM ). Its AirWatch EMU product is part of its Workspace One platform , which IT administrators can use to manage a desktop environment.

Microsoft: Intune is part of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security suite, which also includes the advanced features of Azure Active Directory and the full Microsoft Cloud App Security component .

IBM: MaaS360 has evolved over time and now has a rich history. It is especially easy for IBM customers to take advantage of MaaS360, including with Watson . A free 30-day trial is offered.

MobileIron: MobileIron has a solid reputation and history. Its UEM product is compatible with a wide range of operating systems and terminals; enough to have a lot of latitude in the choice of these, according to the needs of the company.

BlackBerry: The BlackBerry Unified Endpoint Manager is part of the BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Suite. It can manage iOS devices, macOS, Android, Windows 10, BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS.

There is a large sample of other UEM platform vendors to consider, including Sophos, Citrix, SOTI, 42Gears, Ivanti and ManageEngine.

The evolution of the EMU market

The EMU market has evolved from a variety of other tools in recent years.

Client desk administration tools (CMT): These are tools for managing the lifecycle of traditional PCs, used especially for Windows 7 and earlier. There are products like Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager.

Mobile Device Management (MDM): MDM focused on policy enforcement on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. MDM originally appeared to help secure these devices in a BYOD environment and has expanded to cover endpoints and connected objects.

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM): The EMM introduces the functionality of MDM systems, but adds features such as managing mobile applications and content on mobile devices. Here again, it is a question of controlling the devices and the uses that are made of them to reduce the risks and to enforce the internal security policies.

How to choose an EMU tool

When selecting an EMU platform, it is important to define its requirements and answer crucial questions, such as:

Which devices does the EMU tool need to administer?

What are the product types, operating systems, and device criticality for the organization?

What features will the organization add in the near future and which the EMU tool will have to support?

What is the EMU publisher’s experience with MDM and EMM technologies? Are its products mature and reliable?

Most products offer a free trial. It is best to limit your choice to two or three – to take into account the time available to evaluate each.

An EMU tool can be used to administer a diverse set of clients and terminals in an integrated and simplified manner. But the cost can be significant, especially in the case of a migration from existing tools. Hence the importance of a solid analysis of the return on investment.

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