Mobile Device Management or Enterprise Mobility Management?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) are tools for the bulk management of business mobile devices. These terms are used more and more frequently in the area of IT. Employees use not only company phones and tablets but also their own devices (BYOD) for their work, and the IT department cannot afford to lose control of these devices.

Research published by Vanson Bourne showed that only 12% of IT departments have all mobility management tools. In comparison, over a third (34%) of IT departments cannot control access to company information from all employees’ mobile devices. 

A far from ideal situation often reigns in the enterprise mobility structure. Devices from various manufacturers and different operating systems are usually mixed together, and lately, the use of personal devices for work (BYOD) has also become very popular.

Moreover, the users of these devices protect their personal data, and IT cannot afford to interfere with it in any way. And honestly, what company device owner uses it only for work purposes?

The IT department usually becomes aware of the need for a sophisticated solution only when it finds itself overwhelmed by enterprise mobility management. Not only is it no longer within its powers to manage all the mobile devices “manually”, there is also the need to address company information security.

MDM – Mobile Device Management. EMM – Enterprise Mobility Management. What’s the difference? While in the past the term MDM was better known, now EMM is coming to the forefront instead. MDM has become a kind of subset of EMM. We can say that EMM is a comprehensive bulk mobile device management solution, and includes three areas of work with mobile devices:

  1. MDM – Mobile Device Management – mobile device management and their security.
  2. MAM – Mobile Application Management – distribution of company and third party applications, and their security.
  3. MCM – Mobile Content Management – document management – access to company data, its security and work with it.

MobileIron, AirWatch from VMware, Citrix, IBM and BlackBerry were included in Gartner’s report which lists the best enterprise mobility management technology suppliers. All of this technology offers administrators a pleasant interface, which they access via a web browser. From the administrator’s console, it’s possible to clearly register and manage individual devices, users, profiles, and security policy breaches, remotely delete the content on the device (everything or just company content), track it, or carry out reporting.

How does EMM work in practice? 

A Czech company which trades in garden technology has 15 retail outlets, two wholesale warehouses and 20 service technicians, and its stores also rent out garden technology.

Business mobile device management was very chaotic. The company provided its employees with smartphones and tablets, but some of them still used their own devices for work (BYOD). Thus, the company’s IT department, which consists of two employees, was looking after almost a hundred mobile devices from various manufacturers and running different operating systems. The company encountered the following main problems:

  • Smartphone users had mobile access to e-mail on the company server MS Exchange. However, the IT department did not have individual employee accesses or data protection under control.
  • The retail outlets’ employees used tablets with a mobile application for renting garden technology. This application was installed manually on individual devices, and its updating was very problematic. If, for some reason, the application did not work, the store’s employees had to carry out administration connected with the rental service on paper, which resulted in ambiguities and confusion. 
  • Sales representatives who visit customers requested mobile access to the CRM intranet application, and to an application with an overview of the offered goods. However, access was only possible from notebooks, via a VPN, which slowed down their work considerably.
  • Service technicians had documentation relating to the serviced machines loaded onto their notebooks. Of course, this had to be constantly supplemented and updated to include new products. Because automatic updating was not possible, the technicians often had to contact the control room by telephone and request that the necessary documentation was sent to them by e-mail.

In short, although the company had quality mobile devices, a professional IT department and highly modern applications at its disposal, a simple and unified mobile functioning of the entire company could not be achieved.

The deployment of the chosen EMM technology solved most of the problems immediately. 

The IT department gained an overview of all devices, including personal ones.

All the tablets in the stores have now been switched to kiosk mode, and are running only one necessary application, which of course is updated remotely. Sales representatives have a secure browser on their mobile devices for accessing company web applications, as well as secure access to a data repository on company disks. The service technicians have all necessary documentation saved offline on tablets, and it’s centrally managed from the control room and automatically remotely updated.

Thanks to the fast and unified sharing of information, the company has moved forward considerably. The employees are making full use of their mobile devices, and are more satisfied and efficient.

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