(There must be) 100 Ways to Manage iPhones


The following comes from Robert DeStefano, Product Marketing Manager for Wavelink/LANDesk:

In-house estimates suggest that roughly 140 companies claim to offer Mobile Device Management (MDM). Most of them lead their messaging by waving the iOS flag and images of Andy the Android to highlight their ability to support consumer operating systems in the face of BYOD initiatives.  What’s interesting is that when it comes to mobile device management, drawing attention to the iOS and Android platforms makes most MDM solutions indistinguishable from one another.  Apple, for example, doesn’t allow MDM clients to take control over the device remotely.  Therefore, all these MDM solutions have the same limitation.  Give or take a few specification bullet points, 140 solutions provide about the same capabilities when it comes to managing a smartphone. stockxpertcom_id858210_jpg_09a185e593d94fa570c653bd96bdb622

According to Gartner, 65% of enterprises will adopt an MDM solution for corporate-liable users over the next four years, and 90% of enterprises will be supporting two or more mobile operating systems in their environment.  With so much attention drawn to the BYOD-specific needs (not to suggest these aren’t important) of a Mobile Device Management solution, there is something even larger that enterprises should be taking into consideration: Managing productivity throughout the enterprise.

Mobile Device Management should be an ingredient of a greater objective: managing the productivity of mobile employees.  When you’re looking at a MDM solutions some question you should ask include the following:

  • How does your company intend to manage the software applications that are installed on mobile devices?
  • How are you going to manage the wireless infrastructure upon which data flows to and from these mobile devices?
  • What are the parameters of the mobile device?
  • Are you looking to manage just smartphones or is there a need to manage the mobile computers that are used for scanning inventory, entering patient data, or managing shipping and receiving, and other tasks?


When you look at the bigger picture, it’s usually more than managing smartphones or finding a basic just a BYOD solution.  It’s about ensuring that a mobile worker is able to utilize the productivity tools that surround them to execute their job with attention to efficiency, security, and information access.

The bottom line: don’t be blinded by the hype that an MDM solution supports iOS or can address BYOD concerns—at least 139 other companies can make similar claims.  Supporting the popular consumer OSs is undoubtedly important.  However, there are the overarching mobile productivity needs that must be addressed.  Mobility includes a variety of components and it’s important to identify and focus on those solutions that are the most comprehensive for the business.

If you’re struggling to mesh your BYOD strategy with the rest of your mobility needs, take a look at Wavelink Avalanche.  It’s more than just a mobile device management solution; it can manage mobile enterprise applications such as terminal emulation, web-based apps, and voice-enabled apps.  It can also manage hardware ranging from Smartphones (yes, including the leading consumer operating systems), to rugged mobile computers, to mobile printers and network infrastructure.

How many of the 139 other MDM solutions do you think are that comprehensive?

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