Mobile device management

Mobile devices occupy an increasingly important position in business IT infrastructure. While companies traditionally relied on bulky desktop computers, more and more now use a diverse array of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and IoT devices. Mobile devices are often easier for users, but they present unique challenges for IT teams. Time-honored methods of system administration may not cut it. That’s where mobile device management (MDM) comes in. MDM makes it quicker and easier to administer a business’s mobile productivity tools.

man with glasses working on mac and ipad
man with glasses working on mac and ipad
SimpleMDM server illustrationSimpleMDM server illustrationSimpleMDM server illustration

What is mobile device management?

Mobile device management (MDM) refers to administering and monitoring mobile devices in a business environment. Mobile device management software is designed to simplify the process. The software itself may also be called “MDM.” But whether you’re talking about the process or the solution, the goal of MDM remains the same: managing, securing, and monitoring mobile devices with as little hassle as possible.

Apple devices are particularly popular and have a built-in MDM framework, so MDM solutions frequently focus on iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and Apple TVs. That said, Android devices can also be managed through an MDM server.

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Must-have mobile device management features

Whether you maintain an impressive Mac fleet or you have a hybrid environment with just a handful of Apple devices, the right MDM solution allows quick and simple administration. 

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No touch enrollment

In conjunction with Apple's Automated Device Enrollment (ADE) program, automatically link any iOS device purchased from Apple and Apple Authorized Resellers to your Apple Business Manager account.

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Robust Munki integration provides additional app capabilities, including supporting the installation of a wider range of software and providing a self-serve app store.

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Next-level support

With average response times under 30 minutes during business hours, you won’t have to wait around for answers. Just take a coffee break, and we’ll get back to you before the caffeine kicks in.

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Real-time fleet visibility

A Device Details screen provides instant insight into OS version, hardware encryption, settings, installed apps, and more.

Report

Audit logos

With the admin namespace, maintain an audit log of who did what and when within the admin portal and the API.

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Device locations

Device tracking shows you the current and historic locations of devices. Perfect for finding missing devices and keeping track of on-the-go employees!

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Profile reinstallation

Privacy Preferences Policy, Kernel Extensions Policy, FileVault, and Custom Configuration Profiles reinstall automatically when a device checks in after an OS update.

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Company-owned license distribution

With Apple Apps and Books, you can assign licenses without requiring the user’s Apple ID.

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Customizable configuration

Advanced configuration options give you the flexibility to automate workflows in a way that benefits your team.

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Support for SAML or LDAP authentication allows you to integrate with your current identity provider that uses these protocols.

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Distribution package validation

To help ensure they’re safe and trustworthy, distribution-style macOS packages must be signed using a valid Apple Developer ID.

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Rapid, agentless deployment

An intuitive design makes deployments quick and easy. No need to install an agent on user devices!

What are the benefits of mobile device management?

In simple terms, mobile device management optimizes security and functionality by supporting identity and access management. This can have far-reaching effects:

  • Simplify provisioning 

  • Improve workflows 

  • Reduce the IT team’s workload 

  • Control updates 

  • Mitigate mobile security risks

  • Cut costs 

  • Provide better support 

  • Increase mobile productivity 

  • Track devices 

  • Support regulatory compliance

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SimpleMDM vs. leading competitors

SimpleMDM’s mobile device management 

Leading competitors 

Agentless deployment

yes

no

Powerful API

yes

no

Easy setup and use

yes

no

Streamlined, intuitive interface

yes

no

Extensive knowledge base

yes

no

Speedy email support

yes

no

30-day trial (no credit card required)

yes

no

How do you incorporate mobile device management?

Implementing mobile device management typically requires careful planning and the use of an MDM solution. Consider these steps:

  • Assess the number of devices  

  • Consider what tasks employees use their devices for 

  • Assess what apps staff use

  • Incorporate MDM in a larger IT management strategy

  • Identify the operating systems (iOS, Chrome OS, etc.) you’ll need to manage

  • Establish clear policies

  • Explain the purpose and importance of MDM to employees 

  • Train employees on the MDM platform 

  • Make device enrollment quick and easy 

  • Monitor for suspicious activity or data usage

Once you have the right processes and solutions in place, managing mobile devices should be easy. However, you need to put in time upfront if you want seamless MDM.

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Mobile device management best practices

An ideal MDM program should simultaneously enhance mobile device security and employee productivity, but striking the right balance requires following best practices. These tips can help:

  • Prioritize data security

  • Maintain and enforce an acceptable use policy and a security policy 

  • Cater to the operating system and device type

  • Know the limitations of your mobile device management tool

  • Provide self-service options for each managed device

  • Maintain corporate data backups

  • Push updates quickly to mitigate security risk

  • Restrict employee data collection

  • Be prepared to perform a remote device wipe if necessary

  • Use containerization technology for company-owned apps on employee-owned personal devices

With these best practices, you can ensure mobile devices in your environment are secure, up to date, and do not pose a major risk to your overall security posture or corporate network.

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What devices can be managed through an MDM? 

MDM tools can manage a wide range of devices. System requirements vary between platforms, but compatible devices may include the following:

  • Smartphones 

  • Tablets 

  • Laptops  

  • Notebooks 

  • Select IoT devices

Before investing in an MDM solution, investigate which devices and operating systems it supports to ensure it’s appropriate for your fleet.

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Apple Macbook, iPad and iphoneApple Macbook, iPad and iphoneApple Macbook, iPad and iphone

How do you choose the right mobile device management solution?

To choose the best mobile device management solution for your business, take the time to understand your needs and assess how an MDM tool addresses them:

  • Set your budget 

  • Weigh the appropriateness for BYOD and corporate devices 

  • Assess the solution’s ability to protect company data

  • Consider the features and functionality  

  • Think about how the MDM fits your process 

  • Read customer stories

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, schedule a demo or sign up for a trial to see how each MDM solution works.

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