A Truce in the Device Management "Turf Wars"
“Why can’t you just use the MDM we’ve been using in corporate IT?”
Sounds familiar? If you’ve been in operations IT for the last decade or more, you’ve likely heard this question from your corporate colleagues at least once.
It may be a bit ironic that mobile device management may have been part of your operational tech stack for twice as many years as it’s been in the corporate conversation. Rugged mobile computers, forklift-mounted computers, and wearables in your supply chain operations have relied on MDM going back to the 1990’s.
In its earliest days, MDM handled OS updates for Windows CE and other early mobile operating systems (remember PalmOS?). For the earliest Wi-Fi-connected devices, app updates could finally be pushed over the air, rather than batch uploads at a centralized set of device docking stations. I’m aging myself, but wasn’t it a relief to be able to do that?
With the introduction of smartphones, BYOD became a thing and corporate IT teams needed to manage them. The users were in different teams from operations often segregated in rather cold terms as “knowledge” versus “task” workers, and at its peak, corporate IT had close to 150 MDM vendors to choose among.
Just as the products were different, the MDM products aimed at corporate IT were subscription products. So, every 1-3 years, when the contract was up, they likely came to the operations IT team looking for you to adopt the same product. It looked good on paper: more seats meant potential volume discounts on licenses. For some, it also became a “turf war” for control over mobile deployments.
Frustration mounted among operations IT teams. The device management needs are (and have always been) different for managing rugged/supply chain mobile deployments. We’ve grown up with the deep control over device-specific technologies; controls like enabling specific barcode symbologies in particular use cases, or disabling device cameras as a means to protect intellectual property. Not to mention managing these mobile deployments on “dark” Wi-Fi networks, deploying targeted app/OS updates and managing segmented workgroups.
Managing device functions like these requires close relations with specific device manufacturers. Where corporate MDM players cast a wide net with support for numerous Android and iOS devices, the few (Ivanti Wavelink included) whose solutions were built for supply chain use cases and operations IT users, continued ensuring strong management of devices from the specialized hardware manufacturers included in your operations tech stack.
As the vendors for corporate MDM have consolidated, it’s become clearer that these solutions wouldn’t meet your needs. One exception: MobileIron.
When Ivanti acquired MobileIron in late 2020, the MDM and mobile security strengths of that heritage have been blended with the domain knowledge and device manufacturer relationships that businesses have trusted in Ivanti Avalanche.
Bringing the best of these together opens new opportunities for the future of your operations: continue the deep device control you’ve trusted, with enhanced mobile security and the optimized device management experience required of an Android Enterprise Recommended MDM solution.
The product is Ivanti Neurons for MDM. And it delivers what you need to ensure your mobile deployments are ready for today’s and tomorrow’s business. But it also gives you the chance to say to your corporate IT teammates: “you should use the MDM solution we’re using. It’s got your users covered.”
Take it for a test drive, and recommend your partners in corporate to do the same!