Since its inception, mobile device management (MDM) has been a simple way to ensure that devices used for corporate purposes stay within policy guidelines. It was cut and dried: If you could locate, lock and wipe devices, you were all set.

Over the years, however, business needs have become more complex, and apps and content now require secure access. To accommodate this shift, MDM evolved into enterprise mobility management (EMM).

Effective management requires even more advanced capabilities to keep up with the ever-changing mobile landscape. On top of managing laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, enterprise IT and security leaders must oversee applications, documents, content, data and user access and identity.

This is where unified endpoint management (UEM) comes into play.

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How Does UEM Differ From MDM?

The functionality that MDM supplies is quite basic and falls short of what UEM can do. MDM can manage users’ devices through policies and compliance rules — and not much else. UEM takes this a few steps further, consolidating its own unique features with traditional MDM and EMM capabilities.

UEM features and capabilities include the following:

  • Mobile device management (MDM)
  • Mobile application management (MAM)
  • Mobile content management (MCM)
  • Mobile threat management (MTM)
  • Containerization
  • Identity and access management (IAM)

This diverse range of capabilities enables IT and security leaders to better balance the critical functions of user productivity and corporate security.

UEM Enables Easy Enrollment

Unshackled from the requirements of on-domain registration, users and their devices can be enrolled into a UEM solution right over the air, which rarely requires IT intervention. To streamline the setup process, UEM supports enrollment programs like Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP), Microsoft’s Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) and Google’s Android Zero-Touch Enrollment.

As an added bonus, UEM integrates with existing infrastructure, such as Microsoft Active Directory/Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (AD/LDAP). This helps IT saves time and cost by simply importing AD/LDAP records and groups directly into the solution, rather than rebuilding them. UEM’s app-based and application programming interface (API) enrollment options make it fast and simple for both IT and users to get up and running in no time.

Boost Productivity Without Compromising Security

UEM includes IAM capabilities with distribution options for smartphones and tablets. By enabling single sign-on (SSO) to web and cloud apps via the desktop, IT teams can ensure quick, intuitive and secure access. It also gives users access to encrypted content repositories and support for the following third-party file sharing apps:

  • Box
  • Windows File Share
  • Google Drive
  • One Drive
  • SharePoint
  • Salesforce
  • Concur

With these features, security teams can confidently verify users and grant them access to corporate data via their mobile devices. This level of integration sets UEM apart from MDM solutions because it enables productivity without sacrificing security.

AI Delivers Deeper Insights

In addition to exceeding the capabilities of MDM and EMM, UEM goes even further by harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) integrations to deliver deep insights and contextual analytics. With this technology, UEM can provide IT teams with recommendations on industry policies and malicious threats to their environment — and even beneficial information to make the enterprise more productive.

AI also takes on tedious tasks, such as malware analysis, freeing up overworked security professionals to tackle more urgent tasks. In the event of a new malware attack, for example, an IT team using a traditional MDM or EMM solution would have to research the threat, determine who is most affected, search for patches, download and apply them to users and follow up to measure the success of the remediation effort. With UEM and AI, the IT admin would automatically receive an alert about the malware, what it can do, who’s affected and what patch is needed and fix the issue with a few short clicks.

Watch this video to learn more about IBM MaaS360 with Watson Advisor:

Download the e-book:Unified Endpoint Management for Dummies, IBM Limited Edition

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