Mobile device management tools make sense when you are trying to control who can access your enterprise network and applications from particular phones and tablets. But to effectively evaluate these products, you should first identify what you're trying to control: the apps on particular devices, the pairing of a user with his device, the device itself, or the files on each device.
We looked at six products: AirWatch, Apperian EASE, BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 (BES10), Divide, Fixmo, and Good Technology's Good for Enterprise. Each has a somewhat different perspective and different strengths in terms of what it can control best. (Watch the slideshow version.)
All support Android and iOS devices, and some also support BlackBerries, Windows Phones, and even (in the case of AirWatch) desktops. Pricing varied between $20 to $75 per user or per device per year, and will depend on the particular features, with quantity discounts typically available. The most transparent pricing schemes came from AirWatch and BlackBerry. We wish others would follow their lead.
Certainly, assembling the various bits and pieces of a typical MDM solution isn't easy: in between the server and client components there is a lot of other stuff that interacts with a great portion of your network infrastructure, including Active Directory, Web proxies, email servers and firewall rules.
For example, some of the solutions we tested tightly couple with Active Synch so that you can save deployment time and use your existing security policy frameworks in Active Directory. But your own Active Directory implementation may not have any of these fields enumerated, so this may not be as useful as it sounds.