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MobiControl and Afaria lead the way in a five-vendor test of mobile device management tools

When we tested mobile device management (MDM) last year, the products were largely focused on asset management - provisioning, protecting and containing mobile devices.

What a difference a year makes. The products we compared in this round of testing have much stronger controls of specific smartphones and mobile operating systems, plus features like location-based tracking, usage tracking, two-factor authentication and sandboxing of personal and corporate identities.

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Of the five MDM apps we reviewed, SOTI's MobiControl was very strong and understood specific phones and OS platforms very well. Tangoe had very strong enterprise-focused management features. Newcomer Webroot is promising, but still has work to do to catch up to the others in our test. SAP's Afaria, which we tested last year, sported a new, almost radical makeover that's a dramatic improvement over their last edition. Venerable LanDesk has added MDM to its desktop management suite, and while the installation phase gave us moderate willies, we came to appreciate the product's device controls, easy policy management and reporting.

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