"We have two different support groups working alongside of each other. That causes a surprising amount of grief" at Hillarys, says Bond. For example, the internal sales management app has desktop and mobile versions, but users must talk to two different groups to get the issues addressed. "As we are starting to move enterprise apps onto mobile, I'm having to rethink how I support that."
Kadlec Health Systems' CIO Dave Roach chose Good Technology's Good for Enterprise to manage 2,500 Android and iOS devices that employees bring to work. He likes Good's mature containerization technology, which isolates the healthcare provider's business applications and data within a secure container on the user's phone, and he found that the administrative user interface was easier to use than were other products tested. But now he's testing desktop virtualization to provide access to electronic medical records software, and he likes the idea of enabling virtual access to that same application on mobile devices through Citrix's mobile management suite.
Like many organizations, Kadlec still has BlackBerry users -- about 500 of them -- so his staff is evaluating BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. The new release, launched in January, can now manage Android and iOS as well as BlackBerry devices. "Had RIM been able to support Android and iOS before, we wouldn't have looked at Good and we would have had one solution to manage," Roach says. But with the BlackBerry population shrinking, the decision is no longer a slam-dunk. "We'll have to see whether that meets all of our needs or not," he says.
Scholastic is moving off BoxTone and going with AirWatch's SaaS offering for 1,000 BlackBerries, 1,200 iPhones and 100 or so employee-owned smartphones. "BoxTone is on premises and we spent a lot of time and energy to keep it going," he says. While the vendor introduced its own SaaS option last year, Abraham felt that AirWatch's implementation was more mature. "AirWatch aligns well with our cloud strategy," he says.
Advice from the trenches
When selecting an MDM product, Abraham recommends testing the quality of support and making sure the core features work as advertised. "BoxTone does a better job than AirWatch managing BlackBerries," he says. But Abraham has experienced problems with the accuracy of BoxTone's inventory screen in the recent past (a problem BoxTone says has been remedied). "Whatever you look at, ensure that it does your basics and does them well," he advises.
Containerization approaches also differ - there are no industry standards -- so it's important to test. With BoxTone, for example, when a new app is pushed to the secure container the user has to log in to the container to find and use it, says Abraham, while with AirWatch, "It just kind of appears."
Look for tight integration with email, CenterBeam's Pirooz advises. Some MDM software can disable an account that was hacked but can't take down the user's mailbox itself, he says. One reason he likes Tivoli Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices is that if it detects a jailbroken device, it can shut down the person's mailbox. In this way the person can't get his email from any device until he comes forward to resolve the issue.
The tools are changing quickly, so it's also important to reassess, Pirooz says. He was required to use Tivoli Endpoint Manager in his previous position at EDS and wasn't impressed. But since then IBM acquired and integrated BigFix into Tivoli. "Now it's much better," he says.