Mobile Device Management (MDM) Platform Buying Guide - Page 2

We cover everything you need to know about Mobile Device Management (MDM) products, from must-have features to vendors large and small.

 By Paul Rubens
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MDM vendors and solutions

The MDM market is dominated by a "big 5" group of vendors that control about 60% of the market (based on lines managed), according to Gartner research. The big 5 is made up of Good Technology (which alone accounts for 20% of the total market), SAP, AirWatch, MobileIron and Fiberlink Communications.


AirWatch's solution is made up of a mobile device management application, plus mobile application management and mobile email management solutions. The overall solution is available on subscription or for a one off per device fee, and can be accessed from the cloud, or run on premise on corporate servers or on an appliance.

Fiberlink Communications MaaS360

Fiberlink's MaaS360 MDM platform is unique in that it is completely cloud based. Pricing is based on number of devices managed per month, or for smaller organizations a user based system (with unlimited devices per user) is also available.

Good Technology Good for Enterprise

Good provides very secure email and containerization to protect and isolate corporate data, and enables a form of application blacklisting and whitelisting to platforms such as iOS that do not natively supports this. Popular in security-aware industries such as financial services, healthcare and legal, Good is one of the more expensive solutions.

MobileIron MDM and Connected Cloud

MobileIron offers on premise and cloud based MDM solutions. The company launched its first product in September 2009, but it has already become one of the market leaders by combining mobile device management capabilities with security, data visibility, apps management, and access control.

SAP (formerly Sybase Afaria)

A very mature and highly scalable platform, but also one of the more expensive and difficult to install. Fully featured, including expense management and an email client with embedded VPN.

Other vendors include:


Boxtone has historically been strong in the support of Blackberry devices, and its MDM integrates with BlackBerry BES as well as Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.  The company has a reputation for competitive pricing.

McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management

EMM is based on the MDM solution McAfee acquired from Trust Digital in 2010. The product leverages McAfee's ePolicy security suite and is therefore appealing to companies that are already McAfee customers. EMM provides wide platform support for current mobile platforms and legacy ones including Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile.

Mobile Active Defense

Mobile Active Defense's solution is agentless, and is offered from an on-premise server or as a service. The agentless approach supports rapid deployments. The company bills itself as a mobile security management company, with full security functionality.

Symantec Mobile Manager (SMM)

Symantec's MDM offering emphasizes security, and offers advanced iOS and Android features such as selective e-mail data wipes, full e-mail access control, selective wipe on application data, hardware asset tracking, and selective whitelist/blacklist and application management. Recent acquisitions of MDM vendor Odyssey and enterprise document management vendor Nukona mean that new capabilities will likely be added to the platform in the near future.

Tangoe MDM

Tangoe is best known as a telecom expense management (TEM) software vendor, but it also offers an MDM product or managed service which it acquired from Internoded in early 2009. MDM and TEM are now well integrated in Tangoe's offerings.

Zenprise MobileManager and Zencloud

Zenprise is a well-established company and has a large customer base for its on-premise and cloud based solutions. It is very strong on security and offers application blacklisting and an embedded VPN and sandbox to control and encrypt application traffic.


This article was originally published on Aug 16, 2012
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