Over the past two months, some of my time has been dedicated to a very specific project for a customer. Simply put, I was charged with evaluating seven of the top MDM suppliers (think “magic quadrant”) to find one the most technically suitable for a customer. To me, this is a busman’s holiday. I am already interested in this market area but actually getting work-time to sit down and evaluate products, talk to vendors and compare them is a gift. Some observations.
- This is a very competitive marketplace. It is difficult to find differentiators between many of the vendors.
- Key product differentiators between some of the companies early to the game and “chasers” are disappearing fast.
- Almost all can do SaaS, on-premises or hybrid solutions.
- Always think latency.
- The cornerstone architecture of all of them is very similar, with software placed on-premises that communicates with the enterprise mail servers.
- Apple only open their gates a little, so the leading brands pretty much have equal mdm features in that space.
- Samsung SAFE is going to get very important in the corporate world. RIM should be concerned as now “consumer” devices are starting to offer serious encryption and data separation. This is only beginning.
- Geofencing is very very cool. Location tracking of devices is nothing new, but applying policies based on them has many use cases. Your rules may vary of course.
- Products that check to see if the device is encrypted are cool. Really cool ones encrypt all their data and applications on top of the device encryption.
- The MDM companies boast fantastic growth rates
- This is a fast moving world. Products “designed by committee” may not be able to keep up.
A few more human-related observations
- I appreciate the market is busy. But having to chase vendors to get a technical demo and practically beg for conference calls really puts me off recommending you to anyone.
- A deadline is not a target. It’s a deadline.
- If the premise of your presentation is saying how bad all the competitors are compared to you, it is an opportunity missed.
- There are a lot more “old” devices in the corporate world than you may think. IPAQs anyone?