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Mobility + Telecom - What You Need to Know

The technology landscape continues to shift with the introduction of new devices, a growing remote and mobile workforce, and rising expectations from mobile employees. And while Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) initiatives have traditionally been popular choices for companies because enterprises save money on device procurement and monthly service charges, BYOD can also make ongoing security and device management more difficult. That’s primarily because when employees own their ‘work’ devices, they’re far less likely to update enterprise applications or security software, and that’s if they even install security programs in the first place. On top of that, a BYOD mobility strategy pushes more burdens onto internal IT teams to manage a wide variety of devices. When employees are free to bring their personal devices into work, IT teams are left managing different device brands, models, and operating systems. This diversity can mean bigger support requirements too. That’s because inevitably users have questions about connecting devices, accessing applications, and, of course, password resets.

Facing these challenges, what can companies do to get smarter about balancing telecom and mobility needs? It starts with Mobile Device Management (MDM). MDM solutions enable centralized management of both business-owned and BYOD personal smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Smart MDM policies, backed by an integrated MDM solution, allow IT teams, to get a handle on their telecom and mobility challenges by making it more manageable to secure and enforce policies for devices used for work. There are several options for MDM and mobile application management, including a solution from Microsoft. New changes coming to Microsoft’s ‘hybrid’ MDM solution may leave enterprises asking, what do we do next?

Changes to MDM are coming

The Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is a solution it calls ‘hybrid MDM.’ Microsoft is discontinuing development for the hybrid connector solution, including policies, apps, and security. Previously using it, customers could manage mobile devices through SCCM by using a connector to Intune. Microsoft is urging users to adopt Intune on Azure for MDM instead. The MDM system is a service hosted by Microsoft for mobile device and mobile application management. It allows for the co-management of devices, where customers get both on-premise and cloud-based management capabilities. Microsoft will bundle advanced mobility management options using Microsoft 365 solutions, including using Office 365 applications, Windows 10, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security offering, which includes Intune. To switch to Intune on Azure, Microsoft recommends synchronizing groups with Azure Active Directory and importing data with Microsoft's Data Importer tool. (Source: Redmond Channel Partner).

Exploring other options

For those not wanting to switch to Intune on Azure, there are other MDM options out there. Another cloud-based platform is VMware’s Workspace One Unified Endpoint Management solution. It works by deploying micro-VPNs for mobile users which enables IT teams, to implement centralized security policies and manage the operating systems across devices. (Source: VMWare). Cisco Meraki Systems Manager and IBM’s MaaS360 are two other MDM solutions that help to safeguard mobile devices and give IT teams a powerful suite of tools to handle management and security from a single screen (Source: Spiceworks).

Linking mobility and innovation

Mobile technology is now a critical component to supporting innovation in the workplace. But, IT teams need tools to efficiently configure and activate devices and simplify management and security. But, getting mobile device management right can be tough too. That's especially true if your business has become accustomed to using ‘hybrid MDM’ with Microsoft Intune. Whatever route your organization takes, mobile device management solutions can help you keep pace with more mobile devices in the workplace, while supporting innovation - giving teams instant access to secure data whenever and wherever they need it.

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