• GlobalData’s latest update on the unified endpoint management (UEM) market sees market leaders (such as VMware, MobileIron, and BlackBerry) adding differentiated capabilities to foster greater adoption.
• New offerings include support for IoT devices, app performance monitoring, usage analytics, and threat management. Easy on-boarding for a remote-first workforce and integration of multiple platforms are also important to UEM customers, as COVID-19 offers unique challenges.
While UEM discovers, manages, and secures mobile devices and governs those devices’ access to enterprise applications and data just like its predecessor enterprise mobility management (EMM), UEM also provides management and control functions for traditional desktops and laptops, IoT devices, and applications used on diverse end-points. UEM also offers a wide range of additional features including secure collaboration, file editing, sharing and cloud-based file storage, mobile app customization and deployment, analytics for mobile devices and applications, and IoT device and data management and security. UEM has emerged as a mechanism for organizations to unify management of mobile and traditional endpoints as well as provision applications across multiple platforms.
Over the last six months, market leaders have raised the bar even higher with new features, while integrations with partner products and acquisitions have accelerated the addition of advanced solutions, as competitors strive to keep up with one another. Top vendors are expanding their core mobile device, application, and content management features to encompass endpoint configuration management, client-server application enablement, secure unified collaboration, usage analytics, and IoT device and data management and security. At the same time, these feature additions and integrations may add complexity, so vendors are introducing platforms that allow functionality to be “blended” via the same portal or interface. For example BlackBerry’s new Digital Workplace integrates BlackBerry Desktop, Cylance cybersecurity technology, and Awingu’s workspace aggregation capabilities into a single product.
Major vendors are working to strengthen their ability to tackle the security issues due to the surge in remote working during and after the pandemic. For instance, MobileIron’s new partnership with Adeya adds private, encrypted real-time voice and video calls, conference calls, SMS, instant messages, group chats, and file exchanges to any device. Other recent announcements include the following:
• Bell and BlackBerry announced a partnership that will add Bell’s Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) to BlackBerry’s UEM offerings. This provides endpoint security to prevent, detect and remediate malicious threats at device and application levels.
• BlackBerry announced the launch of the BlackBerry Spark platform which adds a new unified endpoint security (UES) layer, which delivers “zero trust” security.
• MobileIron announced that it is acquiring incapptic Connect. With this acquisition, MobileIron added incapptic’s mobile automation application release software which helps customer with app development and authorized app distribution.
• MobileIron announced a partnership with Adeya to provide private, end-to-end encrypted real-time voice and video calls, conference calls, SMS, IM, group chats, and file exchanges on any device.
• During the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, MobileIron announced that it will help organizations with frontline workers by allowing them to enroll an unlimited number of users and devices onto MobileIron’s UEM platform at no additional cost (for a limited time).
• VMware announced general availability of Workspace ONE capabilities aimed at addressing critical employee experience use cases, including acceleration of successful on-boarding, building new ways of working, and supporting a remote-first workforce.
• Menlo Security announced integration of its global cloud proxy platform with VMware Workspace ONE UEM to deliver mobile isolation capabilities that protect mobile devices from ransomware and phishing.
IBM (with MaaS360) and Citrix (with Citrix Endpoint Management) have also added new capabilities over the last six months. MaaS360 is now supporting Apple user enrollment mode for BYOD devices, allowing administrators to manage and protect only the corporate data on these devices instead of complete management. MaaS360 also added support for new user-less enrollment on shared Android devices, allowing administrators to enroll Android Enterprise shared devices without attributing those devices to a specific user. Citrix Endpoint Management now supports authentication with an on-premises Citrix Gateway as a preview feature. Administrators can now also customize the list of optional Active Directory user attributes. Each vendor adds new capabilities and fixes problems in bi-weekly releases.
While most UEM vendors (such as VMware) have added some level of integration with Microsoft Endpoint Manager (formerly Microsoft Intune) in order to ensure up-to-date management for Windows 10 devices, Microsoft continues to independently add its own capabilities. The latest releases include improvements for accessing applications in the Company Portal and new VPN features for Window 10 devices, among many others.
Amid vendors’ efforts to push the boundaries of the market, the majority of EMM/UEM customers still sit squarely in the middle, with enterprise mobility programs limited to managed e-mail, basic MDM features (like access management, policy enforcement, encryption, and remote wiping), and a handful of corporate-deployed applications. A recent GlobalData survey of ICT budget plans among 4,000 enterprises found that about 65% of businesses plan to use used mobile device management post-COVID-19 and 67% will use mobile content management solutions. These numbers imply a healthy market for UEM solutions, even if not all capabilities are used. Arguably the biggest challenge UEM vendors face is the one they’ve been seeking to solve for years, namely how to help current and prospective customers mature their business processes and approaches to mobility, in turn creating the need for advanced UEM features.