JRB - Fotolia
Unified endpoint management tools are a sophisticated group of products that provide management, security, configuration and deployment services for applications and devices running on Windows 10, macOS, iOS, Chrome, Android, Linux, the internet of things (IoT) and wearables. There is wide diversity in how UEM tools accomplish these tasks, so it can be a challenge for organizations to single out the most suitable platform for their environment. UEM buyers should make note that all of the products profiled below are suitable for SMBs and enterprises and offer free evaluation periods.
There are several important points to keep in mind during a unified endpoint management (UEM) software evaluation:
- Consider Gartner's Magic Quadrant rankings and the Customer Choice ratings.
- Products from larger corporations -- such as Microsoft, Blackberry, VMware and IBM -- have a wide suite of tools that merge into various sub-products for UEM. This provides for more features, but can be confusing as to which ones are necessary or which ones actually make up the UEM platform.
- If IT is already familiar with one vendor, it may be a wise investment to stick with them as this could mean reduced costs and an easier integration process.
SureMDM, the UEM platform for 42Gears, has a 4.7 of 5 rating by Gartner's Customer Choice awards -- the highest rating of any of the products in Gartner's 2019 Magic Quadrant report. SureMDM is one of the few products that supports all OS types, including Linux desktops, IoT devices, wearables, ruggedized devices, kiosks and printers. It boasts unlimited scalability and flexible licensing, including free licensing for up to five devices. The product is limited in what it offers for a software developer kit (SDK), so SureMDM is limited in custom app security and development. It provides no support for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). The product offers on premises as well as cloud platform support, but the on-premises version has some limitations and is only available through per-device licensing.
SureMDM has three pricing categories for buyers to consider:
- Free: Fives devices.
- Standard: $3.99 monthly per device.
- Premium: $5.94 monthly per device.
- Enterprise: $7.99 monthly per device.
Licensing options are per device, SaaS and monthly.
BlackBerry, once a leader in mobile devices, is now a significant player in the UEM market with its UEM product, included in BlackBerry's Enterprise Mobility Suite. BlackBerry stands out amongst the competition with a comprehensive suite of mobility products -- such as BlackBerry Workspaces, BlackBerry Dynamics for security and a custom identity and access management (IAM) product -- that can be mixed and matched to build products. UEM is available in all the Blackberry Enterprise Mobility suite editions:
- Management Edition: Includes UEM, a secure browser and native email.
- Enterprise Edition: Includes UEM, a secure browser, native email and secure email
- Collaboration Edition: Includes UEM, a secure browser, native email, secure email, file and message collaboration, independent software vendor (ISV) application and IAM.
- Application Edition: Includes UEM, a secure browser, native email, secure email, file and message collaboration, ISV application, IAM, SDK and custom internal applications
- Content Edition: Includes UEM, a secure browser, native email, secure email, file and message collaboration, ISV applications, IAM, SDK, customer internal applications and Workspaces.
Contact BlackBerry directly for pricing information.
Licensing varies by edition.
Citrix is one of the few vendors that supports VDI desktop environments with its Citrix Endpoint Management product, formerly known as XenMobile. Citrix also interfaces with Microsoft's Office 365 apps and Intune-enabled apps and supports policies for on-premises Microsoft Exchange Server.
Pricing is per device and per user. The Advanced version begins at $110 per device and $143 per user. For the Enterprise edition, prospective customers should contact Citrix directly.
Licensing is based on the selected editions.
IBM's UEM platform, MaaS360, is a strictly cloud-based tool that can fully integrate with IBM's Watson for strong analytics capabilities. MaaS360 supports legacy versions of Windows and has a broad array of feature support, which includes IoT and wearables. IBM markets its focus on security and features like Mobile Threat Defense as its key differentiator.
Since MaaS360 is a service only, it is priced per user or per device. There are four editions:
- Essentials: $4 per device or $8 per user.
- Deluxe: $5 per device or $10 per user.
- Premier: $6.25 per device or $12.50 per user.
- Enterprise: $9 per device or $18 per user.
For licensing, there are monthly or annual billing options with annual commitment.
Ivanti offers two UEM products: Endpoint Manager, which geared mostly toward SMBs, and the more fully featured Unified Endpoint Manager, which includes Windows 10 user profile migration, data normalization and other features that the former lacks. Ivanti provides support for most of the OS platforms, including Linux as well as some support for IoT and wearables. However, it lacks containerization, SDK, Office 365 management configuration features and IAM features. Ivanti identified the following as its differentiating features:
- a client self-electing platform, which reduces infrastructure management;
- passive discovery to find network devices; and
- dynamic bandwidth awareness -- limiting traffic necessary to manage devices in low bandwidth networks.
Contact Ivanti for pricing and a custom quote.
Contact Ivanti for licensing information.
ManageEngine offers the on-premises Desktop Central, which supports Linux and pre-Windows 10, but not VDI or Office 365. While it does not offer an SDK or IAM package, it does provide separate Active Directory (AD) management software packages. Its key differentiators include 250 prebuilt scripts, support for up to 40,000 machines with one server instance and a pricing model that includes a free edition for up to 25 laptops and 25 mobile devices, and individual endpoint management for less than $2 per month.
- Free: Up to 25 laptops and 25 mobile devices.
- Professional: $795 per year.
- Enterprise: $945 per year.
- UEM: $1,095 per year.
Monthly and annual and single user licensing is available.
Editor's note: Using extensive research into unified endpoint management technology, TechTarget editors focused this series of articles on vendors that combine capabilities of enterprise mobility management and mobile device management with a considerable market presence. Our research included Gartner, Forrester Research and TechTarget surveys.
Microsoft offers Intune for their UEM platform as part of their Enterprise Mobility and Security suite. The company claims that it provides endpoint management for over 175 million devices worldwide. Microsoft users can access UEM functions from other products as well; for instance, Office365 also includes UEM capabilities, and the suite utilizes System Center Configuration Management, Intune, Azure and others to round out the feature set. Microsoft's key differentiator is its Microsoft Shop licensing agreement, which makes the suite (and its UEM capabilities) available to other Microsoft users for no extra cost. However, Microsoft found that a large percentage of those who own their UEM product don't use it -- probably because they didn't know they had it.
While each of these components are available stand-alone, the systems work best together. Most customers end up choosing either Enterprise Mobility and Security E3/E5 or Microsoft 365 E3/E5, which include UEM tools.
Pricing is applied per user or per device. The E3 version begins at $8.74 monthly per user and the E5 version at $14.80 monthly per user. Intune is available for purchase separately for $6 monthly per user.
Licensing is monthly with an annual commitment.
MobileIron's Unified Endpoint Management and the larger Enterprise Mobility Management platform have a reported customer base of over 17,000 companies, and the company hold a patent on its enterprise app store. The MobileIron's product contains features such as third-party VDI support, SDK and IoT and wearables support, in addition to a full suite of IAM features that even includes "zero sign-on" access. Buyers should note that the popular MobileIron Access and MobileIron Threat Defense are separate from the UEM product.
Pricing for licenses comes in three tiers (Silver, Gold and Platinum) on a per device and per user basis.
Subscription pricing for UEM Silver starts at $48/year (list price). Contact MobileIron directly for the other edition pricing.
Licensing is perpetual for on-premises, and subscription-based (annual/monthly) for cloud and on premises.
The Sophos Mobile product supports both Windows 10 and macOS devices. However, the product does not include IAM, indicating that customers would have to supply a separate IAM product, such as AD, but it is not clear what connectors Sophos has for this. Sophos provides a suite of three products with varying levels of UEM features:
- Mobile Security: Management is only through Sophos Central.
- Mobile Standard: Management is through either Sophos Central or on premises and includes device and application management.
- Mobile Advanced: Management is through either Sophos Central or on premises. It includes device, application and content management as well as Sophos Container, mobile security for Android and Mobile SDK.
Pricing may be obtained via a direct quote from the company.
Licensing is based on functionality.
- Central Mobile Advanced
- Central Mobile Standard
- Mobile Advanced
- Mobile Standard
VMware's Workspace One has a full suite of products to support UEM, especially since the company added AirWatch to the suite in 2014. Some of the product features include MDM, wearable and peripheral management, Advanced Desktop Management and telecom management tools. VMware distinguishes itself with its robust Workspace One environment, a secure digital "desktop" that provides a secure online environment for users with Workspace One Tunnel to connect VMWare and third-party party apps and to Microsoft's System Center Configuration Management.
- Standard: $3.78 per device, $6.52 per user
- Advanced: $6.00 per device, $10.90 per user
- Enterprise: $10.00 per device, $15.00 per user
- Enterprise for VDI: $20.00 per device, $25.00 per user
Licensing is applied by the product edition and per device, or per user, as noted above.