QUICK Poll: What MDM Do You Use

bevo_79's picture

bevo_79

Joined: Aug 23, 2016
WWW
Your rating: None (2 votes)

What is everybody's preference for MDMs? We currently have a solution, but are looking to change.

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funkaround's picture

funkaround

Joined: Apr 3, 2014

Airwatch - managing around

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Airwatch - managing around 500 devices

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bevo_79's picture

bevo_79

Joined: Mar 24, 2014
WWW

That is one that we are

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That is one that we are looking at. How do you like it?

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funkaround's picture

funkaround

Joined: Apr 3, 2014

Bits of it are great, their

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Bits of it are great, their setup and support isn't brilliant. They've messed up VPP managed distribution for us, we've got a load of licenses for apps and books that we cant push. But its got a great front-end and lots of reporting and it can manage every type of device and platform. They also update very regularly and are often ready with updates and new functionality when OS updates for devices become available.

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bprenger's picture

bprenger

Joined: Mar 7, 2014
WWW

We are in the process of

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We are in the process of Switching from Absolute Manage (extremely unhappy with it) to AirWatch. We manage approximately 5,000 devices in our district (iPads). I am so far, very happy with it, but I'm still in training and designing the implementation. Most of my "issues" are a result of limitations because of Apple's approach to MDM, and not the MDM itself. (No wireless deployment model for Configurator being my main issue)

-Brandon Prenger
Zeeland Public Schools
1:1 Device Coordinator

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Joshua Elvey's picture

Joshua Elvey

Joined: Nov 14, 2013

MDM

Your rating: None

We use AirWatch to manage roughly 100 iPads. I would recommend it because it's relatively simple to learn and use. Also, I would agree with the positives posted in the previous comments. They seem to have changed their support model after their recent acquisition, which I'm not a fan of. I used to get immediate help from an engineer when I called, but now I go through a process of creating a ticket, being referred to instruction pages, emails back and forth, and then a phone call. This sometimes takes a day or two.

bevo - what's your current solution?

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dimzen's picture

dimzen

Joined: Aug 22, 2012

GOOD

Your rating: None

GOOD with about 1000 iOS, Android, Symbian & Windows devices.

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bevo_79's picture

bevo_79

Joined: Mar 24, 2014
WWW

We currently use LANDesk to

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We currently use LANDesk to manage roughly 2500 devices (phones and tablets)

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jb's picture

jb

Joined: Mar 20, 2014

JAMF Casper for about 100

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JAMF Casper for about 100 iPads. It's easy enough, though there's some unintuitive parts.

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MaciekSA's picture

MaciekSA

Joined: Apr 19, 2013

Familiar with both AirWatch and MobileIron

Your rating: None

Having deployed both AirWatch and MobileIron into organisations of varying sizes, they key to choosing the right EMM for your business is fully understanding the needs of the business and it's users and aligning them with IT. In a way which enables more than restricts, while protecting and securing the corporate and the users.

I recently wrote an article on this happy to post it but not sure if rules allow?

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alex_ivaylov's picture

alex_ivaylov

Joined: Jun 20, 2013
WWW

moving from profilemanager to airwatch

Your rating: None

At the moment we are using Apple's profile manager but we are finding it too limited in what it can offer. For that reason we are switching to air watch at the moment.

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Aaron Freimark's picture

Aaron Freimark

Joined: Nov 6, 2010
WWW

Please do post

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I recently wrote an article on this happy to post it but not sure if rules allow?

Please do post it!

http://www.enterpriseios.com/node/add/story

--
Aaron Freimark, Enterprise iOS founder & GroundControl CEO

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MaciekSA's picture

MaciekSA

Joined: Apr 19, 2013

Done!

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It's there...and has appeared on 2 other sites Wink

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mattinmotion's picture

mattinmotion

Joined: Jan 24, 2014

What do you not like about

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What do you not like about Absolute Manage? We are currently using AirWatch with about 5000 devices, and are very unimpressed with their handling of VPP Managed Distribution (many users can't get paid apps), and their support has become terrible. We're actually speaking with Absolute next week.

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SheriffDane's picture

SheriffDane

Joined: Apr 22, 2014

MDM for K-12 academy

Your rating: None

For those who don't like their current MDM, can you provide details?

I'm at a k-12 school with about 1000 students, we currently use Meraki to manage our 300 iPads in carts. In the next couple of weeks we are receving 750 more iPads that will be distributed to the older students and faculty, all 1-1 and they will be taking the iPads home with them. I'm currently evaluating our MDM options for these 750 iPads, they will be the only devices managed under the new MDM system (the cart iPads will be managed with either Apple Configurator or Meraki) and there will be no BYOD.

Right now we're leaning towards either Casper or Absolute, but we're open to other options (such as Airwatch or Maas360) if we come across compelling reasons. The iPads will be owned by the school and used for textbooks and educational apps (using VPP whenever possible), but students will also be allowed to install apps and music from their personal AppleIDs, and customize the iPads to their liking. Any advice is definitely appreciated, I'm trying to find differentiation between our main options as best as I can, but it has proven difficult in our situation (no BYOD, only iOS/iPads, all 1-to-1). Quality and speed of support will be important, and classroom management controls (like Casper Focus) that the teachers can easily use will also factor into our decision. Please share any feedback or personal experience you may have!

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bprenger's picture

bprenger

Joined: Mar 7, 2014
WWW

re: MDM for K-12 academy

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I hate to badmouth any particular MDM, however I'm unhappy with Absolute fore the simple reason that they consistently seem to be at odds with Apple. During the iOS 7 release, it took them nearly 3 months to get their "absoluteapps" application (necessary at the time for self service of VPP apps) updated to support iOS7. To be fair, they did have the option for a self-sign managed version of that app that was not deployed through the itunes store. We chose not to use that as it seemed unnecessary.

We are going with AirWatch. And though it doesn't solve all of our problems (A wireless version of Configurator would be excellent for managing carts), it does offer a lot of features that I like. Their App Catalog allows us to approve apps to their stand alone app store. We have it set to disable the apple app store, (it enables for a minute or so when they download an app from the app catalog). To counter this, we are using their compliance engine to keep students on track. I whitelisted all of the apps in the catalog, and told it to push message the device every minute if an unapproved app is installed as well as email them once with the names of the offending apps, then after a day if it is still an issue I have it email me. Beyond that you can automate it to start pulling profiles (wireless, email, or even wipe the device).

Another reason we chose to go with Airwatch is the issues we've had with global proxy. At the middle school level (the only devices in our district that go home and are offsite filtered), we currently have a proxy. It's been a horrible experience with https authentication errors and constant popups. We are going to use the Airwatch browser, and disable safari. We are able to use their MAG (Mobile Access Gateway) to filter the web browser traffic back through our filtered network in lieu of using the buggy proxy. This isn't a perfect solution, as some apps have built in browsers that won't get filtered, but it's usable and that is more important at the moment.

I sound like a salesman, i know. I'm just excited to have a little more control over our devices, and being a 4 person tech department managing 5,600 iPads...every bit of automation we can get is going to help.

-Brandon Prenger
Zeeland Public Schools
1:1 Device Coordinator

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SheriffDane's picture

SheriffDane

Joined: Apr 22, 2014

Thank you for the feedback

Your rating: None

Thank you for the feedback Brandon. A lot of the Airwatch features you mentioned would not apply in our situation, but I like how Airwatch can be configured to e-mail the students first, giving them time to fix compliance issues themselves before it is brought to my attention.

I had a meeting with a couple Apple reps last week, and Absolute was one of the MDMs they mentioned as being the fastest to integrate new features, so I am surprised to hear your complaint. Were there any other issues with Absolute that you could mention?

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bprenger's picture

bprenger

Joined: Mar 7, 2014
WWW

I only had one other pressing

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I only had one other pressing issue, and I was never able to rectify it because we were in such a large live environment that resetting the server was not an option.

Randomly when enrolling a device, the configuration profiles would not be pushed to the iPads. This was somewhat intermittent, but as you can imagine when enrolling 400-600 devices at a time, this severely slowed the process.

Over the last 3 years my observations have been that Absolute will release a feature (such as device location/tracking) that takes advantage of (what apple calls) a loophole. Apple patches/fixes the hole and breaks said functionality. Then at the next OS release Absolute seems to lag behind in being fully supported. From an outside perspective it seems like a bit of a catfight between them at times. It's all speculation, but after talking to a couple of Apple Systems Engineers, they seem to share my concerns.

The Reps I've spoken to have seemed to pretty consistantly recommend Casper (Jamf), AirWatch and FileWave. I am getting the impression there isn't a lot of consensus on "the best" mdm between their reps.

-Brandon Prenger
Zeeland Public Schools
1:1 Device Coordinator

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damntech's picture

damntech

Joined: Jun 12, 2012

Absolute.

Your rating: None

We are a K12 and Absolute does have one of the more affordable MDMs, which may be in part why is is so popular in K12. However, they over commit it a bit on the features then when it came time we found the lesser features they committed to just weren't there. Like many of the smaller MDMs they lack integration options for NAC solutions. They are also pretty late with new OS support updates, usually a couple weeks for iOS and other Mobile OSes they are much later. We demoed Airwatch and MobileIron and we are still on their marketing lists and every time a new IOS update comes through or we have a problem we see a correlation with what we found Absolute is lacking. I guess what it comes down to is we wish we didn't make the mistake and think we are only going to do a couple simple things and to save a few bucks. When the reality has become we need to be doing things like bprenger is doing with the Airwatch and their Compliance Engine and their Mobile Access Gateway.

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damntech's picture

damntech

Joined: Jun 12, 2012

Absolute.

Your rating: None

Absolutes bread and butter has been device tracking, LoJack. So they do their best with that and for us it has always worked.

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mattinmotion's picture

mattinmotion

Joined: Jan 24, 2014

Can anyone with Absolute

Your rating: None

Can anyone with Absolute chime in with their experiences compared to what we've dealt with so far with Airwatch? Have you seen similar problems? Any particular lingering issues you're experiencing?

Currently we have Airwatch, and we've had a terrible time with VPP managed distribution apps. Some users are able to install managed distribution apps, while others attempt to download them from Airwatch's App Catalog, but the apps never download. The apps show as "pending install" in the Airwatch console, but the apps never install. We currently have more than 100 users that are unable to download all of the managed distribution apps that are assigned to them.

Here is a list of some of the bigger issues we've had to deal with:

1) Day one of deployment we were on-premise. The database crapped out on us and Airwatch couldn't figure out why. We ended up having to move to SAAS just so we'd have a working environment.
2) Uploading our VPP token to Airwatch errored out on the user end, but made a database entry, so every time we attempted to upload the token a new entry was made in the database. Airwatch only supports one token, so they had to go in and remove the other tokens from the database.
3) Only some of our users were alerted by email that they needed to accept the VPP terms form apple to download managed distribution apps. There is no way for us to tell who has and who hasn't accepted the terms.
4) Users that didn't get the email to accept the terms and attempted to download the app are presented with a page telling them to click the link to accept the VPP terms. The link field is blank, and they can't accept the terms.
5) We have several apps that show -1 licenses available so nobody that has accepted the VPP terms can download them
6) We have many users that have accepted the terms but can't download the VPP apps assigned to them.

Airwatch is quick at announcing they have day one support, but our experience has been the new features don't actually work. When attempting to use new features that are listed in their updated documentation, and it doesn't work, we are usually told it is a known bug, and it will be fixed in a later hot fix.

Deploying managed distribution apps, for all intents and purposes, is completely broken in our environment. We have opened numerous tickets with Airwatch for our various VPP issues, they all get "escalated" to QA, and then they close our ticket saying it is a known problem. We're constantly having to wait for the next hot fix.

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SheriffDane's picture

SheriffDane

Joined: Apr 22, 2014

Great info everyone, thank

Your rating: None

Great info everyone, thank you for the feedback. We are leaning towards Casper at this point for our iPads, I am still speaking with other vendors to make sure we've considered all of our options.

Does anyone have anything negative to say about Casper, besides the price?

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nsdjoey's picture

nsdjoey

Joined: Aug 27, 2012

Casper Rocks

Your rating: None (2 votes)

Hi all,

I know I'm a little late to this thread, but thought I'd chime in... we've been using Casper for over 2 years now to manage our 8,500 Mac OS X computers and 1,000+ iPads in our school district and its been great. Their products are great and their support staff is fantastic. I have nothing but good things to say about JAMF. Highly recommended!

~Joe

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