10 mobile device management leaders to help control BYOD

Managing devices in a BYOD environment is no small feat, and the right mobile device management product is a key component in making it work. Here are 10 top MDM vendors in the market today.

BYOD, MDM, Mobile Device Management

Consumers love their smartphones and tablets, so it should come as no surprise that they want to use their devices at work. The pressure to develop and deploy a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy is on and coming from every direction, including the 'C' suite of executives who tend to be especially keen on using smartphones and tablets for their work.

Managing devices in a BYOD environment is no small feat, and the right mobile device management (MDM) product is a key component in making it work. Here are 10 leading MDM vendors in the market today, drawn from the leaders and visionaries in Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software.

AirWatch

AirWatch

Identified as a leader by Gartner, AirWatch more than doubled its customer base in 2012 based on the breadth and maturity of its MDM offering, which includes enhanced mobile security, application security and management, mobile content management, mobile email management and enterprise back-end infrastructure integration. Gartner recommends it for companies of all sizes, especially those with broad MDM needs.

MobileIron

MobileIron

This marks the third year in a row that MobileIron has been named to the leaders quadrant in MDM. Its MDM offering is largely an on-premises appliance-based device, though it does have a SaaS offering. Gartner notes its main MDM products are the mobile policy configure engine VSP 5.5 and Sentry, though it also offers mobile software and content management products. Gartner recommends MobileIron for companies of all sizes, especially if they want an appliance model.

Citrix

Citrix

Citrix is a global public company that pushed its way into the leaders quadrant this year with the 2012 launch of CloudGateway 2 for mobile and the acquisition of an MDM market leader, Zenprise. Its XenMobile MDM offering features both application containerization and data containerization. Gartner reports that Citrix's access to channel partnerships and direct sales support will accelerate XenMobile's growth and awareness this year. Gartner says the Citrix solution should be assessed by companies of all sizes and industry segments.

Good Technology

Good Technology

Good Technology has been in the MDM business since 2000 and maintains its position in the leaders quadrant. Its Good for Enterprise (GFE) mobility suite offers security, management, mobile application development and management, content management and mobile collaboration. Gartner notes that it offers a unique form of corporate containerization across multiple mobile device OSes that establishes complete isolation of the corporate footprint from personal content. Gartner recommends it for companies of all sizes, especially those with a focus on data protection and security, secure enterprise email and secure integration with third-party and custom enterprise applications.

Fiberlink Communications

Fiberlink Communications

Fiberlink Communications has been in the MDM business since 2007 and maintains its position in the leaders quadrant. Its MaaS360 is a pure MDM multitenant cloud offering that supports containerization, enterprise app stores and mobile content management, including SharePoint access and sharing document links in email. As a result of the cloud model, Gartner notes that it tends to serve organizations that aren't constrained by strict regulations that make adopting a cloud model difficult. Gartner recommends it for companies of all sizes and industries, but only if they can support a cloud model.

SAP

SAP

Another member of the leader's quadrant, SAP offers Afaria, the most mature platform on this list. First created for laptops in 1997 and deployed on Palm and Windows devices not long after, Afaria emphasizes scalability, integration, application development and usability, though Gartner notes it also has critical security and management features. Gartner recommends that companies consider SAP's Afaria if they invest in new and existing SAP products and services, or stand to benefit from tighter linkages between application development tools and MDM platforms.

BoxTone

BoxTone

BoxTone, with eight years in the MDM market, has been a long-established player in the BlackBerry space and is known for its deep integration with BlackBerry Exchange Server, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and Good Technologies. Seated in Gartner's visionaries quadrant, it has a strong presence in regulated markets like financial, government and healthcare. Gartner recommends it for enterprises and managed service providers with hybrid mobility server and container environments with service-level and workflow management requirements.

SOTI

SOTI

A member of the visionaries quadrant, Ontario, Canada-based SOTI focuses its efforts on providing strong support for system-level containerization, though it also supports an SDK solution when that's not possible (with iOS, for example). It also offers application with data isolation for corporate email and to isolate corporate and personal content. Gartner suggests companies consider it if they require strong device management capabilities, especially coupled with a need to support a wide range of Android- based devices.

Symantec

Symantec

Global security company Symantec is another member of the visionaries quadrant. Gartner notes that its integrated MDM product suite, Symantec Mobile Management Suite, comprises a strong enterprise mobile offering, including the ability to wrap apps. Though it has emphasized mobile solutions since its acquisition of Altiris in 2007, and has continued to expand its MDM offerings in policy and application management, Gartner says that it has struggled to gain mind share and market presence. Gartner says companies of all sizes and in all regions should consider Symantec, especially if they already use it for enterprise security.

IBM

IBM

Though the most venerable company on this list, IBM is a relative newcomer to the MDM space, with offerings developed from its acquisition of BigFix in 2010. Its IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices provides MDM with the same infrastructure used to manage PCs, Macs and servers. Gartner says it offers solid device management functionality for iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Phone, BlackBerry and Windows RT. The company is also investing to expand its enteprrise mobile offerings, including integration with the Worklight mobile application development platform. Gartner recommends that large companies looking for support across client and mobile devices consider IBM's offering.

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