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MDM tools: Features and functions compared

Today's crop of software does much more than manage mobile hardware.

January 15, 2014 07:20 AM ET

Mobile device management tools are transforming into veritable "Swiss army knives." But while all cover the basics when it comes to hardware management, there are differences when it comes to some of the extended features you may require.

This checklist is a good first step for assessing which products you might want to focus in on. But experts caution that there can be big differences in how features are deployed and work in the real world, so be sure to do extensive testing prior to deployment.

This chart accompanies our story, "How to choose the right enterprise mobility management tool," which provides tips from experts about how to select from among the dozens of MDM-related offerings.

To see the various features and functions available, just click on the gray line with the +/- sign. To minimize that section of the chart, click on it again. You can have as many sections open as you wish.

Editor's note: This chart was originally posted in May 2013 and was most recently updated on January 22, 2014, after VMware announced it will acquire AirWatch.


Deployment options ( + / -)
Vendor Airwatch B2 BlackBerry BoxTone Citrix Good Technology IBM Fiberlink (an IBM company) MobileIron SAP Soti Symantec
Product Name(s) AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 BoxTone XenMobile Good for Enterprise IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices MaaS360 by Fiberlink MobileIron SAP Afaria, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Enterprise Store MobiControl Symantec Mobile Management Suite
On premises Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cloud/SaaS Yes Version in development Yes Yes No Yes, through partners Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes



Mobile platforms supported (+ / -)
Vendor Airwatch B2 BlackBerry BoxTone Citrix Good Technology IBM Fiberlink (an IBM company) MobileIron SAP Soti Symantec
Product name(s) AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 BoxTone XenMobile Good for Enterprise IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices MaaS360 by Fiberlink MobileIron SAP Afaria, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Enterprise Store MobiControl Symantec Mobile Management Suite
iOS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Android Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Extended Android APIs Yes (KNOX, SAFE, LG Gate, Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX, Nook HD and Nook HD+, tablets, HTC One, Nokia Lumina, Pidion and Panasonic) Motorola Yes (SAFE) Yes (KNOX, SAFE, Kindle) Yes (3LM) Yes (SAFE) Yes (SAFE, KNOX, 3LM, HTC, LG) Yes (KNOX, SAFE) Yes (KNOX, SAFE) Yes, supports 36 APIs (KNOX, SAFE, Amazon Kindle Fire HD and HDX, Honeywell, Intermec, Pidion, Panasonic, Casio, Toshiba, Sony, and others) No
BlackBerry Yes Yes Yes Yes Requires BoxTone for Good Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Windows Mobile Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Phone 7 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Phone 8 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other (name) Mac OS X 10.7 and higher, Windows 8 and RT Windows RT Amazon Kindle Fire, MAC OS X, Windows XP, 7, 8 Mac OS X, Windows Windows Desktop, Windows Mobile Support Web OS and Symbian via Exchange ActiveSync



Mobile device management ( + / -)
Vendor Airwatch B2 BlackBerry BoxTone Citrix Good Technology IBM Fiberlink (an IBM company) MobileIron SAP Soti Symantec
Product Name(s) AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 BoxTone XenMobile Good for Enterprise IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices MaaS360 by Fiberlink MobileIron SAP Afaria, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Enterprise Store MobiControl Symantec Mobile Management Suite
Password protection Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Password reset Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remote device wipe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Selective wipe Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remote lock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Set VPN, Wi-Fi, APN, proxy/gateway settings Yes VPN, Wi-Fi, proxy Yes Yes Yes, for iOS and for Android via Boxtone/3LM Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Disable Wi-Fi Yes Yes (for BlackBerry) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Disable carrier data connection Yes (for SAFE); restricts data when roaming for iOS No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Configuration monitoring/auditing Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automated provisioning/enrollment Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Disable camera Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Disable Bluetooth Yes Yes, for BlackBerry devices only Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Manage mobile-attached devices (e.g printers, scanners) Yes No Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes, for supported manufacturers including Zebra, Intermec, Breezy, Honeywell Yes
Support multiple users per device (auto-configure device settings based on the currently logged in user) Yes No Yes, by using multiple containers Yes No Yes, with Maas360 Yes Yes Yes Yes No



Application management ( + / -)
Vendor Airwatch B2 BlackBerry BoxTone Citrix Good Technology IBM Fiberlink (an IBM company) MobileIron SAP Soti Symantec
Product name(s) AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 BoxTone XenMobile Good for Enterprise IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices MaaS360 by Fiberlink MobileIron SAP Afaria, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Enterprise Store MobiControl Symantec Mobile Management Suite
User self-service app delivery Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Full-featured enterprise app store Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Containerization/sandboxing Yes, via AirWatch Workspace. Support for KNOX, Email Client for Android, and iOS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, for data. Requires Nitrodesk TouchDown Yes, withMaaS360 Secure Productivity Suite Yes Yes, using SAP Mobile App Protection Yes, when used with Mocana Yes
App containerization using developer SDK/toolkit Yes Yes, for BlackBery devices only Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No
App containerization using app wrapping Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes To be made available in a future release Yes
Block copy/paste between apps Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Block copy/paste from email Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes for iOS; Android requires Nitrodesk TouchDown Yes Yes Yes, using NitroDesk for Android phones. Support planned. Yes
Restrict which apps can open a given file Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Planned for Q2 Yes Yes
App inventory tracking Yes Yes, for BlackBery devices only Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
App usage monitoring Yes No Yes Yes Requires Good AppCentral No No Yes Yes Yes Yes, using App Center
Apple volume purchase program integration (decrements volume purchase agreement quantity available as users download apps from store) Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Remote desktop access (access to apps and data on desktop from smartphone or tablet) No No No Yes Yes. Requires Splashtop for Good. No No Yes, when intergrated with Splashtop No Yes Yes, but requires integrated tools from partners



Security ( + / -)
Vendor Airwatch B2 BlackBerry BoxTone Citrix Good Technology IBM Fiberlink (an IBM company) MobileIron SAP Soti Symantec
Product name(s) AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 BoxTone XenMobile Good for Enterprise IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices MaaS360 by Fiberlink MobileIron SAP Afaria, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Enterprise Store MobiControl Symantec Mobile Management Suite
Secure Web browser Yes Yes Yes, via partners Yes Yes Yes, with Trusteer, Mass360 Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Application blacklisting/whitelisting Yes Blacklisting only Yes Yes Yes Yes (SAFE only) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Data loss prevention (DLP) Yes, via advanced device security features and AirWatch Secure Content Locker Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Email attachment data loss prevention Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (SAFE only) Yes Yes Yes; also supports Nitrodesk TouchDown secure mail client for Android Yes Yes
Device compromise detection (jailbreak/rooting) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (from wrapped apps and via MDM and MAM agents)
Device-level encryption Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Encrypted folder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No
Encrypted email attachments Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes. Requires Nitrodesk TouchDown No No. Available via Symantec PGP Mobile
Encrypted email message body Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Requires Nitrodesk TouchDown No Available via Symantec PGP Mobile
Geofencing Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Time fencing Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Mobile VPN Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, for iOS; Android requires BoxTone/3LM Yes using IBM MobileConnect Yes (using native device MDM settings) Yes Yes Yes Yes (using native device MDM settings)
App-level micro VPN Yes No Yes Yes Not needed; uses dedicated NOC-based connection and requires no open inbound ports No Yes, through app wrapping and SDK Yes Yes Yes Via SSL and URL whitelisting
Multifactor device/app authentication (token-based, facial recognition, client access card support, etc.) Supports token-based enrollment, client certificate authentication, CAC card and directory system authentication No Yes, using Kerberos and common access cards Yes Yes, token and common access card Yes, using IBM AccessManager Integration with CAC/PIV cards Yes Yes Yes, on supported OEM/model Yes
Malware detection Yes, via App Reputation Scanning for Android and integrations with F-Secure and others No Partners with Appthority for behavioral analysis No No Yes, with IBM Trusteer Yes No; offers third party integration Yes Yes Yes
Includes firewall Yes, virtual firewall using managed profiles No Yes Yes, for email traffic Uses dedicated NOC-based connection; requires no open inbound ports No No No Yes No Yes (only for Windows Mobile)
Single sign-on support Yes Yes Yes Yes; (On device, online for intranet/Web, external SaaS apps) Yes Yes, using IBM AccessManager Yes Yes Yes Yes, on supported OEM/model Yes



Document/content management ( + / -)
Vendor Airwatch B2 BlackBerry BoxTone Citrix Good Technology IBM Fiberlink (an IBM company) MobileIron SAP Soti Symantec
Product name(s) AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 BoxTone XenMobile Good for Enterprise IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices MaaS360 by Fiberlink MobileIron SAP Afaria, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Enterprise Store MobiControl Symantec Mobile Management Suite
Encrypted document container Yes Yes Yes; partners with Good, Accellion, Box Yes Yes Yes, through partners Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Secure email Yes Yes Yes; partners with Good, Accellion, Box Yes (WorxMail) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes; requires NitroDesk for Android devices Yes Yes
File server access Yes Yes, for BlackBerry devices only Yes; partners with Good, Accellion, Box Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, using integrated tools available from partners
Secure SharePoint access Yes Yes, via partners Yes; partners with Good, Accellion, Box Yes Yes Yes, using IBM AccessManager Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, using integrated tools available from partners
Integates with enteprise document management software Offers AirWatch Secure Content Locker; integrates with SharePoint and other file shares No Yes; partners with Good, Accellion, Box SharePoint, CIFS-based network shares; requires Citrix ShareFile Accelion, Box, iAnnotate, Good Reader, Office Squared, Picsel SmartOffice, GroupLogic, NetDocuments No Box Yes; SharePoint, CIFS-format document management systems Yes, with any content management interoperability services-compliant system Yes, Mobicontrol is compatible with WebDav based repositories." Yes; Accellion Mobile Productivity Suite, Alfresco Mobile, Asdeqlabs Asdeqdoc, Watchdox Document Management



Network management ( + / -)
Vendor Airwatch B2 BlackBerry BoxTone Citrix Good Technology IBM Fiberlink (an IBM company) MobileIron SAP Soti Symantec
Product name(s) AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 BoxTone XenMobile Good for Enterprise IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices MaaS360 by Fiberlink MobileIron SAP Afaria, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Enterprise Store MobiControl Symantec Mobile Management Suite
Data usage management (restrict where, when and whether downloads occur over Wi-Fi or celluluar) Yes For BlackBery devices only Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No
Roaming cost control (such as auto disablement of data when roaming) Yes Yes Yes Yes For iOS only Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Device diagnostics Yes For BlackBery devices only Yes Yes Yes; requires BoxTone for Good Mobile Service Management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Usage monitoring Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Block device from accessing email if policies violated Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes



Service management ( + / -)
Vendor Airwatch B2 BlackBerry BoxTone Citrix Good Technology IBM Fiberlink (an IBM company) MobileIron SAP Soti Symantec
Product name(s) AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 BoxTone XenMobile Good for Enterprise IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices MaaS360 by Fiberlink MobileIron SAP Afaria, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Enterprise Store MobiControl Symantec Mobile Management Suite
Help desk support management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, using SmartCloud Control Desk Yes Yes Yes Yes No; available as part of Symantec Support Desk
Service monitoring Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Remote control of device Yes, for Windows Mobile and Samsung SAFE devices No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
User self-service portal Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, with MDM and Maas360 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes



Integration with PC management tools ( + / -)
Vendor Airwatch B2 BlackBerry BoxTone Citrix Good Technology IBM Fiberlink (an IBM company) MobileIron SAP Soti Symantec
Product name(s) AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 BoxTone XenMobile Good for Enterprise IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices MaaS360 by Fiberlink MobileIron SAP Afaria, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Enterprise Store MobiControl Symantec Mobile Management Suite
Offers a separate or integrated PC management tool AirWatch can also manage Mac OS X and Windows 8/RT devices No No Yes No Yes; IBM Endpoint Manager Yes; MaaS360 also supports desktops and laptops. Yes; supports Mac OS X and Windows directly Yes; Afaria also manages Windows laptops and tablets Yes, integrated Yes; Symantec IT Management Suite
Integrates with a third-party tool (name) Microsoft SCCM No No Offers APIs No No Offers API Microsoft System Center. Offers API for others Offers API Aruba Airwave for device tracking Microsoft SCCM
Offers integrated management console for PC and mobile management Yes, for Mac OS X and Windows 8/RT No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (Symantec Management Platform)
Offers integrated app store for both desktop and mobile app deployment Yes, for iOS, Android and Windows 8 No No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No



Reporting ( + / -)
Vendor Airwatch B2 BlackBerry BoxTone Citrix Good Technology IBM Fiberlink (an IBM company) MobileIron SAP Soti Symantec
Product name(s) AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 BoxTone XenMobile Good for Enterprise IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices MaaS360 by Fiberlink MobileIron SAP Afaria, SAP Mobile Documents, SAP Enterprise Store MobiControl Symantec Mobile Management Suite
Alerts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automated responses to alerts Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automated, scheduled report delivery Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Real-time dashboards Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes; analytics included with Afaria and run via SAP Business Objects Yes Yes
Device-level analytics Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes; analytics included with Afaria and run via SAP Business Objects Yes Yes
App-level analytics Yes No Yes Yes Yes; requires AppAnalytics Yes Yes Yes Yes; analytics included with Afaria and run via SAP Business Objects Yes Yes



Sources: MDM vendors. Fiberlink was acquired by IBM in December 2013, and VMware announced its intention to acquire AirWatch in January 2014. This chart was last updated on January 22, 2014.


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