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The market for Mobile Device Management tools is evolving with Microsoft’s Intune making inroads and problems with MaaS360 prompting customers to look elsewhere, according to discussion during a recent NOREX MDM WebForum. 

Moderator: As you can see about a third of the participants do not have an MDM tool in place currently. Otherwise AirWatch is still pretty widely used and the IBM purchase of Fiberlink MAAS has quite a few users as well.

Dan S.: We used MAAS for about two years but dropped them due to repeated issues and moved to AirWatch this year.

Moderator: So is AirWatch performing better, Dan?

Dan S.: Much better.

Rob H.:  We have similar issues with MaaS and are looking for its replacement.

Gretchen O.: We were using MaaS360 and have switched to MobileIron.

Moderator: OK Gretchen, Switching from MaaS360 to Mobile Iron. How is that going for you?

Gretchen O.: Going well.

Moderator: Was your move from MaaS to MobileIron as a service or onsite? Cloud verses on prem.

Gretchen O.: I am not the mobile expert but I believe it was not on prem. We would have some middleware servers apparently.

Moderator: Those using MaaS or switching, can you expand on why? I think it was just generally stated that there were issues. Can we get some more specifics on the problems with MaaS360?

Dan S.: The problems we were running into, one was billing. They had a tab for being able to see billing and it would never show up. It kept saying; see your administrator. Every time I talked to them they were like, we are working on that. then the other big problem we had was when we went to pull lists of locations for our phones it would show up on screen with addresses but every time you printed it, it they would randomly change to the latitude and longitude on different entries and I could print the same list three or four times and different ones would switch.

Every time I went to support they kept telling either they couldn’t reproduce this or they did reproduce it and they were working on it or they were going to make some changes in the future. That never seemed to come through. Support themselves constantly would tell me; it is your browser. I am like, I am using three different browsers and two different computers.

I am still having the same issues. Then they would change to; we are making some changes. It was like a pattern of the same excuses like they were reading from a list. It was to the point where I just said I am done with you guys. Have a nice day.

Topic: Microsoft Intune

John B.:
  Microsoft Enterprise Agreement customers can often get Intune added for cheap.

Moderator: How is Intune working? Is it robust enough? Is it really able to compete with the AirWatches of the world?

John B.: We have found that we can get started and get a lot of what we need done. I would not call it a high end tool by any stretch but they have come along pretty well. If you looked at it a couple of years ago it is worth looking at it again.

Bruce F.: A follow up on that.  What would you consider the biggest limitation you have come across on Intune?

Charles H.: Probably the biggest limitation is we went with the SCCM Intune hybrid model. It was recommended in a lot of documentation that if you have SCCM go hybrid. Well the problem with that is most of that documentation surrounds the web portal and a lot of the features are in the web portal but you can’t find them as directly in SCCM. So that would be the main shortcoming. If that documentation for the hybrid model lags behind.

Bruce F.: Was there anything that you couldn’t do that you were with your other MDM solution? 

Charles H.: This is our first MDM solution if you don’t count Blackberry from way back in the day.

Burkely M.: We actually are spinning up Intune as well. One of the things that we have noticed is a restriction is that Intune does not support geo-fencing like most other MDM solutions will. That is really the only snag that we have come onto.

Like the previous speaker was saying, we are doing completely cloud based as opposed to a hybrid and so we haven’t hit those snags but like I said if geo-fencing is something that you need to have you might want to look elsewhere.

Moderator: What is geo-fencing?

Burkely M.: Basically disabling of network traffic and also basically disabling any mobile device when it leaves a certain IP. We have branches across the US and somebody walks out of one of those branches with one of our iPads. We can basically just lock it down so that it doesn’t have any access outside of our access points.

Moderator: Is that a feature that is common to these other tools? Do you know?

Man: I would say a lot of them have geo-fencing capabilities, yes.

Moderator: Thanks for that. Here is a follow up on Intune. Does it do containerization? Also does it handle MAC, iOS and Android well?

John B.: It does containerization. We have been looking for that here. We haven’t managed any Mac devices. We have managed iOS devices. It works well there. Android devices, it works well. Things you run into mostly with Android is like the different versions of the operating system might not support all of the features so if you are looking at the marketing documentation from Microsoft is says; we do all of this, but when you get down into the weeds it might be well only if you are running this version of Android or the NOCs flavor of Android.

Charles H.: Yes, encryption and security and stuff like that tends to be more version or flavor specific on Android.

John B.: Encryption is pretty well covered. It is deeper.

Burkely M.: I actually would note that the containerization is incredibly smooth with Intune because you get to use all of your Office apps and it separates kind of your corporate data verses personal data that you might have on there. If ever you need to wipe it just pulls strictly the corporate data.

So the containerization is within itself in those apps and platforms that everybody knows and uses as opposed to possibly needing a different word processor or a different kind of apps for your different processes.

Moderator: Is this a typical Microsoft situation where the add-on products cost less than the alternative commercial products but they are generally not as robust in many cases?

Man: It is included with your EMS license. So if you have an EMS Microsoft license Intune will be included.

Moderator: In some cases those sorts of things are enough to have people choosing Microsoft rather than maybe a more robust, more expensive product.

John B.: Yes, that was the case for us.  It always seems that whenever enterprise agreements come up for renewal there is always something they are trying to push and discounting. So that is kind of Microsoft doing things and then Intune is also the same deal. The first versions suck but eventually they get better.

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