Radha Kiwalkar

September 28, 2021

Many teams feel stuck with their existing Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution and do their best to make it work — customizing and replacing the cloud infrastructure with a more robust back-end. This process is expensive and time-consuming. 

If your existing MDM workflow doesn’t involve active monitoring or application management of devices in the field, your company, devices, and end-user experience are all at risk. When these devices go offline unexpectedly, it’s not just an inconvenience — business comes to a halt. Travelers can’t check-in at the airport, diners can’t make payments at restaurants, and hospital patients who need constant monitoring are put in danger.

This is a common problem. So why are traditional MDMs still failing you?

Of the many MDM solutions in the market, none of them are developer-focused. Most are catered toward IT operations and designed for corporate-owned devices or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios. However, today’s most innovative and connected companies are relying on dedicated smart devices — laptops, smartphones, kiosks, scanners, point of sales (POS) tablets, and IoT devices — that all have unique use cases and don’t fit the BYOD model.

That’s why Esper is built for dedicated Android devices. Yes, we offer traditional MDM capabilities, but as your business grows and evolves you need more. From our Cloud API to customizable SDK, and DevOps pipelines, our solution future-proofs your business and opens the door for innovation.

Making the switch to Esper is easier than you think

In our previous blog “MDM is Dead. It’s Time to Shift to Android DevOps,” we talked about the drawbacks of MDM lifecycle and the importance of making a shift to Android DevOps. But we understand that shift can feel intimidating. Here, we’ll discuss a few common scenarios and the techniques to transition from an existing MDM to Esper smoothly. As the Android experts, let us give you a tour of what’s possible:

Do you have a Samsung Knox device fleet? 

Esper uses the Knox platform to perform a factory reset on your dedicated device fleet — allowing our team to set up Knox-mobile enrollment.  When you factory reset a device with Knox, your device will automatically boot using KME to enroll into Esper endpoint, and your fleet is onboard.

Taking advantage of the close integration of Knox with third-party enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions, provisioning a Samsung device managed by Knox to the Esper Console is a fairly touchless process. 

Can you send a factory reset command to a device fleet managed by traditional MDM?

If you can send a factory reset command to your Android-ready device fleet using your existing MDM solution, you can pick one of the touchless device enrollment methods provided by Esper and onboard the device. 

Please find more information about the provisioning methods in our documentation here.

Note: Provisioning devices on the Esper Console requires that all the devices are turned ‘ON’ and connected to the internet to receive the factory-reset command. 

Do you have a device eligible for Zero-touch?

If you have a specific device that uses Zero-touch, managed by traditional MDM, the Esper team can use Zero-touch enrollment to load the serial number and IMEI from your existing MDM. A factory reset command sent to these device fleets will automatically boot and lockdown the devices to Esper following the Zero-touch enrollment path. 

Don’t hesitate to contact the Esper team to learn more about the device eligibility for Zero-touch. Although Zero-touch Enrollment is not completely touchless, it gives you the flexibility to easily onboard with Esper. 

Do you have a fleet with old GMS devices?

Our Android experts will help you onboard an older GMS device to Esper. The Esper team can run a special APK as an application through your existing MDM and take control of the device in certain situations. This special application will be able to provision the devices to Esper, get rid of the existing MDM, and give complete control of your device fleet to Esper. Please contact the Esper team to learn more about this exciting path to onboarding older devices that no longer receives security patches. 

Can you access the Android Build?

When you can access the Android build, we can create an OTA (over the air) package around the build. The wrapper package will then be pushed to all the devices using your existing MDM solution. This OTA package modifies the Android operating system (OS) that allows us to migrate the devices to Esper. Because the OTA package needs to be pushed out by an OTA service on the devices, the device must support OTA. 

Your device does not support OTA?

If your use case does not allow OTA updates, you can still connect the devices to locally install update packages. This method requires touching every device to factory reset but will work if no other options are available.

Do you have an installed device base with rapid growth?

If your organization has a rapidly growing fleet with a shrinking, hard-to-work-with-installed device base, you can expand your fleet with the new devices. With the ease of enrolling with Esper on your new devices, you can take advantage of the new OS and latest hardware. You focus on the organization’s growth while we will help you transition from your old MDM to Esper. In some cases, the cost of human interaction required to flip the older devices would be better spent on buying new hardware. 

Successful Customer Transition Stories

Intelity was looking to build an advanced in-room experience for hotel guests. Their legacy MDM didn’t meet their dedicated use case and had trouble with automation and integration of their custom Android requirement. Esper provided advanced mobile device management and a platform compatible with custom Android builds. By moving to Esper, Intelity solved their custom Android challenges and was able to move off of their traditional MDM and pick their new hardware of choice. 

Betterspace needed more durable, reliable tablets to negate connectivity and end-of-life issues and better support future expansion. The homegrown MDM lacked DevOps features like being able to access functionality via API or remotely launch applications. As the Android experts, Esper confirmed BLE and WiFi connectivity issues were caused by an unstable Android OS image from the ODM. During Betterspace’s transition to an off-the-shelf consumer tablet, Esper was able to provision the devices in the field and support a mixed fleet.

Contact our support team if you feel trapped with your subpar MDM and your business can’t run at the level it needs to meet the end-users requirements. We are the Android Experts. Let us help you!!!