6 Android Alerts You Should Set Up in Your MDM

Why Custom Android Device Alerts Matter

Manyara’s job involves a lot of business travel, so she’s no stranger to airport ticketing kiosks. After arriving at the airport for a 6am flight cross-country, Manyara walks up to her airline’s kiosk to scan the barcode in her confirmation email. She confirms her identity and pays the baggage check fee before hitting print. 

But, even though she’s used airport kiosks dozens of times in the past, nothing happens. Her bag tag and boarding pass don’t print.

Manyara starts to panic before she looks around for assistance. No one is around, so she’s forced to go stand in a lengthy line to speak with a ticket agent. She explains the error and feels even more frustrated when the airline agent can offer no explanation for the malfunction.

When Self-Serve Android Kiosks Fail to Serve

If she’s lucky, Manyara won’t miss her flight over the delay. But, even if she makes it to the terminal on time she’ll never be willing to use that airline’s kiosks again. And, she may not be the only traveler who runs into ticketing kiosk trouble before an airline employee hangs up an “Out of Service” sign or unplugs the device until an IT technician is dispatched to troubleshoot the problem.  

Eventually, the airline’s IT tech will discover that the Android kiosk’s bluetooth malfunctioned, causing the device to lose connectivity with the bluetooth printer. It’s a simple issue, but it didn’t seem simple to Manyara or other business travelers who suffered major inconveniences at the airport. And, the loss of customer loyalty could have been avoided if the airline’s IT team had Android MDM alerts set up. 

Why Android Fleet Alerts Matter

There are few guarantees, except when it comes to device errors. When it comes to Android devices that get heavy usage from customers or employees, you can anticipate that something will go wrong. You can’t prevent these issues, but you can remediate problems before they result in an unhappy customer or downtime.

Bluetooth connectivity issues and drained batteries can happen daily in a large fleet of Android single-purpose devices. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes when a device doesn’t work as expected to understand why device alerts and proactive maintenance are so important.

The Top 6 Android MDM Alerts You Need

Network Connectivity

IT operations teams need visibility to see whether a device’s network connection has been created or broken. Network connectivity alerts should include real-time changes, regardless of whether a device uses a secure WiFi network or cellular data. 

The importance of network connectivity alerts vary by use case and whether a device can run on backup data or WiFi connectivity until its primary network is restored. Mission-critical devices used to capture or transmit sensitive patient health information or financial data should generally trigger an immediate response when network connectivity is lost.

Battery Status

Significant variation in battery life can be common in some device use cases. Sometimes, batteries are expected to vary significantly, like with employee tablets at a logistics company that are charged at the end of each shift. In this scenario, an MDM may not need to issue an alert unless a battery drops to 20% or lower.

In other cases a drop in battery life can be a sign that a device has been unplugged or there’s a problem with the hardware when the device is designed to be plugged in continuously. In these scenarios, a real-time alert can provide useful insight each time the battery status drops below 95%. 

Geofencing

Geofencing monitor’s a device’s presence within a defined set of geographic boundaries, such as the parameters of a restaurant, retail store, or warehouse. An Android DevOps solution can be used to trigger an alert and automated device lock-down when devices leave the geofrenced area in use cases where that signifies possible theft, loss, or misuse. 

Not every use case warrants geofencing alerts. However, many other single-purpose device scenarios involve Android that aren’t designed for off-site usage or portability. If your Android is meant to remain on-site, geofencing alerts and automated lockdown response are an important mobile security tool

Learn more in How to Set Up a Geofence in Esper

Storage Capacity

Storage capacity issues can be a signal of device misuse when users have access to browser, camera, or Play Store apps. It can also signal more innocent issues, such as excessive local storage content on a tablet that’s used for interactive digital signage. Or, it can be a signal that your use case has exceeded the capabilities of your hardware. . 

Storage capacity alerts should help IT ops specialists take action before Android performance lags, whether that means clearing the cache, removing unwanted apps, or upgrading the device and storage. Generally speaking, an Android device needs 500MB to 1GB free space at minimum to function properly.  

Data Usage

Excessive data usage is most often a signal of unauthorized device use. Nothing hampers your prepaid data limit and device security faster than an employee tablet that’s being used to download personal apps or share massive video files with friends and family. In the absence of network connectivity alerts, excessive data usage can signify excessive data usage. 

The right frequency and response for data usage alerts should depend on the use case and intended device data limits. Sometimes, real-time alerts and automated device lockdown are a necessary tool to protect devices and data pending further investigation into the issue. 

Bluetooth Connection

Even a temporary loss of bluetooth connectivity can have a domino effect on customer experience. There’s a nearly-infinite number of vertical use cases that rely on bluetooth connectivity to bind devices to peripherals, including the mission-critical connection between a printer and ticketing kiosk.

Bluetooth connectivity can also be used to capture and transmit sensor data on temperature or humidity in contact-tracing scenarios for healthcare or environmental monitoring situations that are common in warehouses or data centers. When a loss of bluetooth connectivity threatens operations or customer happiness, immediate remote remediation and debugging can be a necessity.

How to Create and Manage Android Device Alerts

The right approach to managing Android device management alerts should ultimately hinge on your use case and needs. And ideally, your Android DevOps solution or MDM should support the creation of custom alerts and automated responses in a way that makes sense for you. 

Typically, IT Admins who use Esper rely on our cloud console GUI to set custom device alerts for Bluetooth status, Network connectivity, and Battery Life according to use case and criteria. Some of our customers have alerts set to discover when the device battery hits 20% or lower. Others use real-time alerts to immediately trigger an automated device lockdown when a single-purpose kiosk is taken away from it’s designated use zone.

Developers rely on Esper’s APIs and Esper’s Device SDK to create custom alerts for various DeviceStatusEvents in real-time, again, based on use case and the risks associated with a loss of bluetooth connectivity or network issues.

To learn more about creating custom alerts and automated response in Esper, check out our documentation or click here to sign up

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