Mobile Device Management, or MDM, is a category of technology used to enforce policies for acceptable use and security across an enterprise fleet of mobile devices.

Mobile Application Management, or MAM, is used to deploy, and manage mobile apps according to enterprise mobile security, productivity, and use case requirements, especially on employee-owned smartphones used for work by the end-user. 

These mobile solutions aren’t the same, but some MDM solutions offer robust application-level MAM features. MDM/MAM solutions are generally used in mobility scenarios such as:

  • Bring-your-own-device (BYOD)/ Personal devices
  • Choose-your-own device (CYOD)
  • Corporate-Owned, Personally-Enabled (COPE) 
  • Company-Owned/Business-Only (COBO)

MDM and MAM are both important, but they’re not designed for IoT fleet management. These solutions may not be the right choice to manage corporate-owned, single use (COSU) devices such as kiosks, mobile point-of-sale (mPoS), or telemedicine devices.

What is Part of an MDM Solution?

Mobile Device Management software, according to Gartner’s definition, supports smartphone and tablet management, including:

  • App management (Corporate apps/ enterprise apps or personal apps)
  • Policy
  • Inventory
  • Security
  • Service

Capterra and G2 Crowd offer more detail, stating an MDM needs policy customization for “common” mobile devices. It also must report on entire device activity, and enable remote:

  • Configuration
  • Locking
  • Wiping
  • Detection 
  • Encryption

What is Part of a MAM Solution?

MAM solutions were built to expand on traditional MDM, per Margaret Rouse of SearchMobile. As BYOD and mobility adoption soared, enterprises needed to separate employee’s personal and work apps on a single smartphone.  

MAM solutions address policy and enforcement for single apps or app groups, instead of the entire mobile device. By Forrester’s definition, a MAM should address: 

  • App Governance
  • App Discovery
  • App Distribution
  • Support & Management
  • App Protection

MAM can selectively wipe corporate apps and business data (corporate emails) without a device factory reset, according to Gartner’s Chris Silva in ComputerWorld. It protects employees sensitive data—personal data and corporate data with features to:

  • Configure App Policy
  • Selectively Install / Uninstall Apps
  • Push App Updates 
  • Manage App Licenses

What is Not Part of MDM or MAM Solutions?

MDM and MAM Solutions aren’t the same as Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) or Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solutions. They’re not usually designed to support enterprise IoT deployments.

Specifics can vary, but the following UEM features are generally NOT part of MDM/MAM:

  • Non-Traditional Device Support
    • Kiosk Software
    • mPoS Software
    • Digital Signage Software
  • Security Detection & Response
  • Remote Debugging
  • Advanced Telemetry
  • Automated Device & App Updates
    • Over-the-air (OTA) Updates
    • Seamless, No-Touch Deployment
  • User Analytics

MDM/MAM solutions are critically-important tools for managing the mobile workforce. But, they’re not designed for many single-purpose device scenarios or device lifecycle management.

MAM and MDM are also designed to exclude DevOps features and developer tool kits such as:

  • Developer Tools 
  • DevOps Pipelines
  • Virtual Device Lab Testing

Understanding MDM/MAM Solutions & Alternatives

Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management are valuable enterprise mobility management solutions, especially for smartphones and tablets. MDM and MAM can support BYOD, COPE, and CYOD, but they’re not usually designed to support kiosks, mPoS, ruggedized devices, or non-traditional Android hardware.

Understanding your device lifecycle can reveal whether MDM, MAM, MIM, EMM or UEM is the best choice. The right answer is an intelligent platform that’s compatible with your IoT product roadmap.

Esper is the first complete solution to deploy and manage single-purpose enterprise Android devices. Our Android DevOps cloud platform supports a wide range of smartphones, tablets, kiosks, mPoS, ruggedized devices, digital signage, and other embedded IoT. Book a demo today!