Esper Architect: DevOps for Devices for every fleet, at every scale

Cameron Summerson
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Esper Architect: DevOps for Devices for every fleet, at every scale

At Esper, our customers are our most impactful educational resource. They tell us how they need to manage their device fleets, how to accelerate innovation at scale, and how to build the best tooling to enable developers and operations teams. That’s why we’re so excited to announce our newest Android DevOps learnings, in the form of a product offering: Esper Architect. 

Architect is accessible to teams and fleets of all sizes (but scales to the truly immense), and makes updating dedicated device apps and configurations as easy as updating apps in the Cloud – fast, repeatable, and reliable.

Learn more about Esper Architect

Why now? The DevOps for Devices era is here

Customer expectations are higher than ever. It’s not enough to be better, you have to offer truly differentiated experiences – and you have to deliver those experiences at scale, evolving and iterating them continuously. But the devices those experiences live on are mission-critical to our customers’ businesses — whether generating revenue, enabling core logistics, or even providing patient care. These aren’t systems that can afford to go down, and that can make updating or reconfiguring them a very risky proposition.

But with Esper, our customers can apply a DevOps for Devices strategy — a unique approach to device management and application deployment. Traditional DevOps focuses on high velocity code changes implemented based on customer feedback and telemetry, all in a continuous loop. Esper Architect, as you might have guessed, brings the benefits of these principles to device fleets.

Architect reimagines how you manage, deploy, and monitor dedicated devices

Deployment Pipelines

Imagine deploying an application update to your test lab devices every time new code is delivered. And once that update passes validation in the lab, it’s deployed to 10% of your production devices. And if that goes well, it’s broadened to 30%, and then finally to your full fleet. Now imagine this process happens automatically, and can be applied to future deployments over and over again. Once defined, your deployment pipeline can be used to safely and repeatedly deploy application updates. But there’s really no need to imagine: We’re just describing Esper Architect Pipelines.

We know any change to a mission-critical device can introduce risk, but organizations increasingly need to iterate experiences on their fleets quickly. Automation is the clear path to deployment scalability, and Architect’s Pipelines minimize risk by clearly and consistently defining job execution. Staging and success rules create a repeatable flow of changes, and comprehensive status updates provide deep visibility into deployments for operations and IT teams.

In addition to application updates, device configuration changes (system settings, branding, on-device content) can be deployed with Pipelines, too. This gives you the same repeatable, safe, deterministic deployment of any change. And to take this one step further, the on-device management engine – our Esper Agent – can also be deployed by customers using Pipelines, giving you control over testing and validation across the device software stack.

Blueprints scale Esper DevOps for massive device configuration

When you have 50,000 devices deployed across half a dozen time zones, what does it even mean to “manage” a fleet – let alone to manage it better?  One answer we hear from many customers? “Treat many devices as one.” Without a unified device platform, though, this is often a pipe dream.

Esper customers are already defining full device configurations (settings, applications, content) and using templates to enroll thousands of devices in a consistent and reliable manner. And with Esper’s powerful grouping tools, they can easily align these definitions with their existing fleet and business structures. 

With Esper Architect, we’re introducing some exciting new management concepts. The first is Blueprints, our new framework for defining device configuration. A Blueprint is applied at the group level and defines what every single device in that group should look like. They’re also dynamic: Devices will adopt changes to Blueprints as they’re made in real time, so that defining configuration and enforcing compliance become two sides of the same coin. Version control and deployment via Pipelines allow you to treat device configuration changes just like you would a software update (because in the end, isn’t it one?)

We’re not ignoring the provisioning step of the process, either: With our new bulk pre-loading, you can say goodbye to lengthy manual entry of device serial numbers or IMEIs. For devices preloaded with the Esper Agent, all you need is a spreadsheet from the device manufacturer with your device serial numbers. Just upload that file to Esper Architect, and when those devices boot up and connect, they’ll automatically appear in the console and even apply any associated Blueprints.

Esper is also adding support for SAML SSO (single-sign-on), to make signing into Esper from your existing org security infrastructure easier.

The Esper DevOps journey continues – join us!

At Esper, we work with companies that demand innovation on a planetary scale, and the trend we see is clear: When you have a reliable infrastructure partner like Esper, you can focus on creating flawless experiences for end-users, innovate faster, and delight customers. Esper Architect is built for them – but today is just the beginning. We’ll share more exciting features and tools for our customers throughout the year, so stay tuned.

To learn more about Esper, Architect, and DevOps for devices, check out our full product page or book an Esper demo today.


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Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson

Cam brings over 10 years of technology journalism experience to Esper, including nearly half-a-decade as Editor in Chief of a technology publication. He currently runs content operations and oversees the ideation, execution, and distribution plans for numerous types of content from blog posts to ebooks and beyond.