Is Esper an MDM?

Esper isn’t a traditional MDM solution (but we do offer most common MDM features). Esper is a platform for the deployment, management, and scaling of dedicated device fleets. Esper isn’t designed for a specific device form factor, but for devices with mission critical purposes. 

If you require a device to run continuously and trouble-free in a single mode of operation, Esper is the platform for you. 

Point of sale systems, touchscreen kiosks, kitchen displays, ruggedized tablets, self-ordering systems, remote patient monitoring, digital signage, and more all fit under the Esper umbrella — and your device likely does, too.

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Why is Esper different than MDM?

Esper is more reliable and offers much greater control over your devices and fleet. Esper is designed to deploy, manage, and control dedicated devices that must enforce strict lockdown policies, customized app configurations, and even custom OS firmware.
In short: Esper is meant to make deploying and managing your devices a highly repeatable and robust process that you can rely on.
By comparison, MDM is designed to cover the largest number of devices with a minimum viable set of common use cases and functions. Traditional MDM solutions are meant for BYOD or CYOD (bring or choose your own device) smartphones, tablets, and laptops. 
Employees using devices for general purpose computing (email, Slack, web browsing, corporate productivity apps) need security and management policies enforced to ensure corporate data is not compromised, but key functionality is often missing. 
Robust remote control, remote debugging, custom app deployment staging, and kiosk lockdown are not what traditional MDM was designed for, even if these features may be offered as pricey add-ons.

Does Esper lack MDM features?

Esper offers a full suite of MDM features, but our platform is deliberately architected for dedicated device fleets. Our customers rely on device deployment, management, and remote support, and this heavily informs Esper’s tooling and workflow. 
If you need to rapidly deploy devices in the field in a highly repeatable, scalable manner, Esper offers automations and tools no MDM can to streamline your operations. 
Using Esper’s no-touch provisioning, devices can provision on bootup and even automatically attach to a saved Wi-Fi network configured from the factory by the manufacturer. Updating devices and applications with Esper is also incredibly powerful, allowing staging from the test lab to tightly defined device groups in your live fleet. 
And once devices are in the field, they stay reachable and visible, with Esper’s easy-to-configure remote control and device telemetry

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Why is MDM bad for dedicated devices?

If you’re still with us, you understand that dedicated devices require a little something “extra” — because the enterprises and organizations that own them demand extremely reliable and powerful infrastructure. Many such businesses choose to build their own device infrastructure as a result, but this comes with tremendous costs of their own that must be taken into consideration. 
What if there was a way to get the surety of your own custom device infrastructure with the turnkey operation of a Mobile Device Management tool? 
If that sounds interesting, you’ve figured out why Esper exists. And as to why MDM can’t handle this need? 
Simple: No one ever built MDM that has to work all day, every day, on every device.

What devices is Esper compatible with that MDM is not?

Esper is highly optimized for point of sale systems, mPOS, touchscreen kiosks, rugged tablets, self-ordering kiosks, remote patient monitoring devices, clinical trial tablets, hospitality devices, digital signage, commercial and home exercise equipment, and many, many more form factors. These devices sound incredibly different on paper, but they share a mission critical purpose. 
If any of these devices don’t function as intended, revenue is a very measurable casualty of downtime. 
Customers expect devices that work as intended. When critical devices fail, you may never have the chance to make a good impression again.
Technically, MDM is compatible with “any” device, and therefore compatible with all of the above. Whether it runs Android, Windows, or iOS, whether it’s truly mobile or fixed in place, and whether it’s “dedicated” or “general” in its purpose — MDM solutions will tell you they can give you exactly what you need. 
The truth is that you need dedicated infrastructure for dedicated devices, and that doesn’t describe MDM solutions.

Can Esper manage my device?

Probably! Esper supports most Android and AOSP devices built in the last 7-8 years (Android 5.0 and later), and we can even create a custom distribution for you with Esper Foundation for Android to add extended and enhanced functionality. 
If you’re working with Intel or other x86 hardware, we offer a Foundation solution for Android x86, as well.
The best way to find out how Esper can help you is to get in touch with us today. Set up a demo and we can help figure out the best solution for you.

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