Chapter 3: Choosing the right MDM for your device needs

Chapter 3: Choosing the right MDM for your device needs

Device compatibility is one of the most important considerations for choosing the optimal device management tool. If your devices don’t work correctly with your MDM, then you’re paying for software that costs you time instead of saving it. Of course, assessing compatibility can be an issue. 

That’s why we put together a quick 10-question checklist to help you figure out the best management tools for your devices. This checklist will help you understand what will work for your needs and how sophisticated you need your tooling to be.

MDM compatibility checklist 

When considering MDM for your device management needs, consider the following questions and answer yes or no. Count the number of questions you answer “yes” to on this checklist, and we’ll cover how to score your results down below. 

Y/N Question
Are my devices employee-owned or have a single assigned user? (i.e. not corporate owned or for business use)
Do I need to lock my devices to a single application or kiosk mode?
Are my devices responsible for generating revenue or other critical business operations? Or are they merely a convenience?
Do I need to update the content on my devices frequently — weekly, or even daily?
Do I need full remote control and access to my devices from anywhere in the world at any time?
Are my devices deployed across multiple locations, making physical access to every device a challenge?
Am I responsible for deploying a large number of devices and need automation to scale quickly?
Do I need remote monitoring and device telemetry and want immediate notifications if a device goes down, gets knocked offline, or falls out of policy?
Do I need to customize the behavior or layout of an application or device interface as part of the initial setup?
Are my Android devices running AOSP (Android without access to Google Play Services)?

Scoring your checklist

How you answered those questions says a lot about your device use case and whether a traditional MDM tool will work well for your intended goals. Here’s a quick look at how to break down your answers. 

  • 0: You need basic MDM functionality
  • 1-3: You need a specific type of MDM to manage your devices  
  • 4-7: Only certain MDMs can fit the bill
  • 7+: You know what you need, and not just any MDM will cut it

You probably realized that each question should be weighted differently for various situations. For a deeper look at why each question is important and how they may apply to your situation, you can download our MDM compatibility ebook. It’s a more comprehensive look at the points outlined below, along with why each one is important and how it affects your strategy. 

0: You need basic MDM functionality 

If you answered "no" to every question, it sounds like you have a very straightforward MDM use case. This is generally the type of situation MDM was made for — BYOD (bring your own device) or COPE (corporate owned, personally enabled) scenarios. 

1-3: You need a specific type of MDM to manage your devices 

If you answered “yes” to at least a few of the questions, then you have specific needs to simplify your device management strategy. Many MDMs offer this level of functionality, but this is where deeper analysis of each is required. You might be able to get 90-95% of what you need from a particular MDM solution, but that 5% could potentially leave you struggling at critical moments — especially as you scale. 

4-7: Only certain MDMs can fit the bill 

Look, you know you need MDM — that’s a given. But what you need from that MDM is pretty specific. Maybe it’s powerful remote control or a tried-and-tested kiosk mode. Or perhaps it’s a repeatable, scalable solution for software delivery. Whatever it is, not just any MDM provider can handle what you need. It’s time to look at the fine print of what each offers. 

The good news is that you’re getting into the space where Esper absolutely excels. Where other MDMs will leave you wishing for something more, Esper delivers. It’s why we exist. 

7+: You know what you need, and not just any MDM will cut it 

If you answered “yes” to 70% or more of the questions, then we were made for each other. You probably already know that not just any MDM will offer the solution you need, but maybe you’re not sure where to go from there. Well, you’re in the right place, because Esper is the perfect next step for you. 

We were designed for situations like yours. Most MDMs simply adopted the type of device management you need. But we were born in it. Molded by it.

Picking the right MDM is crucial

With the wrong MDM, you’re paying for software that costs you time instead of saving it. The same can be said if it kind of works but it’s holding you back — when you can’t scale because of your management software, there’s a problem.

Esper was specifically designed to address these scenarios. We saw the holes in MDM software, filled the gaps, and looked around the next corner. We're the evolution of MDM, and we do this by incorporating practices found in a software development methodology called DevOps. Instead of just focusing on the devices, our DevOps approach considers software, updates, deployment, and more — all with speed and at scale. In the next chapter, we’ll take a closer look at what DevOps is and how we apply it to devices. 

Chapter 3: Choosing the right MDM for your device needs