The Definitive Guide to Dedicated Device Management

The Definitive Guide to Dedicated Device Management

Esper is “the only platform for predictable software deployment and device management.” But what does that really mean? If you’re unfamiliar with MDM software and its limitations, this statement may not immediately click. But that’s why you’re here, right? To learn more about what Esper does and how we’re different. You’re in the right place. 

Without getting too ahead of ourselves here, let’s get something out of the way: device management is incredibly complex, and every scenario is different. The needs of BYOD (bring your own device) organizations and the needs of businesses that rely on digital devices for critical functionality are very different. And that’s why Esper exists — to fill the space where most MDM software falls short and help you maximize your devices’ full potential. To deliver software deployment automation (we’re talking about apps, updates, security patches — the works) and the advanced device management that business-critical devices need. With Esper, you’ll transform your devices from an operational chore to a source of innovation and engagement.

Mobile device management: A quick explanation 

If you’re here, you probably already know a little bit about mobile device management, or MDM for short. Traditionally, organizations use this software tool to monitor and secure digital devices — but not all devices are created equal, which makes device management a challenge. That’s why MDM is not the same as managing devices — one is a software tool, and the other is an action and requires the right tools (including MDM). This is where Esper immediately starts to differentiate itself. 

Read more : Chapter 1: What is MDM? Mobile device management explained

Let’s talk about business-critical devices (and why MDM is a challenge for them)

There’s a subset of devices that are more difficult to manage than others — the always-on, business-critical, absolutely-must-be-available devices. Kiosks, point of sale systems, scanners, digital signage, business tablets, rugged devices, and more all fit into this category. They’re called “dedicated devices,” (these are defined as “company-owned devices that fulfills a single use-case”) and they require very detailed management strategies. Why? Because they need to be available all the time, completely secure, and remotely accessible. That’s a tall order for any sort of MDM software, and the primary reason many orgs struggle to find a viable solution. 

Esper was born out of the need to manage these kinds of devices. 

Read more : Chapter 2: What is a dedicated device? 

So, how do you manage dedicated devices? 

Many companies have tried to manage their dedicated hardware with MDM software that wasn’t build for that kind of job. And you know what? The majority of them say they face challenges with those tools. Ouch. To help you avoid this pitfall, we put together a 10-question checklist that breaks down your device management needs and helps pinpoint what tool is best for you. Since each question is weighted differently for each use-case, we also have another resource that offers detailed explanations of each and why they’re uniquely important.

Read more : Chapter 3: Is MDM enough for your business? 

Delivering the solution to the software deployment quandary

Managing devices is about more than just knowing where they are and basic device status. One of the biggest challenges to overcome with dedicated device management is also one of the most important: software deployment. We’re talking about app delivery, software updates, security patches — the works. Often, organizations leave their dedicated devices vulnerable to software vulnerabilities simply because it’s just too cumbersome to deal with OTA updates. Or they deal with outdated apps because updates are time consuming and hard to manage. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and we have the solution. 

Read more : Chapter 4: The software deployment solution you didn’t know existed

Bridging the device management gap for dedicated hardware

The key to filling the gaps left by traditional MDM software is a concept already familiar to software engineers, but almost certainly sounds alien to everyone else. It’s called “DevOps,” and it’s a philosophy that’s all about aligning teams for consistent, repeatable deployment. In our case, it’s about streamlining software deployment to dedicated devices — apps, app updates, operating system updates, security patches, and more. You need a way to easily make sure your devices are up to date and secure, which is the biggest gap found in most MDM software. That software deployment solution we mentioned earlier? This is it.

Read more : Chapter 5: What is DevOps? 

The best way to manage dedicated devices isn’t with MDM

I’m sure you’re asking yourself what a software development philosophy has to do with device management. It’s a good question! And the answer is “literally everything.” We based Esper on concepts provided by DevOps in software development: continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous improvement. We enable our customers to take a DevOps approach and apply it to end hardware — even if they know nothing about software delivery. What that means for you is approachable, reliable, repeatable software delivery to all your devices. 

We call it DevOps for Devices, and it’s going to change the way companies manage dedicated devices forever.

Read more : Chapter 6: The DevOps for Devices beginner’s guide

That’s just the beginning of this journey, and we’re excited for you to get started! We encourage you to read the guides outlined above for a clearer look at the full picture and a better understanding of how it can help you reduce friction in your device management strategy. If you have any questions, we’re here to help. And whenever you’re ready for the next step, we’re here for that, too — book a demo and let us show you what Esper can do for you. 

The Definitive Guide to Dedicated Device Management