From the notebook: EBF Onboarder for MDM migration

MDM migrations can be tricky, so EBF Migrator helps keep everything in sync.

Late last year (can you believe it’s 2020 already?), I wrote about the challenges of migrating mobile devices from one MDM server to another.

In short, you can’t connect iOS and Android devices to two MDM servers at the same time, so migrating from one MDM server to another means you have to un-enroll and re-enroll devices. This requires some manual touches on the device, and there’s a risk that it could fall through the cracks during the process. There are also special considerations you need to know about DEP and Android Enterprise migrations.

I wrote about the Exodus MDM migration tool, which was the first independent tool I had heard of, but it turns out there’s another one out there—EBF Onboarder. 

(MobileIron has a Core to Cloud migration tool, and several vendors have Android legacy to Android Enterprise workflows, but you can see that these independent tools are different, with support for a range of products.)

EBF is a consultancy and service provider based in Cologne, Germany, and has been around for 25 years, with years of experience in mobility.

Their migration tool, EBF Onboarder, is a SaaS offering they built about five years ago. It connects to APIs in both your source and destination MDM servers, and keeps track of devices through the transition.

EBF Onboarder sends the user a customizable email, then the user clicks on a link and authenticates. EBF Onboarder retires the device in the source MDM server, and kicks off an enrollment in the destination MDM. This process uses a web app rather than a native app, as deploying new apps to some older devices can be challenging. EBF Onboarder can also work with shared devices that may not have an email account.

EBF supports about a dozen source MDM products, and for destination servers, supports BlackBerry, Intune, Jamf, MaaS360, MobileIron, and Workspace ONE. Administrators will have to migrate all of their policies on their own, but usually customers take this as an opportunity to do a policy cleanup.

I spoke to the EBF team in October, and they told me that they had migrated about 750,000 devices, and that EBF Onboarder was the fastest growing of their software products. You can see a demo on YouTube, and you can also sign up for 20 free licenses at the EBF Onboarder website.

As we go into 2020, most of the major MDM products have been around for a decade, so we’re at the point where there are plenty of companies that are migrating from one product to another, consolidating deployments, or moving to the cloud. Products like EBF Migrator and Exodus should find a welcome place in the toolbox of any mobility pro.

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