The top six EMM vendors offering MDM capabilities

With vendors expanding their horizons from just MDM to more comprehensive EMM products, it is crucial to look at these EMM vendors who offer MDM capabilities.

The mobile device management industry has coalesced into a broader, overarching enterprise mobility management community where security plays a large role. When evaluating EMM platforms for security-related needs, buyers need to consider the ever-changing market of mobility. The mobile industry is constantly in flux, and EMM vendors have a responsibility to their customers to stay on top of the field from a security perspective.

With this in mind, we're going to focus on the security aspects of enterprise mobility management and the features that enable buyers to make decisions from a secure mindset. When looking at the enterprise mobility management (EMM) market and the wide range of products it offers, customers should be aware of how the systems are licensed, the deployment model and security features that come along with each.

In this article, we'll look at six vendors who offer mobile device management (MDM) capabilities to give buyers a better understanding of how each vendor might fit their particular needs.

VMware AirWatch

AirWatch is one of the leaders in the EMM market, and it is constantly pushing the boundaries with new features.

After being purchased by VMware, it inherited a large market share, and has since stabilized. With the integration into VMware's product line, AirWatch deployed Workspace One, which offers separate workspaces for BYOD users to segment personal and business data.

VMware AirWatch also offers a micro-VPN, or tunnel, that creates a secure connection back to a customer's physical infrastructure. This is useful for business apps that need access to data at a customer's site without compromising security.

A deployment of AirWatch can be either in the cloud as a SaaS offering, installed on premises or used in combination as a hybrid cloud. Depending on the customer vertical and an organization's size, AirWatch offers different systems and options for installation. The pricing and licensing scheme is also flexible, offering both device and user-based licensing models.

The offering enables container-based or native security options and includes features such as mobile browsers with granular controls. All the expected mobile device management features -- e.g., remote wipe, pin enforcement, OS management -- and app management for mail and Wi-Fi are available and customizable within the product.

One of AirWatch's biggest selling points for customers is its integrations with large security vendors.


The XenMobile EMM provides a comprehensive suite of applications that tie into other Citrix-owned products to create a robust product offering that enables Citrix to compete as a leader in the EMM market. Customers receive more benefits from the Citrix XenMobile offering when it is combined with other Citrix options, but even without a Citrix deployment already in place, its EMM has plenty to offer.

XenMobile's MDM capabilities include the ability to create a granular security policy that enables an organization to use BYOD with the same level of governance as its other devices. The product also offers the ability to create workflows to continue these processes with their Secure Forms offering.

Like other EMMs, Citrix allows the use of shared devices, which works well when mobile devices are used in multiple capacities by users, and can secure the policy, privacy and rights of individuals using shared mobile devices. The Citrix tool also offers users the ability to work on apps in a sandboxed environment, and it grants users access to on-premises data and applications via their micro-VPN service.

Pricing is based on licensing needs. Customers should speak with a sales representative to get a precise quote.

BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Management -- Formerly Good Technology

Good Technology was acquired by BlackBerry and has taken on an EMM approach with BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility, where its more than just a container-based product. Good Technology was historically a big player in the financial sector, and it made the security of mobile devices and data a selling point of its offering.

BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Management offers the opportunity to continue managing mobile devices like they were in the past, with strong MDM policies that enable the device to be secured and managed completely, but with a few added features that make it even more attractive.

Today, BlackBerry EMM is focusing heavily on the app and users while offering the flexibility and security to continue business. BlackBerry has developed a mobile content management tool that offers secure access to data, as well as collaboration apps that hook into third-party providers to give users as native and secure an experience as possible. In the past, this was an issue with Good Technology, but focusing on the app level has offered users an offering with a more native feel.

IBM MaaS360

IBM purchased MaaS360 in order to make a splash in the EMM market. Since acquiring the company, the MaaS360 EMM offering has focused on all the major features of security and has added additional areas of improvement.

MaaS360 was known for its secure productivity suite before it was purchased, and IBM has continued to make improvements within the product. IBM has recently integrated their cognitive technology, Watson, to assist with bringing additional context to security, incident response and management of mobile devices.

Along with the standard protection that comes with its mobile device management features for BYOD and containerized applications, MaaS360 also offers services for monitoring suspicious activity and mobile malware. The offering feeds alerts and activities into a monitoring console to create better centralized management for all mobile devices.

Like most EMM offerings today, MaaS360 has a SaaS offering that offers clients the ability to reduce on-premises equipment, and it uses cloud extenders to communicate to that equipment. MaaS360 EMM also offers secure collaboration within trusted workspaces in MaaS360 to securely access, review and edit data within a trusted workspace.

Like most leading EMM products, MaaS360 offers different licensing methods and a cloud offering that offers limited on-premises equipment that customers can manage.


MobileIron Inc. is also considered one of the top vendors in the EMM market, and it is continually innovating to keep up with the ever-changing demands of security and flexibility. Like many other EMM vendors, MobileIron has an offering that runs in the cloud and offers mobile security quickly and without hassle.

MobileIron also offers a mobile application management tool that gives users the apps they need to complete their job functions from anywhere both seamlessly and securely. Utilizing data loss prevention policies to limit what can be transferred to personal devices promotes a sense of security to IT administrators when users are dealing with sensitive data.

MobileIron also offers secure methods of access to internal resources via third-party applications and communications back to on-site data. The company offers granular MDM access that can perform PIN, encryption, Wi-Fi and VPN configurations.


The Sophos Ltd. EMM has received attention over the past year, and for good reason. With other security-based options already on the market, it's a natural progression to move and protect mobile devices. Sophos Mobile includes a complete EMM offering that brings security, management of users and apps into one platform.

Like other EMM services, Sophos Mobile has the complete package of MDM capabilities, including remote wipe, PIN enforcement and policy changes. It also offers app control over third-party applications.

Utilizing the encrypted Secure Sophos container creates an abstraction from the mobile device and the data being utilized within it. Sophos also offers mobile security for Android devices, including spam, web and malware protection, to add an additional layer of security to these devices.

The EMM market is rapidly growing, and vendors are making continuous changes to their offerings to keep users both agile and secure.

The Sophos tool enables both on-premises and cloud-based installation and gives users the ability to choose their level of risk and flexibility during the deployment. Depending on the install and the features being installed, the license features may change.

The EMM market is rapidly growing, and vendors are making continuous changes to their offerings to keep users both agile and secure. The mobile security field has shown no signs of stopping, and it is now slowly moving from enterprise mobility management to unified endpoint management as the world of mobile continues to become the norm. 

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