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Getting mobile device management right

Posted on 23rd January 2019 at 15:21

In this Ask the Expert guide, our business communications specialist Andrew Lamb, explains how to make mobile device management hassle-free.

Most businesses use a plethora of devices – each using different operating systems. Devices need continuous maintenance, often at irregular times that probably don’t suit your diary. Mobile device management (MDM) forms a key part of that continuous maintenance process.

The good news is that there are ways of automating mobile device management – fact, the tech has existed for some time. However, you will need to ensure that you follow best practice…

Audit your mobile devices
The first step to efficient mobile device management is to implement an audit of your mobile devices. It’s pointless investing in technology to monitor and keep your devices up to date if you’ve missed half of your consultations.

There are plenty of ways to audit your mobile devices. An easy example is starting a spreadsheet and sending out a text to every mobile number you have on file. The text just needs to say something friendly like “do you still use this mobile phone?” When the reply comes in, that’s a tick in the in-use column. If after three goes, you still have no reply, maybe up it to a “we’re going to cut off this device as you haven’t replied” – you’ll find the responses will flood in.

Find a mobile management solution that suits you

Once you know what your mobile device estate looks like, you are ready to find a mobile device management solution. Like every technology niche, there are a lot of MDM players to choose from. Make sure you gather your requirements from all your key stakeholders, sanitise them and prioritise them. Whether you run a formal procurement or outsource to a specialist, make sure you are shopping for the solution that is right for you, and not just the one with the most Twitter followers or the best stand at an exhibition.

Find the right level of customisation

When you have selected an MDM solution, it’s important to know the extent of its features. It’s easy to buy software and turn it on, but if you automate as much as possible you’ll make your life easier long-term, plus you’ll get the biggest return on your investment. Time is precious but investing some time up front can save days (or even weeks) of work as your mobile estate expands and matures.

Business mobiles offer an incredibly personalised experience but with MDM, you can choose the apps that appear on your users’ screens. This might feel somewhat ‘Orwellian’ to people accustomed to complete freedom on their mobile phones, however, it’s important to understand how and why your staff are using their mobile devices. Sure, it is great to have Facebook on your mobile, but does it really need to be on your business device? In this same regard, it is great to have some downtime in between meetings so you may allow for some social media platforms. Discuss with your staff what they need, use and want in order to make a decision on what the right level of customisation is.


The name of the game here is management – too much customisation will lead to an MDM nightmare! When you have the chat with your employees around what apps are used, don’t offer up the world. A list of approved apps is handy to choose from. Without a mechanism to select from, you could end up with a different home screen for each user and become the personal mobile manager for each member of staff.

Getting mobile device management right is tough and selecting the right technology can be a burden. We help small, medium and large business with their mobile device management every day. One of the solutions available through Cellular Solutions which can support you with MDM is MaaS360. It helps to safeguard mobile devices and gives you a powerful suite of tools to handle the management and security of all of your mobile devices from a single screen.

If you need help starting your device audit or populating your approved app list, then get in touch. If you have a burning question for one of our experts, feel free to tweet us @CellSolNE or give us a call on 08700 118 000.

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