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Sep 28, 2020
9 min read
A mobile device management solution is a software that binds the organization’s devices making it easier for IT admins to monitor and manage them more easily and efficiently.
A major factor to look into while choosing a device management solution for your company is the scalability it provides. At the time of purchase, you might be focused on a single device ecosystem or may have limited needs. There might be several solutions that can fulfill your requirements but it’s important to select one that will accommodate your organization’s growth.
You should never pay for features that you don’t use, and you shouldn’t skip out on features because its only available on a higher plan. Most sellers cleverly disguise their pricing plans making you select the premium plan for 1 or 2 small features that could have been included in their lower plans. It is important to test out and see where all the features come under before selecting an MDM solution.
The need for a dedicated customer support team might not feel like a biggie at first but once you dive into it you are often confronted by hurdles that can be surpassed easily with an expert’s help. Some MDM’s only provide tickets for contact, some provide premium support, some provide dedicated free chat and phone support. The level of familiarity of the admin with the MDM should be considered while selecting the MDM.
Hexnode MDM is the device management offering from Mitsogo Inc, a San Francisco based IT service provider founded in 2013. Hexnode is famous for its kiosk lockdown capabilities and comprehensive platform support. Hexnode MDM’s extensive vendor partnership supports integration with several manufacturers like Samsung Knox, LG GATE, Kyocera, Honeywell etc.
Hexnode’s complete MDM solution has received several accolades like the Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Unified Endpoint Management tools multiple times over the past years, G2 has recognized Hexnode as a high performer and Momentum leader of Fall 2019 in the EMM, MDM, MAM category. Hexnode is also the key innovator in the MarketsandMarkets global forecast (2018 – 2023) report for the MDM market.
Meraki is a San Fransisco based cloud-managed IT company that was founded in 2006. It was acquired by CISCO in November 2012. Meraki was based on the MIT Roofnet project, an experimental 802.11b/g mesh network developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Meraki employed a team of members who worked on the Roofnet project.
Meraki has always focused on creating a simple and secure group of devices. Meraki’s endpoint management solution has always seen flashes of their brilliance but the core focus of the Meraki project is on networking and has often caused the MDM offering to trail behind the market leaders.
Cisco Meraki does not support OEMConfig as of now. The OEMConfig capability of Hexnode allows integration with over 15 manufacturers providing a highly granular level of device management for those devices. It is a big miss since most of the MDMs have announced support for it in recent months.
Another major miss in Meraki is the feature support for kiosk mode. The lack of kiosk mode in windows, the lack of multi-app kiosk mode, and web app kiosk mode in iOS and iPadOS, Digital Signage display, screensaver, advanced kiosk configurations in Android, and more are major flaws. Hexnode MDM supports all this along with the basic kiosk features.
Hexnode also has provision to record and maintain location tracking history for devices up to 365 days while the location history feature is missing in Meraki. The inability to dynamically group users and devices on Meraki will be an issue for large businesses.
When it comes to application management the ability to downgrade applications to an older version, setup app groups, and Playstore layouts are only available on Hexnode MDM.
For iOS configurations, the synchronization with CardDav, CalDav, LDAP, App Catalogs, APN, VPN on demand, etc are missing for Meraki. Global HTTP proxy, Email, and APN settings are also not available for Android devices on Meraki.
When it comes to windows, policies like password, mandatory apps, blacklisting and whitelisting apps, email configurations, Exchange ActiveSync, and Bitlocker are only available for management on Hexnode MDM.
Similarly, Meraki also misses key features on macOS like, CardDav, CalDav, LDAP, email, Exchange ActiveSync, Smart card authentication, App configurations, mandatory apps, app catalog, etc.
Hexnode MDM is one of, if not the easiest to setup device management solution for enterprises. It fits into any enterprise regardless of their size and field of operations. The getting started setup wizard will help new users get their organization’s management up and running in a jiffy.
The user interface is also in adherence to the most common MDM interfaces making it easy to get into for migrating users. If you ever get stuck, which rarely happens, extensive documentation and a dedicated chat and call support team will be at your disposal.
Meraki’s interface is at par with most of the MDM solutions available today. The interface is pretty straightforward and self-explanatory, but you might see a few stars if you go through their help documentation.
Even though Meraki’s user interface is easy to use, the setup and installation aren’t. The lack of pre-approved enrollment, ROM enrollment, and Gsuite enrollment limits how your organization can get deployed on the platform. There have been several bugs and hiccups for customers during the deployment of devices. They have fixed a few but the flaws of the system are most prominent during the initial deployment.
Cisco Meraki and Hexnode provides a free customer support offering with their plans. This is rare as most services are now opting to make their dedicated customer support a premium offering.
Cisco Meraki’s customer support gets the job done for the most part. They are good enough to guide you through basic steps and clear your queries but everything seems a little too professional.
Hexnode, on the other hand, adds a friendly personal touch to your support experience while keeping it professional. This has helped Hexnode become one of the friendliest vendors not just because of the chat support but also because of the customer success managers that always puts the customer first. The personal touch comes in handy at times especially when you put through requests for modifications that are dealt with the highest priority.
Customers rarely need help using Hexnode, but if you do need assistance there is a 24/5 dedicated live chat support to help. There is no concern too big or too small for the team of MDM experts. Any and all concerns will be addressed in a beat and are especially helpful if you don’t want to go through those extensive help documents for answers.
Unlike other vendors Hexnode MDM’s service doesn’t end at purchase; they provide services like feature addition on customer request and is always available to lend a helping hand.
Hexnode MDM has always been focused on providing a flawless and complete solution for device management. The addition of features requested, faster feature support for new releases, and addressing customer feedbacks are a priority and the ideology that drives them.
This has resulted in Hexnode becoming one of the most rapidly growing MDM vendors. The introduction of zero-day support for new OS updates and releases, integration of IoT, ChromeOS, etc this year is a step in the right direction.
Hexnode has also announced Hexcon, its first user conference to build and strengthen bonds with its customer and partner base.
Meraki focuses both on the hardware and software sides of cloud-managed IT. It may look better on paper but the reality is some of their products like systems manager fall short on quality and finishing. A host of features that could be implemented faster and better haunts their growth in the endpoint management market space.
Hexnode MDM prices its plans from $1 to $5.8 per device per month with a 15-device minimum. Hexnode MDM also provides bulk corporate discounts for large scale companies. The lower price with extensive platform support and free chat support will also make it an ideal solution for small and medium businesses.
Cisco Meraki’s System Manager is priced at $40 per device per year in North America. Meraki doesn’t provide a high variety of plans to suit small businesses and their prices vary with country. The annual plan might be a big investment if you are looking to try something for the short term.
|Feature||Hexnode MDM||Cisco Meraki|
|CardDAV, CalDAV, LDAP, BitLocker||✅||❌|
|Advance Kiosk Capabilities||✅||❌|
|iOS multi-app kiosk||✅||❌|
|Dynamic Groups and App Catalogs||✅||❌|
Don’t just take my word for it here is what customers had to say:
“This software is much more intuitive than free options that are available. At $4/month for each phone, this is something that will almost instantly pay for itself. You can do almost anything to control phones out in the field of your employees. This will limit the time wasted having employees come in the office to assess their phones. Also, this makes it so if someone steals a phone with this software, the phone will be basically useless due to the security features.”
“Our implementation of Hexnode started as a replacement for some very expensive time-clocks from our HR partner, we needed a way to centrally manage the iPads for use as time-clocks. The centralized management is very simple and intuitive. Made management of our iPads for use as timeclock/temperature logging extremely simple from anywhere. Our business is near 24/7 and dealing with limited staffing, the ability to remotely control this integral part of the safety of our employees has been paramount.”
“Hexnode’s support has been great. They solved any problems I ran into quickly. This software has exceeded my expectations and deployment was incredibly simple.”
Meraki has always proven a worthy competitor for the top MDMs in the market through their quality of execution but the delay in getting the execution has riled up its fair share of critics. Hexnode MDM’s dedicated service in improving and maintaining their MDM has helped them secure their current customers while growing rapidly taking a chunk of the competition with them.
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