Microsoft Endpoint Manager is a management tool that neatly combines the services of Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager. Offered both as cloud and on premises, the solution is a good choice in managing corporate owned and personal devices of employees.
Though the features of Microsoft Endpoint Manager on the whole is pretty well stocked, they come with a fair share of limitations that are not enough to address some challenges that can crop up in a modern workplace.
Alternatives to Microsoft Endpoint Manager: why you need it?
The product had its beginnings in 2011 with the formation of Windows Intune, which was later renamed to Microsoft Intune in 2014. Intune is a cloud based MDM and MAM solution that offers the flexibility to manage devices and applications across various platforms such as Android, iOS/iPadOS, macOS and Windows 10. Microsoft Intune was further rebranded to Microsoft Endpoint Manager in 2019 to include the on premises capabilities of Configuration Manager.
There’s no denying that Microsoft Endpoint Manager has always been a popular choice for enterprises with its multi-platform support, BYOD management, and a myriad of remote actions, all of which are essential especially in these times where remote work and everywhere enterprise is beginning to be the new norm.
However, their limited kiosk and app management capabilities coupled with a heavy focus on managing Windows devices prevents it from being the comprehensive device management solution that most customers require. It also lacks the support for FireOS and tvOS devices.
Another downside of Microsoft Endpoint Manager is its hefty pricing. It offers two pricing plans:
- Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 at $10.60/user/month billed annually
- Enterprise Mobility + Security E5 at $16.40/user/month billed annually.
In spite of these drawbacks, the solution still continues to be one of the best within the field. However, here we look into some of the alternatives you could use instead of Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Hexnode is a UEM offering provided by Mitsogo Inc, an IT company based in San Franciso. Hexnode manages a wide range of devices that is not often seen in most management solutions. Its support for remotely managing desktops, mobile devices, rugged devices and workplace IoT from a centralized console provides businesses from various industries the flexibility to comfortably and securely work from any place they want. Integrations with Android Enterprise, ABM and ASM, Samsung Knox, LG Gate, Kyocera, Active Directory, Azure AD, Okta and more provides admins with the convenience to easily onboard users and manage devices from mixed environments.
- Does not support ChromeOS (works are in place to implement this soon)
Blackberry is a Canadian based software and hardware vendor. Known formerly as Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES), it started out as a middleware application that helped Blackberry devices to wirelessly connect to enterprise software which helped employees to work together. With the acquirement of Good Technology, a California based company specialized in handling managed devices within enterprises, helps admins to securely manage their endpoints.
- Offers a multi-platform support which includes Android, iOS, iPadOS, macOS and Windows
- Has OEMConfig integrations
- Supports multiple enrollment methods
- Lockdown capability includes both single app and multi app kiosk mode and configuration of peripheral settings for devices locked in kiosk mode
- Offers broad app management capability such as silent installation of apps, addition of app groups and setting app configurations
- Allows the easy deployment of essential files and other content remotely
- Lacks integration with LG Gate and Kyocera devices which could be essential for enterprise usage
- Does not offer web content filtering and network data usage management
- Pre-approved enrollment can only be done on users and not on devices based on serial numbers
- Lacks geofencing
- Kiosk capabilities needs to be improved, the solution currently lacks background apps, digital signages in Android and autonomous single app mode in iOS devices
- Does not support remote view and control
3) SOTI MobiControl
SOTI MobiControl is an EMM solution that manages devices from various platforms. Found in 1995, the solution provides both Mobile Device Management and Mobile Security Management. SOTI MobiControl helps in tracking devices, manage essential applications and secure devices through remote configurations and policies.
- Supports multiple enrollment methods
- Has key integrations with Android Enterprise, Active Directory, Azure Active Directory, Okta, Google Workspace, Apple Business Manager and Samsung Knox
- Has important configurations such as network data usage management, web content filtering, blacklisting and whitelisting applications
- Offers single app kiosk mode, multi app kiosk mode and background apps
- Supports both remote view and remote control of devices
- Offers content management
- Supports geofencing
- Lacks granular app management – such as the creation of app groups, app configuration, app downgrades, configuring Play Store layout settings and silent app installation
- Does not support Apple Configurator enrollment
- Kiosk capability in iOS devices are limited, it lacks autonomous single app mode, multi app and web app kiosk
- Some essential features that are beneficial for remote work and enterprise usage come as add-ons, customers have to pay more to access additional security configurations
4) Meraki Systems Manager
Meraki Systems Manager is a cloud-based solution offering a centralized management platform for managing and securing mobile devices. The managed devices are connected to Meraki cloud. Once connected, the devices can have secure policies pushed into it to safeguard remote work. They can be located when misplaced and keep end users productive by having the right software and applications deployed onto it.
- Provides multiple enrollment methods and integrations
- Offers network data usage management and web content filtering
- Kiosk capability in Android devices is quite broad, it supports both single app and multi app kiosk and configuration of kiosk exit settings
- Supports autonomous single app mode in iOS devices
- Apps can be silently installed and admins can set up app configurations
- Supports both remote view and remote control
- Users can have access to the files they need
- Supports geofencing
- Does not support self enrollment, ROM/OEM enrollment and pre-approved enrollment
- Lacks integrations with Google Workspace, LG Gate and Kyocera
- Lacks important configurations for iOS devices such as VPN on demand, cardDAV, calDAV, LDAP, email, app catalog and Access Point Name
- Does not support multi app and web app in iOS devices
5) AppTech 360
AppTech 360 is a software vendor specializing in the field of Unified Endpoint Management and security. Their platform offers the flexibility to manage applications, deploy files to remote users and set essential security configurations. Its multi-platform support includes Android, iOS, macOS and Windows. App Tech offers both cloud based and on premises deployment models. Though the company is based in Switzerland, they have a global representation through a network of partner communities.
- Supports multiple enrollment methods
- Offers granular app management capabilities such as remote installation and uninstallation of applications, separation of corporate and private data, blacklisting and whitelisting applications, enterprise app store and per app VPN
- Separation of private and work data through containerization – Android Enterprise, iOS container
- Supports BYOD management
- Offers remote control for easier troubleshooting
- Though AppTech has a dedicated browser it comes with limited customizability options
- Remote control is available via integration with Teamviewer app
- The remote-control app generates a link for the device to connect to Teamviewer, the app needs to be installed on the device prior to use
It is a multi-platform endpoint management solution found in 1992 based in Indianapolis. The solution also provides IT Asset Management. Its device management strategy follows more of a hybrid approach where both traditional management for Mac and Windows are done alongside Unified Endpoint Management. Other features provided include License Management, Remote Desktop, Software Distribution, Patch Management and OS Imaging.
- Offers multi-platform support – Android, iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Windows, tvOS, ChromeOS
- Comes with the ability to track missing devices and secure lost devices
- Enables remote control
- Supports application deployments through Windows MSI, Apple PKG and custom file packages
- Enables the installation of pre-approved applications and software in kiosks
- Has a self-healing and auto resume feature to make sure applications are properly installed even with unstable internet connectivity.
- Supports remote distribution of software
- Automate app installation to enhance the productivity of remote workers
- Supports customized reporting and dynamic group management policy
- Has limited customized reporting
- Does not have a dedicated kiosk browser or kiosk messenger
Ivanti is a software company based in Utah. Formed as a result of a merger between Landesk and Heat software, Ivanti’s main focus is on making Everywhere Workplace more feasible. This enables employees to have immediate access to the applications and content they need whenever they require it. They also have a well-stocked security configurations in place to make the endpoints more secure. Ivanti acquired MobileIron and PulseSecure in 2020, helping the solution to integrate more device management and security capabilities within its feature stack. It supports PCs, mobile devices and virtual desktop infrastructure.
- Offers a multi-platform support, platforms supported includes: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and ChromeOS
- Offers a self-service workspace for the user where applications, files and other content can be shared
- Offers patch management
- Provides better app management by preventing unauthorized code execution, enforcing software licensing and whitelisting and blacklisting applications
- Limited kiosk management capabilities and OEMConfig support
- Does not offer support for digital signage
- Lacks adequate software distribution reporting
8) Matrix 42
Founded in 1992, this Frankfurt based company offers multiple solutions, some of which includes Workspace Management, Unified Endpoint Management, Software Distribution, Enterprise Mobility Management and Data Protection. Its device management offering includes traditional client management, mobile security and Unified Endpoint Management. Matrix 42 offers cloud, on premises and hybrid models.
- Supports zero touch deployment of software, distribution and installation of applications
- Provides real-time reports and analysis
- Offers BYOD management and containerization in personal device and corporate owned device of employees
- Remotely wipe data to secure misplaced devices
- Provides secure single sign-on logon
- Offers secure content management via the Companion App
- Users have to rely on third party integrations to make full use of the benefits offered by containerization
Miradore is a cloud-based endpoint management solution that offers support across various platforms such as Android, iOS, macOS and Windows. It has an on premises device management software known as Miradore Management Suite for laptops and desktops. It supports Windows, macOS and Linux. using Miradore is that its features are not widely spread across multiple platforms. This can be hard for admins managing devices from mixed environments.
- Supports multiple enrollment methods – both user initiated and over the air deployments
- Has good kiosk management capabilities
- Monitor network data usage management in Android devices
- Comes with good application management capabilities such as customizing Managed Google Playstore layout, adding managed configurations and setting permissions on applications in devices enrolled via Android Enterprise
- Supports remote wipe
- Offers containerization in iOS devices
- Supports lost mode in iOS devices
- Does not support tvOS and iPadOS
- Steep learning curve
- Lacks OEMConfig support
10) Citrix Endpoint Management
Citrix is a software company based in the US. The solution manages endpoints by providing both Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management. Named as XenMobile, the product was first created by Zenprise, an MDM developer and was acquired by Citrix in 2013. This acquisition helped Citrix to combine Zenprise’s MDM capabilities with the cloud MAM gateway provided by Citrix. It supports the management of both corporate owned and personal devices of employees.
- Offers multiple enrollment methods
- Can configure various network settings such as WIFI, VPN and APN
- Its kiosk capabilities includes the support of single app and multi app kiosk in Android devices, single app mode in iOS devices, single app and multi app mode in Windows devices
- Offers broad app management capabilities – such as the creation of app groups, setting app configurations, blacklisting and whitelisting applications, setting app notifications and installing apps silently onto the user end devices
- Provides both remote view and remote control
- Has geofencing
- Offers the creation of both user groups and device groups
- Does not support custom ROM enrollment and pre-approved enrollment
- Does not offer network data usage management
- Does not offer web content filtering
- Cannot create app catalogs, downgrade applications and configure the Managed Playstore layout settings
- Does not support the creation of dynamic groups and custom groups
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