Setup Custom alerts for devices not returned to base.

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We are providing special rugged devices to our employees working in the fields. The devices are supposed to be returned back to the base after shift hours. But we are having trouble with a few employees not returning their devices. Is there a way I can create alerts that would help me identify the devices that are not returned back to the base once the shift is completed?

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  • Participant



    I don’t think hexnode provides such automation functionalities as of now. But I am aware of their plans to include Automation and Time-Based policies in the future which was discussed in brief at hexcon20.

  • Participant



    @nou, I believe geofencing and scheduling reports provide some level of automation. You can apply certain policies if your device is in the geofence and remove them if the device goes out of the fence. But I don’t see how that can be used to create alerts as you require in your case. Maybe you can schedule reports of devices not in your base….not so sure of the exact implementation process.
    Adding to @oakley, hexnode has promised Automation in the console with the new revamp. Really excited about what automation brings to the table.

  • @elena and @oakley Thanks for your time. I was not aware of the future propositions of hexnode, but I was curious and did some digging. The entire intelligent mdm with custom alerts and automation seem to exactly fit what I need. But I couldn’t find any info regarding when these features will be released. Do you guys have any idea?
    Also, scheduling reports does not seem to have an option to include geofence.

  • Hey folks. It seems like you guys are having a good time talking Hexnode. Pardon my intrusion, but it appears as though I might be of some assistance here.

    Answering your original query, @noud, as you might be already aware, an alert can be configured only if there is a noticeable change in the device end. From your query, the devices are to be returned to the base after the shift hours. Assuming that the base is at a location away from the field where the devices are supposed to be during the shifts, we can proceed using Geofencing as @elen has suggested, with some additional tuning. I would like you to confirm the above hypothesis.

    It would help me a lot if you could point out any other changes in the device end that occur when the device is at the base. Please ensure that such changes only happen when the device is at the base. These changes can be used to map devices that have been returned.

    1. I would also require some additional details.
    2. The number of devices managed.
    3. Device model and OS version.
    4. The number of shifts scheduled on a day and a rough time estimate of when you expect the devices to be back at the base.

    Now, getting into your more recent query about Automation and Custom alerts – They are right around the corner. A few more tuning here and there and these features should be released after rigorous testing. Until then, I am sure that I can make your life a little bit easier if you would be kind enough to enlighten me with the fore-mentioned details.

    @oakley, @elen Great inputs. Geofencing must be coupled with other features to obtain fully functional automation. Thanks for being an active part of the community.

    Have a great day!
    Shawn Payne.
    Hexnode UEM.

  • Hey Shawn. Yes. The base is located 3 miles away from the fields. About other changes in the device, I am not aware of any.
    About 300 devices
    Samsung S8 active, android 9
    We have a single shift that ends at 7 pm.  Devices will be collected and processed by 9. We want the devices shelved by 10 pm.

  • Thanks, @nou for that.
    From my analysis, you can achieve what you are looking for using a combination of Geofence, Compliance Notifications, and Scheduled Reports.

    1. First, you have to create a Geofence around your base.
    2. After creating a fence, apply the Geofence via a new policy to all of your targeted devices.
      Now, browse to Admin Tab > General Settings. Find Scheduled Device Scan.

      • Choose “Daily” under Time settings.
      • Set the Initiate Scan at to a suitable time after which you expect all of your devices to be back at the base. In your case, it would be around 9.00 PM.
    3. Find Compliance Settings in the General Settings and ensure that “Device moves out of geofence” is the only option checked.
    4. Go to Admin Tab > Notifications. In Notify the administrators on check “Device out of compliance”.
    5. Browse to Admin Tab > General Settings. Find Inactivity Settings. Check “Mark Inactivity” and set the “Duration” for one day.
    6. Finally, navigate to Admin > Scheduled Reports. Create a new Scheduled Report with the following configurations-
      • Time Settings – Daily
      • Initiate Scan at – Choose a suitable time, here around 9 PM would be ideal.
      • Select Report category – Devices
      • Select Report – Inactive devices.
        Provide the other details as per your necessity and “Save”.

    That’s it. The console should send you an alert via email for each device that has not reached the base at the set time. You will also receive a report of any devices that have been turned off or have been inactive.

    Let me explain what happens once you finish setting these configurations.

    At the specified time under “Scheduled Device Scan”, the server will request a complete scan of the device. Now, if your device is returned to the base, the device will be inside the Geofence. If not returned, it will render the device non-compliant, as the device is out of the Geofence and you have set “Device moves out of geofence” as a parameter for compliance.

    As soon as the device is non-compliant, you will receive an e-mail stating that the device has gone out of the Geofence, which would help you to know which devices have not been returned.

    You can head over to the Hexnode console and browse to the Reports Tab > Device Reports > Non-Compliant Devices to view all the devices that have not returned to the base at the set time.

    You can also head over to the Hexnode console and browse to the Reports Tab > User Reports > Non-Compliant Users to view all the users who have not returned their devices to the base at the set time.

    If by any chance, the device loses internet connectivity or becomes inactive, you can find such devices in the Scheduled Report that will be arriving at your e-mail every day

    Though this method is very effective and provides you with automated alerts, you will be missing out on a few security features. As the only compliance criterion set is Geofence, the console will be disregarding other compliance checks like passcode checks.

    Also, be aware that there is no way to know if the device has been returned to base after the set scan time, without manually accessing the console and running a manual scan.

    Try it out and keep me posted of any updates.

    Shawn Payne.
    Hexnode UEM.

  • hello. i have a similar requirement. I tried the solution recommended above, but the results are not satisfactory. most devices remain compliant even if they are not inside the set geofence, which is the device repository. the devices are used in rotation among employees of different shifts. so getting the details once per day is not enough. is there any other precise solution available?

  • @noud, glad I could help.
    @eden-parker, sorry my solution did not work out for you. I will need more information. Could you gather these details for me?

    1. Distance between your repository and where the devices are used.
    2. The number of devices managed.
    3. Device model and Software.
    4. Any specific changes on the device end, like Wi-Fi network change, when the device is returned to the repository.

    Shawn Payne.
    Hexnode UEM.

  • Sure. Here is what I know.The devices are used in spaces within a 0.5-mile radius from the inventory.
    We have about 60 devices enrolled in hexnode. iOS and Android devices
    The devices are connected to the company wifi network. When in the repository, the devices connect to the repository wifi, which has the same SSID as that of the company wifi. So, I guess there are no other notable changes I am aware of.
    I am not looking for alerts. I just want to know how many devices have been returned so that I can assign them to the following shifts, without having to manually receive each device and verify.

  • Great @eden-parker. I think I can assist you with that.

    The reason why the method suggested earlier did not yield satisfactory results is due to the fact that your repository and the workspace are in close proximity. This can interfere with the location tracking, especially if High Accuracy tracking is unavailable.

    You will have to follow the steps listed below to achieve the required functionality.

    1. First, change the Repository Wi-Fi SSID. As you might know, we need a change in the device end to trigger a response from the server. As location change is not acceptable, we will be using the Wi-Fi SSID of the devices to trigger a server response.
    2. Set the Wi-Fi SSID of the repository to be, let’s say, “REPO”. Now, push this Wi-Fi configuration to all of the Android and iOS devices you wish to manage and allow “Auto join” to this network using an Hexnode MDM Wi-Fi configuration policy.
    3. Now, create a Dynamic Device Group. Name the group “Returned Devices”.
    4. While creating the group, set the following values in “Choose Condition Filters”.
      • Select Column group – Network Info
      • Select Column – Wi-Fi SSID
      • Select comparator – is
      • Filter – “REPO”.
    5. Save the Dynamic group and you are good to go.

    Let me explain what happens here.

    When devices are in use, they will be out of range from the Wi-Fi network in the repository, and hence will be connected to the company Wi-Fi and hence have a different Wi-Fi SSID.

    When the devices are returned, they will be in the range from the Repository Wi-Fi, now renamed “REPO” and connect automatically to the network as you have already pushed the required Wi-Fi configurations via policy. So, now the Wi-Fi SSID of the returned devices will be “REPO”.

    As we have configured a dynamic group to contain all such devices, all returned devices will be included in the group “Returned Devices”.

    The Dynamic group refreshes and updates itself after a specific interval of time as allowed by your subscription plan. So, at any instant, you can just open your Hexnode console and check the Device group “Returned Devices” to find out which devices have been returned to the repository.
    You can simply create another Dynamic device group with the only change being the Comparator – is not to list all devices not returned to the repository.

    Again, there exists a situation where the devices might loose internet connectivity or be powered off. In such a scenario, the device will not be listed in either of the device groups. You can set Scheduled Reports as discussed in the previous post to list such inactive devices and counter this issue.

    Hope this solution works for you.

    Have a blast.
    Shawn Payne.
    Hexnode UEM.