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Since we last reviews mobile device management (MDM) products, ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corporation, has worked to fully support the latest releases of the Android and iOS platforms so it can handle their bundled enrollment methods. This was one area where we found this product lacking in the previous review, and we were happy to see it’s been addressed. However, while ManageEngine MDM supports all four Android enterprise management sets plus zero-touch enrollment, it still falls a bit behind when it comes to reporting and the device registration workflow. However, that’s all that is keeping this product behind our Editors’ Choice winners, VMware AirWatch and IBM MaaS360.  

In addition to working on its feature set, ManageEngine has made a concerted effort to form partnerships with major mobile device OEMs. That list includes Lenovo, Sony, Samsung, and WishTel to provide the most up-to-date control of devices from these manufacturers. They’ve also integrated with other IT management solutions including their own ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus, Atlassian JIRA, and Zendesk Support to provide a seamless product offering across both the device management and help desk space. New public APIs make integrating other products easier as well.

Like SOTI MobiControl and IBM MaaS360, ManageEngine MDM can also manage your Windows and Mac desktop PCs along with your mobile devices. While we didn’t test these features specifically, we did see that these features were available during our stint with the product. 

Installation and Device Enrollment

Starting a ManageEngine trial requires filling out pertinent contact information on their website. With that complete you’ll be taken to the login page where you can get started immediately. They also offer an on-premises edition for download. This version is free for up to twenty-five devices. ManageEngine provides a useful set of videos to help get you started quickly.

Device enrollment is one area where we saw significant improvements since our last review. For Android devices you can now use the NFC method to quickly enroll new devices with minimal user input. New Android devices can be configured by using a special Google account during initial device setup. Apple enrollment options include Apple Enrollment (ABM/ASM), Apple Configurator, APNs Certificate, and through the ManageEngine MDM app. The user self-enrollment scenario is a little tedious requiring you to enter information into the ManageEngine MDM app versus using a QR code.

The process of wiping a Samsung Galaxy S9 phone and then enrolling it as a corporate device took only a few minutes. A special email address used during the initialization of the device causes the ManageEngine client to download and then scanning a QR code on the PC screen completes the process. Once that’s finished the device will show up in a list of unassigned devices. From there you can download a CSV file of all unassigned devices and make the appropriate user corrections. An upload button from the same screen lets you make new device assignments from the corrected CSV file.

ManageEngine MDM Mobile App View

Management Interface

The first thing you see after logging in to your Mobile Device Manager Plus account is the dashboard which shows information about devices, apps, and platforms in both graphical and numeric forms. A Recent Activity Feed on the right-hand side of the dashboard presents a social-media type running annotation of system-related events. It’s also possible to rearrange the different widgets to present the information of interest in a way that suits your primary focus areas.

Selecting an individual device from the Inventory page shows you a ton of information. The Location Data tab shows a map of the world with icons for different devices. If you click on an icon on the map, you’ll see information about the device plus buttons to initiate Enable Lost Mode, Remote Lock, and Corporate Wipe. A search box on the map lets you look for lost devices by name or user to locate the device on the map.

For Samsung Android devices you have the option to create a Knox container to enable more secure data protection. This can either be done through a policy application or individually by device from the Actions menu. Other actions available from this menu include the ability to launch a remote session to view the device from the ManageEngine console. This feature is fully baked into the system, unlike AppTec360 and Baramundi Management Suite which require an external third-party tool. You can also locate a device, lock, wipe, and restart all from the Actions menu.

Reporting tools available with ManageEngine MDM app are extensive and some of the best in this roundup. A comprehensive list of predefined reports generates most of the information you would want to see. If you need something more you have the ability to create a Query-based report utilizing a SQL-like language. But while that gives you customization capability, it’s definitely not the easiest method we’ve encountered. However, it’s functional and you can also schedule reports to run on a periodic basis and send the results to an email for administrative review.

ManageEngine MDM Device Detail View

Pricing

List price for the Professional version of the ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus Cloud service is $2 per device per month. The on-premises version costs $1.50 per device per month paid on an annual subscription basis. For small businesses they offer a full-featured free version for managing up to 25 devices. While not the lowest priced solution in our MDM roundup, those numbers are certainly competitive, especially for small to midsized business (SMB) customers.

Overall, we found ManageEngine MDM to be an efficient product with improved features from our previous review. Pricing puts the ManageEngine MDM offering near the top of the class in features and cost with only small dings in the registration workflow and report customization. This is a really solid product with both cloud-based and on-premises options that can span the needs of any sized business up to and including enterprise customers. 

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