What is a UEM solution? Explaining UEM
Oct 08, 2021 | 42Gears Team
What is a UEM Solution? It's a popular search query for a reason. Many companies are busy implementing UEM solutions, meaning other companies risk falling behind. Depending on your needs, a UEM solution can save you a huge amount of money and time.
Once you understand what the term means, you can decide whether your company needs it. Either way, you will become more knowledgeable about an important type of software. Particularly if you are an IT admin, you will hear about this type of software often in the near future, so it's good to be prepared.
What is a UEM Solution?: The Meaning of UEM
UEM stands for "Unified Endpoint Management." In order to make sense of that term, however, it's important to answer a few related questions. Namely, what is an endpoint? And also, why does the term "unified" matter?
If you travelled back in time to a business in the early 2010s or earlier, you would likely see mobile devices managed separately from everything else in the office. In other words, admins would have a dedicated management system for computers, and a separate dedicated system for phones. This made sense in an era when employees used simple flip phones - but as phones gained apps and other computer-like features, isolated mobile device management became less efficient.
Of course, it would be most efficient to manage everything in one place - including phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. The product that stepped in to serve this role is known as "unified endpoint management" software.
As you might guess, an "endpoint" is any device that admins can manage. This includes phones, computers, and more, like wearables, VR headsets, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The term "unified" represents the need for a tool that could manage every type of endpoint in one place. Now, the term "unified endpoint management" should make sense.
(Note that many admins and companies will use the term “mobile device management” interchangeably with “unified endpoint management.” In the majority of cases, modern products labelled as “mobile device management” are in fact UEM software.)
Why is UEM Important?: Some Examples
Companies that implement a UEM solution often can't believe they ever operated without one. There are many possible reasons why a UEM solution is helpful, but we've included a few of the most important ones below.
- Device Health At-A-Glance: Enrolling all of your devices into a UEM solution lets you see how devices are doing at any time. If a device breaks, you will be alerted to it right away. You might even be able to see when a device is about to break and repair it before anything bad happens.
- Example: A retail employee is using an Android device that loses its charge quickly throughout the day. Because the UEM solution alerts you to this happening, you figure out the device has activated location tracking by mistake, wasting charge, which is something you can fix easily.
- Fix Any Device From Anywhere: Admins can use remote control on any device enrolled in a UEM solution. This means they can view a broken device's screen on the central console, and control the device remotely as if it were in front of them.
- Example: If you serve as an admin for truckers and other workers who spend a lot of time away from the office, it may be very hard to troubleshoot any problems that happen. Using a UEM lets you control and fix devices directly so they still function while workers are on the road.
- Make Sure People Use Devices Safely: You can make sure people use devices safely. This includes physical safety (for example, having devices turn off when they detect the user is driving quickly) and cybersecurity (for example, preventing users from downloading any files without approval, to thwart possible phishing schemes).
- Example: Unsecured Wi-Fi networks can give bad actors a chance to read sensitive email conversations. Using a UEM, you can prevent employees from engaging with work emails on unsafe networks. Once they join a secure network, they can send work emails again.
- Emergency Messaging: In case of an emergency, you can send an alert message to every device using the UEM solution. This is essential in the event of a fire, earthquake, or other impending emergency. Many devices can also send messages back to the central console, allowing for two-way messaging.
- Example: If a school wishes to conduct a lockdown (either as a drill or in response to an actual threat), they can send an alert via the UEM system to ensure every staff member gets it. Staff and the UEM admin can then message each other with updates so everyone stays informed.
The Best UEM Solution for Beginners
If you are just starting out as an admin, you will likely benefit from a good UEM solution. That said, some can be difficult to use for beginners, with limited customer support.
42Gears tries to make its UEM solution, SureMDM, as beginner-friendly as possible, while having all sorts of advanced features. For instance, 42Gears has a dedicated Welcome Team that can give demos and answer questions for newcomers. This means anyone, regardless of skill level, can start using SureMDM to meet their needs.
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