Unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions allow organizations to monitor and manage all PC and mobile devices connected to their network. They combine more traditional mobile device management (MDM) and client management tools (CMTs) to provide a single management interface for all connected endpoints. This makes UEM a lot more efficient than legacy endpoint management tools in terms of simplicity, cost and strain on IT infrastructure.
A UEM solution must be able to provide a centralized view of all devices connected to the organization’s network and enable the management of these devices, including Windows, Mac and Chrome operating system controls but also iOS and Android controls for mobile devices. This is more important now than ever in a world where increasingly more people are turning to remote or hybrid work and, as such, are using personal cell phones and tablets to be able to work from anywhere. Because these devices tend to be less secure than corporate-issued machines, it’s crucial that organizations are able to detect vulnerabilities amongst them and protect against potential attacks against them.
As well as a general overview, the strongest UEM solutions provide useful analytics and insights into device usage, including what apps are being used and why, to help the organization configure usage policies and implement any necessary security measures to protect devices connected to the network. Some UEM solutions are designed to take this a step further, supporting the implementation of security measures based on the UEM’s analyses by integrating easily with unified endpoint security (UES) and access management tools. Some of the vendors featured on this list offer their own UES solutions; others have designed their management solutions to be compatible with other third-party endpoint security tools.
In this article, we’ll explore the top unified endpoint management solutions designed to help organizations monitor the endpoints connected to their network. These solutions offer a range of capabilities, including compliance reporting, advanced user authentication, application isolation and controls, and even threat detection and remediation. We’ll give you some background information on the provider and the key features of each solution, as well as the type of customer that they are most suitable for.
ManageEngine Desktop Central is a leading unified endpoint management solution, which provides extensive management for all endpoints in a company network, including servers, laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets from a single, centralized dashboard.
ManageEngine’s Desktop Central is a highly customizable platform that can be configured to automate a wide range of processes such as software deployment, patch updates, and OS deployment. It offers enhanced visibility and security–admins can track any unusual and anomalous behavior across all endpoints in the network, ensuring that there is nowhere for attackers to hide. Through Desktop’s intuitive, clean dashboard, admins can closely monitor device usage, inventories, and more. This in depth insight into endpoint activity can streamline the threat detection, analysis, and remediation process considerably.
Alongside endpoint management, Desktop also provides customers with asset management, supplies software usage statistics and reports on endpoint activity, apply restrictions, manage USB device usage, and take control over devices when needed. Admins can either configure the program to suit their organization or just set it up “out of the box”, with the solution’s pre-set configurations that cover USB device management, security policies, and more.
Four versions of ManageEngine’s Desktop Central are available, with the free version being best suited to SMBs. From there, there’s the Professional, Enterprise, and UEM editions which offer various levels of features. Paid versions of the service also include two factor authentication for extra endpoint security. Pricing can be supplied via a quotation request.
BlackBerry provides enterprise organizations with the tools they need to secure their employees’ IoT devices, their data and their communications. Spark UEM is their endpoint management offering, focused on securing user access to company data, apps and workspaces from any device. Spark UEM is available as a standalone product or as a part of their Spark Suite, which also includes spark UES, their AI-driven endpoint protection, detection and response solution.
Spark UEM combines endpoint management and policy control to give organizations a centralized overview of the users, devices, apps and policies connected to their network. It also offers management for native container solutions. Spark UEM runs on a zero-trust framework and features strong identity and access management (IAM) capabilities, including 2FA, for continuous user authentication. This gives organizations the confidence to allow employees to use their own devices, reducing the cost associated with issuing corporate devices across the workforce. BlackBerry also offers Spark UES, a cloud-driven security layer that leverages machine learning technology and integrates fully with their UEM solution to give organizations complete protection across their endpoints, on top of the visibility offered by Spark UEM.
BlackBerry Spark provides strong mobile device management, but it’s PC management capabilities are more limited. However, their support for a mobile workforce is robust, with their Digital Workplace feature that delivers third-party-hosted virtual applications and desktops securely to corporate-issued and personal mobile devices, allowing end users to separate work and personal applications and use both securely. We recommend Spark for larger enterprises looking to roll out a robust UEM solution across a largely remote, BYOD workforce.
Citrix is a digital workspace company that specializes in enabling work from anywhere. Through its cloud-delivered workspace platform, Citrix provides consistent, secure and reliable access to the resources and tools employees need to get work done – wherever it needs to get done. Citrix Endpoint Management (CEM) is Citrix’s comprehensive UEM solution for managing applications, data and devices via one integrated platform. It’s designed to secure an organization’s endpoints and enable mobile and remote productivity without creating a strain on IT resources.
With Citrix Endpoint Management, users can access all of their work application and files from one context-aware interface. Compatible with most major operating systems, the solution is extremely flexible and can integrate easily with existing platforms. This allows employees the freedom to use their own devices for work. All corporate data is secured via MFA, a layer of encryption and a unique micro-VPN, ensuring that the organization’s network is protected no matter the security state of the employee’s device. CEM features a single management console from which admins can manage all of their endpoints and configure automation of PC manage tasks such as software distribution and updates. Admins can also configure role-based access views, and deploy mobile policies across groups of users. CEM also features robust reporting capabilities, including unmanaged devices, compliance reporting and system alerts.
CEM is easy to deploy with over-the-air provisioning and self-service enrolment via a one-time passcode process. The organization can also deploy apps remotely though an enterprise app store, as well as app push and removal, so that employees can always access the resources they need. It also implements active clustering to ensure high scalability. We recommend CEM as a strong solution for enterprises that want unified endpoint management they can roll out quickly and easily scale to grow with their workforce.
Hexnode is the enterprise software division of Mitsogo Inc., founded with a focus on enabling business mobility and unity. Hexnode currently support organizations in over 100 countries with their centralized UEM for device, app, content, identity and threat management. Hexnode MDM is their flagship endpoint management solution that allows organizations to secure all of their endpoints via a single holistic platform.
Hexnode MDM allows admins to secure, encrypt, lock and wipe corporate data remotely from any location. Built-in email security features ensure that corporate email attachments are only opened on approved devices, and admins can choose to enforce an automatic lockdown of devices when they’re offline for a number of days, ensuring security even in the case of device loss or theft. From the management console, admins can monitor all endpoint devices, including Android, iOS, Fire OS and Windows PC and mobile devices. This includes the ability to configure platform agnostic policies, and deploy apps and content based on an inventory of all the apps installed on the devices within the organization.
Hexnode MDM’s Smart Kiosk mode turns mobile devices into purpose-built kiosks for certain work applications and secure browsing. In kiosk mode, admins can even remotely configure peripheral settings like volume and screen brightness, and view the device’s screen in real-time where high levels of security are needed. A secure container isolates the user’s work data from all personal apps and content, allowing for a secure BYOD environment.
Hexnode MDM integrates easily with other third-party applications such as Active Directory, Google Workspace and Office 365 for more efficient deployment. Its wide range of features make it a strong solution for managing mobile enterprise device fleets, from simple data segregation right through to high-security screen monitoring.
IBM Security is a trusted cybersecurity vendor that delivers solutions to meet a variety of use cases, including analytics, IT infrastructure and management, and software development. MaaS360 is their market-leading UEM solution. MaaS360 with Watson MDM gives organizations visibility and security over iOS, macOS, Android and Windows endpoints connected to their network. With deployment through the MaaS360 cloud, IBM’s UEM solution is quick and easy to set up so that organizations can start managing their device fleet without any obstacles.
IMB MaaS360 leverages IBM’s Watson AI- driven analytics capabilities to enable organizations to identify, prioritize, triage and resolve security issues on MaaS360-managed devices. From the user-friendly dashboard, admins can generate customized reports that give them insights into device and application usage. Based on these reports, admins can configure and validate their working practices to ensure that all devices remain as secure as possible. MaaS360 also features extensive application security processes, including single sign-on and app-level tunneling to allow users quick, secure access to business resources when they’re not in the office. This can be rolled out across corporate devices and BYOD environments. Admins can also configure the levels of security needed for personal devices, ranging from relaxed policies where users are given unlimited access to all resources through to much stricter ones, where data storage on the device is restricted via a corporate persona or container.
MaaS360 integrates easily with third-party CMTs and offers patching capabilities for Windows and macOS apps, helping organizations transition various management tools to one modern platform. We recommend IBM Security’s MaaS360 as a strong UEM solution for small- to mid-sized organizations. However, larger enterprises need not feel left out – IBM also offer their Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution to cover more extensive workforces.
Ivanti, formerly LANDESK and HEAT Software, is an IT security and asset management vendor that specialises in unified IT. Their solutions support enterprises across the globe, including 78 of the Fortune 100. Unified Endpoint Manager is Ivanti’s solution that enables organizations to consolidate their endpoint and workspace management via a single management suite. It gives admins detailed insights into which devices are connected to their network, as well as enabling and simplifying remote software delivery.
Unified Endpoint Manager allows admins to discover, inventory and configure all of the devices connected to their network. It supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, iOS and Android operating systems. From the centralized management console, admins can easily enrol new devices and users, as well as policies. The use of user profiles means that a user’s data can be moved between machines, which is particularly useful for organizations and employees migrating to Windows 10. From the console, admins can access reporting and integrate their corporate data into visual dashboards. This doesn’t require any coding, so allows organizations to gain valuable insights into their devices without the need for extensive technical expertise. Admins can also choose to deliver an app store experience or configure software distribution to targeted user groups. In this instance, Ivanti UEM downloads the software automatically to the correct devices, ensuring that users can always access the resources they need.
Unified Endpoint Manager also features automatic OS migrations and updates and customers can also add on integrated endpoint security, including application patching, to help isolate and remediate security threats. This add on ensure a further level of security across all mobile devices. The solution is scalable, and its automated update and migration features make it a strong solution for growing organizations. We recommend Ivanti’s Unified Endpoint Manager as a powerful solution for midsize enterprises looking to manage endpoints and deploy applications remotely without the need for a VPN.
VMWare produces software solutions to help empower digital workforces. Their Workspace ONE solution, powered by VMWare AirWatch technology, provides end users with a digital workspace that admins can use to manage endpoints, ensure end-to-end security between data centers and integrate multiple enterprise systems. The system supports all corporate-owned and BYOD devices, no matter the platform or operating system.
Workspace ONE allows admins to manage all devices connected to their network via a single console. From the console, admins can configure policies, patches and provision and deploy apps over the air. End users can access all workplace apps from one location, which improves security and ensures consistent management policies across all app types. Workspace ONE also offers tailored productivity apps to support email, notes and tasks, content and a corporate intranet. Users can only access apps necessary to them, and from compliant devices, thanks to Workspace ONE’s advanced zero-trust authentication tools, which assess use and device risk to allow or deny access, or require MFA before access is granted. If an attempted login has a high risk score, admins are notified and automatic remediations are triggered.
Workspace ONE Intelligence provides integrated insights into the digital workspace environment, based on device, app and user data, to help admins reduce IT costs, improve security and optimize employee experience.
Workspace ONE’s architecture is highly flexible so as to support organizations on-premises, via SaaS or as a hybrid combination of the two at a component level. It also integrates easily with various third-party identity and access management, endpoint security, IT operations and IT service management tools. This flexibility makes it a strong UEM solution for any enterprise organization, no matter their state of cloud migration.
42Gears is a cybersecurity vendor specializing in endpoint management and organizational mobility solutions. They support organizations in over 115 countries and pioneer cloud solutions for enterprise mobility. 42Gears UEM allows organizations to secure, monitor and manage all of their endpoints, including non-traditional and IoT devices such as printers, wearables and IoT gateways.
42Gears UEM offers fully integrates support for a multi-device architecture, no matter what the operating system, device type or platform. Because of the wide variety of devices it supports, employees have the flexibility to work on their preferred device and concentrate their energies on the tasks they need to perform, rather than how to gain access to the resources they need. 42Gears UEM implements a common set of IT processes for continuous security compliance across all devices and platforms. The solution also sets DLP policies through multi-factor and multi-layer authentication and access controls to help protect sensitive user and corporate data. It promotes a unified user experience by making sure that all business process and apps appear and function the same, no matter on which endpoint the user accesses them.
Remote troubleshooting, device wipe and device viewing make this solution particularly suited to organizations who need to be able to manage employee devices from afar. We recommend 42Gears UEM as a strong solution for medium-sized organizations and smaller enterprises looking to manage all of their endpoints, including devices connected to the network through laptops and PCs.
What is a UEM solution?
Unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions enable businesses and managed service providers (MSPs) to monitor and manage all the PC and mobile endpoints connected to their network (or, in the case of MSPs, their clients’ networks).
Traditionally, IT teams would have to use multiple disparate systems for managing mobile endpoints and endpoint applications, and carrying out administrative endpoint tasks. With a UEM solution, IT and security teams can gain a holistic overview of the health and operational status of all their endpoints via one interface. They can also manage the tasks and processes run by those endpoints, such as application deployment, patch management, and antivirus/anti-malware protection.
Why do you need to protect your mobile endpoints as well as those on-site?
To find out why it’s important that businesses can manage and secure all the endpoints connected to their network—including ones that aren’t owned by the business, but by its employees—we spoke to Nigel Thompson, VP of Product Marketing at BlackBerry.
“It’s the idea of people outside your network using endpoints that you may or may not own. You can’t just focus on devices that you as a company own, because you’re only solving half the problem and, with remote users, that’s really key,” Thompson told Expert Insights.
“When you’re on a work computer, psychologically as a user, you’re a little more vigilant,” he added. “You see more, you’re looking at your system, you’re looking for alerts. It’s like a reflex.
“But there’s always been an idea that mobile is like a sandbox, and that mobile is generally more secure. And that’s not true as much anymore. There’s also been an assumption that app stores are safe and nothing bad can get through. And that’s not true so much either. They do a good job, don’t get me wrong, but stuff is getting through.
“So, the game has changed. It’s serious. The threats are serious, the implications are serious.”
What features should you look for in a UEM solution?
There are five key features you should look for in a UEM solution:
- Device compatibility: Your solution must be compatible with all the types of endpoint in your device fleet.
- Centralized management: You should be able to monitor and troubleshoot endpoints remotely from a central web- or cloud-based console. This includes enrolling new users and devices, distributing software, configuring user access, and generating reports.
- Application isolation: If you have BYOD devices in your fleet, app isolation enables your users to separate the personal and work apps so they can use them both securely via one device.
- Integrations: Your solution should integrate with any existing endpoint management tools you have, your user directory, plus any other third-party applications like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace for more effective provisioning and patching.
- Endpoint security features: All UEM solutions should offer device usage and health insights. Some offer further security features, such as user authentication, a VPN, remote device wiping or locking, email security, and remote peripheral setting adjustment. If your solution doesn’t offer these features natively, it should integrate with other security tools that do.