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Enterprise mobility management (EMM) suites consist of policy and configuration management tools and a management overlay for applications and content intended for mobile devices based on smartphone OSs. They are an evolution from previous-generation mobile device management (MDM) products that lacked application and content management. IT organizations and service providers use EMM suites to deliver IT support to mobile end users and to maintain security policies.
EMM suites provide the following core functions:
OS configuration management
Mobile app deployment, updating and removal
Mobile app configuration and policy management
Remote view and control for troubleshooting
Execute remote actions, such as remote wipe
Mobile content management
Executing these core functions through MDM represented the early implementation of these functions. MDM tools have evolved to incorporate advanced mobile application management and mobile content management.
Mobile application management applies management and policy control functionality to individual applications, which are then managed by the EMM console. This capability is necessary when the OS (e.g., iOS, Android, Windows Phone) does not provide the required management capability or when organizations elect not to install an MDM profile on the device. There are two basic forms of mobile application management:
Preconfigured applications: These generally include a secure personal information manager (PIM) for email, calendaring and contact management, as well as a secure browser provided by the EMM provider or a third party. These tools are configured to be managed and secured by the EMM system.
Application extensions: These apply policies to applications through the use of a software development kit (SDK) or by wrapping. This capability is necessary when the OS does not provide the required management capability or when organizations elect not to install an MDM agent on the device.
Mobile content management enables users to access content from their mobile devices. The mobile content management function within EMM suites has three fundamental roles:
1. Secure Container — A client-side app that enables a user to store content securely on a mobile device. The EMM can enforce policies such as authentication, file sharing and copy/paste restriction. Content comes from three primary sources:
Content pushed by the administrator or another internal person
Content accessed from a back-end repository
2. Content Push — Push-based document delivery. Some specific functions are: Control document versions
Alert a user of new files
Flag content expiration date
3. Content Access — A connection to a back-end repository where users can pull content to their devices. Specific capabilities are:
Support for specific back-end repositories (SharePoint, Documentum, etc.) Restrict downloads while roaming