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EMM, MDM and MMS: So What?


In my last post I defined the difference between EMM, MDM, and MMS and discussed how enterprises can prioritize mobility to tackle business challenges, empower IT teams to develop relevant strategies and, ultimately, determine the technology investments needed bring those strategies to life. Now that we’ve covered all of the key terms and the general enterprise mobility landscape, let’s talk about the “so what?”

What Is Your Strategy and What do You Choose?

For most enterprises, a mobility strategy will come down to cost. But don’t be penny-wise and dollar foolish. Yes, it might appear that managing mobility with your in-house IT team will save dollars, but do they have the time and resources needed, or will a well-intentioned, resource constrained staff trying to scale cost more in the end?

While BYOD is something every savvy enterprise should consider, it isn’t because it will save your company money; BYOD can actually cost more if your organization doesn’t plan for potential security issues. If you take anything away from this blog post, it is to think about the total cost of enterprise mobility in a pervasively connected world rather than the short-term savings. To help get your mobility strategy in place, here are the steps business leaders and IT teams must first agree on:

  • The necessity of enabling the agile enterprise with a mobile workforce and protecting corporate assets
  • Define a business value strategy before settling on a technology and policies
  • Obtain/develop vertically integrated expertise or evaluate third parties that can help
  • Develop an expense optimization spend strategy that continually embraces and integrates disruption throughout the firm’s value chain, its ecosystem, and engagement channels (internal and external).

I realize these four steps might seem a bit overwhelming, But developing a smart mobile enterprise strategy requires not just hard work but systems-thinking team work between business leaders and IT. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be a painful process. Here’s a quick quiz to help you choose which mobility tool—EMM, MDM or MMS—is the best fit for your business:

  • Can I leverage existing suppliers or partners to help select and deploy tools?
    • If yes, choose MDM or EMM
    • If no, choose MMS with multiple EMM vendor relationships
  • Am I equipped to handle the management platforms and operational services?
    • If no, consider MMS
  • Do I have the expertise to develop policies and strategy?
    • If yes, choose EMM or MDM
  • Should I shift security, management, and cost risks to third party?
    • If yes, choose MMS
  • Can I eliminate duplicate costs?
    • If yes, choose EMM
  • Should I have one party responsible for the entire mobility lifecycle?
    • If yes, choose MMS
  • Can I keep up with innovations and find best of breed solutions?
    • If yes, choose EMM or MDM

Now, tally which solution is trending the most to see which tool will best meet your business needs. If you find that you need a tie-breaker, ask the following:

  • Can I keep ahead of my competition by offering innovation that drives business value?
    • If yes, choose MMS
  • Would costs be impacted if there were delays in the project or a wrong decision was made?
    • If yes, choose MMS

Why You Will Eventually Need a Best of Breed Approach

With the above checklist in mind, you might find that an MDM or EMM solution makes the most sense for your business right now. For example, you may choose MDM if security is your most pressing concern. However, as your business starts to grow, you will need to scale to a “best of breed” approach—MMS. Why? MMS includes the benefits of both EMM and MDM. Take a look at this mobility progression map to see how:


Clearly, as your business matures, your mobility needs will also grow, so it isn’t realistic to expect your IT staff to manage the entirety of a large company’s mobile connections. Plus, it isn’t smart to have unsecured data or fail to measure how your devices are supporting—or taking away from—business goals. Whether you start with an MDM or EMM solution, it is crucial to know that scaling up to an MMS solution makes the most sense as it can grow with your business. Interested in hearing more? Make sure to check out our on-demand webinar on this topic today.