Introduction to MDM
Table of contents

MDM: Introduction to Mobile Device Management

The use of mobile devices in the professional environment is steadily increasing. This creates new challenges for companies in terms of integration, security and data protection. Mobile device management offers a simple way to create transparency and control in the use of mobile devices.

What does MDM mean?

The abbreviation MDM stands for Mobile Device Management. Mobile device management is the central administration of mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablets. The corresponding MDM software provides a wide range of functions for inventorying, configuring, managing and protecting mobile devices, which can be applied to all registered devices.

Excursus: MDM vs. EMM vs. UEM?

When dealing with mobile device management, one often comes across the abbreviations EMM and UEM. These are solutions that go beyond MDM. Although the scope of EMM and UEM solutions theoretically goes beyond MDM, the terms are often used synonymously in practice today.
EMM - Enterprise Mobility Management

MDM originally referred only to the management of mobile devices. In addition, MAM (Mobile Application Management) for managing the applications on the devices and MCM (Mobile Content Management), which was used to regulate access to the respective resources, were further individual solutions. Enterprise Mobility Management aimed at merging these separate solutions.

UEM - Unified Endpoint Management

EMM only referred to the area of mobile devices. However, the need to manage other devices and systems within an organisation via a common solution quickly grew. This need led to the development of unified endpoint management solutions that could also manage other devices such as desktop computers, printers or POS systems via one solution.

Reasons for using an MDM solution

In many companies, hybrid work is the new working norm of the future. The use of mobile devices is increasing. Depending on the chosen mobile device strategy in the company, a multitude of different devices with different operating systems must be integrated and managed.

Mobile Device Management offers a simple, scalable and easy-to-use way to integrate a large number of devices into the company and manage them centrally. This leads to enormous cost and time savings for the often very scarce IT resources in the company. At the same time, MDM can be used to minimise security risks and implement data protection guidelines in an uncomplicated manner.

How does Mobile Device Management work?

The underlying principle is the same for every MDM solution, even if the way it works differs slightly depending on the provider.

  • In order to be able to manage end devices via the MDM console, they must first be registered in the system. Most device manufacturers already offer solutions for adding new devices automatically.
  • In order for the MDM software to be able to communicate with the mobile devices, special software, a so-called agent, is required on the side of the end device.
    All the desired settings are made via the console of the MDM software.
  • The configuration instructions are then sent from the MDM server to the mobile device via wireless networks and API interfaces.
  • If the agent receives new instructions, these are carried out directly on the device.
MDM - Introduction to Mobile Device Management
Functionality of Mobile Device Management

Most MDM solutions provide endpoint agents for the respective operating systems such as Windows, Linux, iOS, Android and others. In this way, a wide variety of device types can be managed via a single system.

What possibilities does an MDM solution offer me?

Modern MDM solutions offer a wide range of configuration options. These can be conveniently carried out remotely via the console without having to physically touch the device.

The settings can be applied to individual devices or device groups (e.g. by department, management level or similar). Although the range of functions of the individual solutions can vary in detail, most of the following options can be found with most providers.

Equipment inventory

MDM solutions greatly simplify device inventory. The MDM software continuously collects important information about the registered devices. This includes:

  1. General unit information
  2. Current location
  3. Installed apps
  4. Guarantee status


Using MDM, devices can be easily set up remotely to meet data security and compliance, such as:

  • Control access to networks (VPN, wireless networks, ...)
  • Block device functions such as camera

Software & Content Management

All applications on the devices can be managed. With just a few clicks

  • Defines which apps must be installed on each device.
  • regulates which software can be installed or not installed (white & blacklisting)
  • Software brought up to date
  • Software removed from the unit

Device safety

Numerous security settings can be made for the greatest possible protection of the devices against unauthorised access, among others:

  • Encryption of data on hard disks
  • Define minimum strength for passwords
  • Create different device containers to separate private and professional data

Management of different terminals

MDM solutions were originally designed to manage smartphones, later also tablets. Many providers were therefore specialised in individual operating systems such as iOS or Android. As mobile device management became more widespread, the need for centralised management of different types of devices grew. As a result, the range of functions of the solutions offered increased, so that today a wide range of different devices and systems can be managed via a single software.

Separate from the MDM solutions, the device manufacturers have their own programmes to register the devices in the MDM solution.


The portals Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager are used for the enrolment of Apple devices. The web portals can be used to include iOS, iPadOS and macOS devices in the administration and to manage apps and licences.


Android Zero Touch and Samsung Knox Mobile (for Samsung devices) are available for the enrolment of Android devices. Software and licences are managed via the Managed Google Play Store.


Companies organise their employees' access to all important applications via Azure Active Directory. It can also be used to automatically add Windows devices to the respective MDM solution.

Which MDM solution is suitable for my company?

As is so often the case, a blanket answer to this question cannot be given. Rather, the individual choice depends on a number of factors

  • How many devices must be able to be managed?
  • Is it one type of unit or numerous different ones?
  • How and for what are the devices used?

Before deciding on an MDM solution, attention should therefore be paid to the following points:

1. supported operating systems

Not every MDM solution supports every operating system. To find a suitable MDM software, it is important to have a clear picture of the devices used or to be used in the company. This ensures that all devices can be managed via a single system.

2. supported functions

The range of functions varies between the individual providers. At the same time, more features always mean more complexity. Here, too, one should first define one's own requirements and then compare them with the individual tools in order to find the right solution.

3. on-premise or cloud

Most MDM solutions today run conveniently in the cloud and are thus accessible from anywhere. The resulting ease of scalability is especially important for fast-growing companies. Depending on the business sector, such a cloud service may not be desired, for example for security reasons in highly regulated areas. So-called on-premise, i.e. self-hosted solutions, are available for this.

4. available budget

The available budget is a limiting factor in most companies. For comparatively low costs, various providers now offer a wide range of functions. In addition, in many cases there are different payment plans that allow for easy scalability.

Examples of MDM solutions

There are numerous providers on the market for MDM solutions. Among the best known are:

  • Citrix Endpoint Management
  • IBM MaaS360
  • Jamf
  • Microsoft Intune
  • Sophos Mobile
  • VMWare Workspace ONE

How can Lendis support you?

As part of our Device as a Service offer, companies receive a turnkey solution for equipping employees with mobile devices. In addition to the provision of high-quality technology, the implementation of a suitable mobile device management solution is an essential part of this solution.

Equip employees with technology in an uncomplicated & flexible way?
We address your individual needs in order to find a customised concept for you and your company. In a free workshop, we first clarify your current IT setup and get to know your future requirements. Based on this, we provide you with a personalised test environment. There you can familiarise yourself with the solution and make any desired adjustments together with our MDM experts.
We also ensure that all devices rented with Lendis are registered directly in the MDM software and can then be easily managed by you. This also applies to all other smartphones, tablets or laptops rented later.
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