EMM/IoT Management Convergence: Are We Making Progress?

Kathryn Weldon
Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Operators, OEMs, and service/application platform vendors keep hinting about converged services and platforms to manage both traditional enterprise mobility and IoT functions
  • Has the ecosystem made much progress in these efforts; does it need to make more?

Service delivery and management platforms for EMM and M2M/IoT have some similarities; EMM manages mobile devices used by people, by managing, securing and containerizing devices and the applications residing on them or accessed by them. IoT platforms for connected devices/machines are a bit different and tend to be divided into service delivery management, and application enablement, with device management sometimes added in and other times missing in action. The vendors that talk the most about bringing these two separate worlds together have been the mobile app platform vendors – if SAP, Oracle, IBM, HP, and Microsoft can help businesses develop mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, developing an app that collects and integrates data with back-end databases from wirelessly connected machines, vehicles, or sensors is a natural next step. EMM vendors such as Vmware/AirWatch. MobileIron, Blackberry, and Good include IoT routinely in their discussions of the future of the “digital workspace” but it’s not clear that many customers are using their platforms to managed connected IoT devices. Jasper and VMware have achieved some level of service delivery and EMM platform integration, adding the key element of device management element to Jasper’s IoT solution.

Service providers are in a similar state. Verizon announced it would be using the same “pane of glass” for management of IoT and EMM a year ago, but so far it hasn’t announced anything specific. It may be that the platforms they depend on haven’t yet achieved the necessary integration for them to offer “converged” services.

The lack of EMM/IoT convergence to-date has also been blamed on a disconnect between OT and IT where operations managers tend to be the ones deploying IoT solutions and IT managers are the ones looking to EMM solutions. IoT is also frequently a line of business decision, which solves a particular problem rather than more broadly dealing with a wide-spread technology like mobile connectivity for employees. Clearly if businesses can solve their EMM and IoT service delivery, device management, and security issues with the same platform they can save money and gain productivity and efficiency benefits. We will keep looking at this space for progress.


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