Finance

Sep 30 2017

IBM MaaS360 Review & Rating #amtel #mdm


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IBM MaaS360

Comprehensive and customizable reporting capability. User-friendly and task-oriented management console.

No easy way to bulk import users except from an existing directory. A few minor device enrollment glitches.

IBM MaaS360 is a nice product at a reasonable price. It provides the tools needed to successfully monitor and manage mobile devices in the enterprise as well as some optional add-ons, including threat analytics, for an additional monthly charge.

IBM added their name to the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) market with the acquisition of Fiberlink Communications and their Maas360 product roughly two years ago. A mature product, IBM MaaS360 (which begins at $3 per device per month) ranks among the leaders in the EMM market, with broad platform support, advanced features, and a good initial price. Only IBM MaaS360’s tendency to offer needed features only via add-on tools that drive up its price leave it behind Editors’ Choice winner VMware AirWatch this time around.

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One of the focus areas for the IBM MaaS360 development team was ease of deployment. The enrollment process was comparable to AirWatch on all the platforms including the use of QR codes. which helps to speed things up. IBM also brings a lot of ancillary things to the table for a product such as MaaS360, not the least of which is their security team. A long history with the largest corporate customers from both a sales and a consulting perspective helps as well.

Installation and Device Registration
Getting started with IBM MaaS360 is similar to some the other products in that you sign up for a trial demo on the website. Be aware you won’t be able to use a Gmail account to sign up as they want your company email address. Once you get past the registration you should be up and running when the welcome email arrives. First steps include configuring users and then any default policies you want to enforce, such as a PIN lock. A series of Quick Start screens leads you through the initial configuration process.

Registering devices happens primarily from the main dashboard on either the Devices or Users tab. You can also enable Streamlined Enrollment for iOS devices, which uses an Apple process to register multiple devices using a corporate token certificate. With corporate identity linking it’s possible to enroll a user’s device by sending an enrollment email with a link to the MaaS360 corporate website. The user then uses their corporate login credentials to connect to the MaaS360 server.

Those methods, however, don’t help much in bulk import operations like you’d likely face during initial deployment. For that, IBM MaaS360 includes a downloadable Cloud Extender for integrating with a corporate directory such as Microsoft Active Directory (AD). They also support OpenLDAP, Novell LDAP, IBM Domino LDAP, and the Oracle User Directory as well as bulk uploads from .CSV files. This greatly simplifies the process of on-boarding large numbers of users by linking to existing corporate resources.


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