FAQ IV: What are Mobile Device Management Services and how much do they cost?

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In the fourth part of our FAQ series on mobile device management, we address the important question of the cost of an MDM and what services can be expected in return. Furthermore, we shed light on the different pricing strategies and where hidden costs can lurk.

1) Which features does an MDM need?


Once you have decided to implement an MDM (Mobile Device Management System) in your company, there is still the question of which product to choose.

If you look around in common forums, the same products are often recommended. Among them are often big companies like Relution, AppTec or Microsoft Intune. This almost gives the impression that these vendors offer a one-fits-all solution that can meet the needs of a wide variety of businesses.

True to the motto: using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, an abundance of functions, price models and different packages is supposed to suggest that the right one can be found for really every industry.

We are of the opinion that this is not the case. In principle, there are a certain number of functions and settings that a mobile device management system must have in order to be considered as such. These include, for example, the possibility to offer remote support, to send apps via mass command or to set up the single-app mode. In addition, there are various other functions that vary depending on how extensive the MDM program is.

Large providers often seem to offer the larger range of functions at first glance. This can be fine, of course, but can lead to the program becoming overloaded and difficult to learn. In addition, there may be numerous functions that you don't need at all.  What other aspects to consider when deciding for or against an MDM can be found here:  In search of an MDM? 

The question you have to ask yourself is not: Which functions does the MDM need? But rather: What do I want to achieve with the MDM? You then have to specifically ask and try out whether this can be implemented.


2) What is an MDM license? 


An MDM license is the permission to use the mobile device management system on a company's mobile devices, which is defined in a contract.

A separate MDM license is required for each device. This means that if you want to operate 150 devices in your company, you will also need 150 MDM licenses.

Essentially, almost all providers of Mobile Device Management have a license model with a basic price that covers the basic provision of the MDM. This price covers the 'maintenance costs', so to speak. Often, however, this does not include any, or only rudimentary, functions. In theory, for example, you could only log in but not install any apps, create user groups or assign policies. However, this is only for illustration. In practice, this is not how MDM is sold.

The licensing model has the advantage that it is common practice in the software-as-a-service world and therefore familiar to potential buyers. For providers, this also simplifies the sales process, because there is no need to explain how billing and the right of use are structured. The fact that the company always remains the owner of the software also means that updates and changes to the software can be made without further ado. The functionality and security of the software is thus ensured.

3) Which services does mobile device management include? 

In addition to the features provided by mobile device management, most MDM providers also offer various other services. These can be the general, ongoing maintenance of the MDM domain and/or the devices after they have been distributed, but they can also go further and, for example, represent a complete service.

This often includes ordering the devices, setting them up, and shipping them to the users. Of course, the scope of the services and benefits offered by an MDM always depends on the provider. When choosing the right provider, you should consider in advance what kind of service you want to use: do you need less help and want to choose many things yourself? Or do you prefer a full service package?

The next step is to look at what is included in the service. Almost all MDM providers provide very comprehensive price lists for this purpose, which break down all services and benefits into small details. It is often noticeable that individual services are priced at low cents. However, caution is advised here, because these quickly add up.

If basic services and functions, such as a customer hotline or the single-app mode, are priced extra, you should reconsider whether this company is the right partner. At AppTec 360, for example, hosting in the cloud and the 'basic service' are charged extra. The 'basic service' in this case really only includes the ability to reach the MDM provider in case of an error and to clarify simple questions. If the customer wants further clarification, advice or help, this has to be booked separately. This does not really make for customer-friendly service.

Of course, every provider wants to outdo the competition with special services. But we now know that every MDM or EMM operates in a similar way, since there are only a limited number of modifiable interfaces to mobile devices. But the MDM providers are inventive and thus sometimes functions are listed that are meaningless or, in the worst case, misleading. For example, what is behind the 'quarantine mode' that AppTec lists?



The price is hot! And especially in the highly competitive MDM market, it is evident that the various competing providers are trying to lure customers with the lowest possible prices and offers. This can even go so far as to disguise or hide costs that arise. Once the customer is on the hook, it is often difficult for them to change MDM providers again, as this naturally involves a lot of effort. Accordingly, our tip is: If possible, always check the entire price list and calculate how much the services you ultimately want to use will cost added together. That way, you'll make sure there's no rude awakening.

By the way - MobiVisor MDM comes with no hidden costs at all! Take a look at our price list.