MDM as a force for good
Mobile device management seems to be the hot topic amongst organisations we work with. But, every conversation begins along the lines of ‘X can stop users from doing Y’.
MDM is about much more than this. Do it right and it’s an enabler. Users will choose to install profiles on their devices rather than figure out ways to get round it.
1) The gift of content
Got a great app you’d like your students to use? Push it out to their devices. This is the constructive opposite of the usual ‘can I stop them playing Angry Birds?’ question. Ditto useful bookmarks, etc. Make your content interesting and you won’t have to block the distractions.
2) Stop remembering settings
Use MDM to deploy specific settings to your users. They won’t have to remember your weird VPN config, you can push updates if you need to. How many tech support tasks would you save if users didn’t need help connecting?
3) Use the data
You can learn from the information in your MDM software. Which apps are popular? How is the battery life looking? Where are the devices being used & is the wireless there good enough? And so on.
4) Go beyond your gates
From a an IT support perspective you can be outside the gate managing devices. Or, send the devices off-site and you could easily deploy different profiles for feeder schools when they borrow them.
Beyond school owned devices, make a useful enough profile and your users might even choose to install it. MDM can be used to block Angry Birds on your school set of tablets or make every student look at the same PowerPoint, or it could be a tool to extend the good work you’re doing inside the classroom to the mobile world.