August 11, 2018

EMM, MDM or UEM? What’s the Difference?

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The need to manage corporate devices across business environments is greater than ever, as the volume and frequency of information we share with one another continues to grow. Whether you manage Android or iOS smartphones, you’ve probably come across a range of seemingly interchangeable acronyms for this practice.


What is a MDM solution?

For years, we called this strategy Mobile Device Management (MDM). It referred to the administration of mobile devices, such as Android and iOS smartphones, via software.

Sometimes part of an enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform, MDM is software IT teams can use to manage the organization’s mobile usage policies on employee devices such as smartphones and tablets. A good EMM should enhance security and decrease device downtime. Read our blog post to learn how to pick an MDM for your business.

MDM soon spawned off a slew of similar strategies, including:

  • Mobile Content Management (MCM): A content management strategy that allows IT enterprises to share, distribute, and collaborate on business data.
  • Mobile Application Management (MAM): A strategy to lock down enterprise apps and their data, but not the device.
  • Mobile Information Management (MIM): A device-agnostic security strategy that involves keeping sensitive data encrypted and allowing only approved applications to access or transmit it.


What is an EMM solution?

To cut down on confusion across the industry, in 2014, Gartner adopted the term Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) as a means of encapsulating all of these practices.

EMM covers most enterprise mobile device administration. Yet there’s been a growing need to find a universal management solution for all digital corporate data. The natural evolution was Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) systems.

An EMM offers sophisticated and secure device management and configuration capabilities. Specifically, three important benefits include:

  • Increased security and compliance.
  • Improving efficiency for IT admins.
  • Mitigating and preventing enterprise data loss.

Read more about how to choose the best EMM.


What is a UEM solution?

UEM refers to processes and software that enable the deployment, management, security, and analysis of network-connected devices—or ‘endpoints’—remotely, from one centralized platform.

UEM is a progression of EMM practices and technologies, which emerged as enterprise businesses looked for ways to securely bring devices into their workflows. UEM solutions feature innovative tools and ways of thinking to secure the myriad of devices that support enterprise workforces.


How does UEM fit in with MDM, MAM, and EMM?

MDM (Mobile Device Management) and MAM (Mobile Application Management) emerged alongside the shocking arrival of smart mobile devices, which promised huge efficiencies to workforces. Tools to remotely manage device security, version control, app data, and containerization were introduced.

UEM takes the practices and tools of EMM and applies them to all ‘endpoints’ such as phones, tablets, PCs, wearables, and more. In particular, UEM solutions support retail businesses everyday.


And so the way to make sense of all of these is to think of an MDM as a subset of an EMM, which is a subset of a UEM (see diagram above).

No matter which strategy you decide to adopt for your enterprise, Samsung Knox IT solutions should be a part of your toolkit.