August 4, 2023

What is UEM? And how UEM benefits retail enterprises

Samsung Knox Team
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UEM stands for unified endpoint management. Put simply, UEM is software that allows enterprise IT admins to manage and secure many devices from a single, centralized point.

Network-enabled devices offer unparalleled efficiency and mobility to an enterprise workforce. So much so that it can be extremely difficult for organizations in logistics or retail to stay competitive without leveraging these benefits.

But as the need for diverse technologies in digitized retail increases, there can be a burden on employees to handle multiple devices and management issues. Companies are adapting devices, but the management can be overwhelming.

Enter unified endpoint management, the latest evolution in a series of software and practices invented to enable more efficient enterprise endpoint management.

What is UEM?

UEM refers to methodologies and software that enable the deployment, management, security, and analysis of network-connected devices—or ‘endpoints’—remotely, from one centralized platform. The scale of device fleets that enterprises operate with is only feasible thanks to UEM solutions.

UEM is a progression of EMM practices and technologies, which emerged as enterprise businesses sought ways to integrate devices into their workflows securely. UEM features new tools and ways of thinking to secure the ever-diversifying array of devices that support enterprise workforces.

Who uses UEM software?

IT admins are vital to the management of devices in the field, and keeping every device in an enterprise updated, secured, and efficient, is an enormous task. That’s where the ‘unified’ part of UEM software comes in, giving admins a single access point to the services needed to manage one’s enterprise device landscape.

Without UEM tools, admins are likely to lose track of valuable devices, fail to spot vulnerabilities that enable network access to malicious actors, waste time on disparate, manual device deployments, and trigger version updates with terrible timing, disrupting one’s workforce.

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.

EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) combined the functions of MDM and MAM into new products designed specifically for the management of burgeoning enterprise device fleets.

UEM takes the practices and tools of EMM and applies them to all ‘endpoints’ such as phones, tablets, PCs, wearables, and more.

UEM is essential for Retail

As you can imagine, UEM software is an essential piece of the puzzle for enterprises relying on their staff working in tandem with tech. Several industries benefit from the immense efficiencies that UEM can enable.

Retail enterprises, in particular, can leverage the benefits of UEM to great effect. Let’s explore an example of a retail enterprise that tapped into just some of the UEM features that Samsung Knox Suite, our all-in-one solution bundle for enterprise mobility, was designed to enable.

Samsung Knox Suite enables retail digitization at scale

Samsung recently partnered with a major US retail chain to equip 740,000 employees with new Galaxy XCover Pro smartphones, ruggedized for the demands of their workplace. Replacing an existing device landscape with a single-device solution required planning, piloting, and most of all, some extremely powerful administrative capabilities.

Enter Samsung’s UEM, Knox Suite and the essential tools it provides, like government-grade security, automated enrollment, firmware management, loss prevention, and analytics. Retail digitization at this scale is a herculean task, but these tools take enormous amounts of stress off IT teams in the deployment, management, and security of enterprise device fleets.

Thanks to Samsung’s industry-leading platform, associates at this major retailer are ready for anything. Daily tasks are simplified as their devices create new and convenient ways for them to work, like mobile clock-in and schedule access. The Galaxy XCover Pro’s camera is integrated with the retailer's barcode scanning process for effortless inventory management. Workers can communicate faster: opening push-to-talk conversations with colleagues requires a single button press.

This is just one example in an industry where each business has its own needs. The myriad ways in which endpoints can be used in the workplace continue to evolve. IDC Retail Insights writes: “...the apparel and accessories retail sector focuses nearly 60 percent of its development of new mobile apps on consumer/customer-oriented applications, with the other 40 percent focused on enterprise apps for employees or partners.”

As the enterprise mobility landscape continues to develop, so do the ways in which UEM software can support it.

6 ways Samsung's UEM, Knox Suite, helps retailers

  1. Transform devices to complement their purpose with kiosk mode

    By using kiosk mode to limit device functionality to specific apps, retailers can dedicate devices to specific purposes for customers or employees; catalogs, signage, maps, surveys, PoS, and more. Knox Suite includes a wizard tool for creating the right kiosk profile for your use case. You get to enjoy the flexibility of high-touch device kiosks without any of the risks.

  2. Save time with agile barcode scanning

    Dedicated scanners have high scanning capabilities but are separate from smartphones, leading to decreased work efficiency and cost issues.

    Why bloat your enterprise device landscape with single-function devices? Instead, you can use Knox Suite to transform smartphones into smart scanners. You can easily integrate captured data into your business apps thanks to the high-performance cameras of smartphones, improving inventory management, PoS, and delivery efficiencies without doubling up on devices.

  3. Increase productivity with sophisticated device analytics 

    UEM shows IT admins where and how devices are being used, providing oversight with confidence on the entire fleet. They can get a head start on performance issues, take swift action when devices are misused, and find disruptive endpoints, effortlessly.

    Samsung Knox Suite goes a step further with intelligent battery management. Monitoring battery status around the clock allows for optimized device usage patterns throughout the work day, helping preserve the lifespan of your devices.

  4. Speed up workflows with faster access to apps

    Knox Suite provides UEM tools that take the monotony out of workflows. Admins can set certain apps to launch automatically and remap hardware keys to deliver quick app launches and commands in just one touch. Speed up employee communications by letting them instantly launch a walkie-talkie app with a single key press.

  5. Reduce unexpected downtime with easy, remote troubleshooting

    Say your employee in the field experiences an unexpected issue. If they must bring in their device for in-person troubleshooting, they’ve lost half of their working day to technical problems, and you’ve lost half a day of their productivity.

    Knox Suite allows admins to get hands-on with devices from a distance with remote troubleshooting. Admins directly interact with and control devices from a convenient, central point of access. Functionality and productivity are restored in a flash.

  6. Support employee wellbeing with containerization

    COPE—Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled—is a new enterprise device management strategy enabled by the containerization features of UEM. Similar to BYOB (or Bring Your Own Device,) COPE deployment scenarios give employees devices which they can use for work and personal use.

    Enterprise admins can install apps, troubleshoot remotely, and manage security in a separate work profile. At the same time, employees can download apps on their private profiles in total faith that their data is only visible to them.

COPE mode is possible thanks to interactions between Android phones and Samsung Knox. While the Knox Suite UEM can empower admins in managing, securing, and deploying all kinds of devices, there are significant advantages to be leveraged when hardware and software are secured together by design.

Samsung’s hardware and UEM work even better together

Samsung mobile devices and Knox Suite enable the support of these diverse technologies on a single device. This cohesive ballet of hardware and software allows for one of the most secure device implementations available today.

Critically sensitive operations work in a completely isolated TrustZone, while password, PIN, pattern, and biometric data are stored on a dedicated chip. Your most sensitive information is stored behind lock-and-encrypted keys, ensuring that your data isn't compromised even if malware gets in.

Samsung Knox adds another layer of security and confidence to the software on your device. Knox Suite is closely integrated with hardware-based security, allowing IT admins to remotely verify if a device has been compromised with a service known as Knox Attestation.

UEM’s value can’t be overstated

As we’ve explored the advantages of Samsung’s UEM, Knox Suite, for retailers, there’s a clear and unparalleled level of flexibility for enterprises to leverage.

Yet despite these clear productivity benefits, Samsung Knox remains security-centric down to its very core. UEM technologies folded into our decade-old security platform give you the level of confidence you can expect from Samsung Knox in any enterprise deployment scenario.

And as we’ve learned, when you’re operating at the speed and scale of modern retail enterprises, UEM is more than just device management. It’s sanity-saving rocket fuel for your IT teams, security for any network-connected device, whatever and wherever it may be, and vital protection for your bottom line in a world where productivity is defined by connectivity.

Keen to know how Knox Suite can help synergize your devices and operations? Learn more, here.