Mobile device management (MDM) gives IT leaders the ability to carefully manage and secure complex fleets of mobile devices. For the organization to be secure, its laptops, tablets, and mobile phones need to meet stringent security requirements. Robust, full-featured MDM platforms make that possible.
Both ManageEngine and Microsoft are popular MDM vendors, but for different reasons. This article is going to cover some of the unique features that distinguish these options from one another, and show how alternatives like JumpCloud may be the right choice for growth-friendly, cloud-native organizations. Read on to find out which MDM platform is the best choice for your use case.
Overview of ManageEngine
ManageEngine provides a comprehensive suite of tools for mobile device management through a series of software packages. Both its Mobile Device Manager Plus and Endpoint Central packages offer device management feature sets, and it also offers additional options for solutions like endpoint security, firewall configuration, and more through its point solutions.
Some of the key features of Mobile Device Manager Plus include:
- Simplified device enrollment. Onboarding new devices into ManageEngine is relatively simple when compared with other solutions.
- Customizable device policies. ManageEngine supports customized group and policy profiles that enforce rules for accessing Wi-Fi, VPNs, and other technologies.
- Remote IT support. Your IT team can use ManageEngine to remote control mobile devices and address technical problems in real time.
Endpoint Central offers similar MDM features bundled together with additional tools for patch management, vulnerability management, and asset management for a more unified endpoint management (UEM) approach.
Overview of Intune
Microsoft Intune is a complete and integrated mobile device management solution designed to fit into enterprise environments that already rely on Microsoft technology. Microsoft includes Intune as part of its Microsoft 365 SKUs, so it’s already accessible for a significant number of Windows customers — especially enterprise-level organizations.
Here are some of the reasons why IT decision-makers choose Microsoft Intune:
- Integration into Windows environments. Many established businesses already use Windows, making Intune an attractive add-on.
- Supports a wide array of devices. Intune supports major operating systems. Subscribers can also manage specialty endpoint devices like VR headsets, large screen smart devices, and more.
- Entra ID is built in. Many organizations choose Intune because they already use Active Directory and need a compatible solution that includes modern identity and access management (IAM) features.
Comparison of ManageEngine vs. Intune
Both solutions have strong points and drawbacks that may influence IT decision-makers when considering their MDM capabilities. The main difference between ManageEngine and Intune is the availability of extra features and growth-friendly scalability. ManageEngine’s products are siloed against one another and must be integrated piecemeal, while Microsoft can provide an enterprise with its entire end-to-end IT infrastructure.
ManageEngine’s pricing tiers include a full-featured 30-day free trial and a free basic subscription that comes with some limitations. Microsoft offers multiple pricing options for Intune depending on the customer’s license requirements and how many other Microsoft services are bundled alongside. These can quickly add up to a very expensive enterprise IT implementation that goes well beyond mobile device management with more compliance and security services.
|4 tiered plans: Free, Professional, Enterprise, and Unified Endpoint Management.
|Plan 1 is most frequently part of M365 bundles.
Intune Plan 1Intune Plan 2; an add-on to Plan 1 for specialty devices and a VPNIntune Suite includes all add-ons such as privilege management and remote access
|Full-featured 30-day free trial for up to 25 devices.
|30-day free trial with no payment data required upfront.
|Value for features
|Overall features aren’t high-end MDM but are flexible for most business needs.
|Plan 1 supports common device management use cases but add-ons and other Microsoft services are required to maximize its utility.
Ease of Use and Setup
ManageEngine offers a web-based interface with on-premise and cloud-based deployment options. It has well-documented onboarding processes with deployment options that are similar to other MDMs, but has some proprietary components such as an app for MDM user self-enrollment. As a Microsoft product, Intune enrolls Windows devices very easily, but requires additional steps for Android EMM and Apple MDM. frameworks.
|Yes, with a cloud-based management console.
|Supports all device manufacturers
|Yes, with full onboarding documentation for most major brands. More extensive Linux support.
|Yes, with full onboarding documentation for most major brands.
|Requires resetting BYOD devices
|No factory reset required.
|No factory reset required with BYOD configurations.
Device Management Capabilities
Both ManageEngine and Microsoft Intune provide IT administrators with a full suite of device management features, but Microsoft is the clear leader in this category. This is mostly because of the sheer range of cloud, application, and infrastructure solutions that it offers to customers.
|Updates and patch management
|Supports automation and scheduling. An MDM app is required in some scenarios.
|Co-management with Configurator Manager and Windows Update for Business; Patch management via MDM/EMM. Azure Update Center is in preview for Linux and Windows.
|Device enrollment process
|Several deployment options are available and are well-documented.
|Easiest for Windows devices, well-documented with several deployment options for other devices.
|Some features are only available for on-premise environments, not cloud.
|Cloud-based but with options for co-management with on-premise Windows management tools.
MDM platforms help reinforce the value of endpoint security, and must support the creation and configuration of endpoint security policies.
|Visibility and policy management
|Included. Administrators can lock down compromised devices, enforce policies, and reduce the attack surface.
|Included. Administrators can lock down compromised devices, enforce policies/security baselines, app/data protection, and reduce the attack surface. Advanced features require integration with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint or Defender for Cloud apps with additional licensing costs.
|Malware detection and remediation
|No available antivirus. Administrators can set basic access conditions and automatic restrictions for compromised devices, mostly through integrations.
|Antivirus or EDR requires integration with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, with additional licensing costs. Entra ID’s conditional access can prevent non-compliant devices from accessing your resources.
|Automated patch management
|Pushes new security patches to qualified devices automatically.
|Device management policies ensure that patches are applied to the OS. App management policies vary by device type.
ManageEngine provides customers with a set of public REST APIs they can use to create custom workflows that integrate third-party apps into the ManageEngine platform. It features native integration with a variety of IT management providers and app development platforms, including threat detection and analytics solutions.
Microsoft has a different approach to integrating Intune with other platforms. While you can integrate Intune with a variety of third-party platforms, Microsoft almost always has a competitive offering of its own to offer and bundles those services in M365. This is best for organizations that already use Microsoft products, but it can be a deal breaker for organizations that are seeking best-of-breed solutions or are trying to avoid security monoculture.
Support and Customer Service
ManageEngine customers have long-running complaints about the company’s lackluster approach to customer support. People have complained about long wait times and confusing responses from technical support staff.
As a global tech giant and multi-trillion-dollar company, Microsoft should set a higher standard for customer support. However, it also consistently fails to meet customer expectations — support messages often include automated collections of links to public webpages, and receiving high-quality human service is rare.
JumpCloud as an Alternative Solution
The MDM market includes many more solutions than ManageEngine and Microsoft Intune. If your organization needs secure, cloud-enabled mobile device management without the additional weight of Microsoft’s enterprise IT infrastructure approach, JumpCloud may be the alternative MDM vendor you’re looking for. JumpCloud integrates IAM with cross-OS device management as well as other features that increase IT efficiency and improve security. Integrating device and identity management is helpful for achieving a Zero Trust security strategy.
Growing organizations that believe in the power of leveraging best-of-breed cloud solutions are unlikely to buy ManageEngine’s siloed product offerings. It’s also unnecessary to hand your entire IT environment to Microsoft. Microsoft has an extensive platform architecture that includes enterprise-grade security products. Small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) may struggle to implement these vertically integrated tools.
Comparison: ManageEngine vs. Intune vs. JumpCloud
Here’s how the three competing platforms stack up against one another:
|Multiple complex subscription tiers with strict limitations.
|Gets expensive when not bundled with M365 enterprise licensing and implementation. Total cost of ownership can be high despite the availability of features.
|Device management only for $9/user per month.
Platform: $19/user per month.
MSP-specific pricing via partner program.
|Ease of use
|Streamlined with easy to execute actions and revised dashboards. Product silos and lack of sufficient integration within internal products. On-premise components may increase IT management overhead.
|Simple enrollment for Windows devices and typical MDM enrollment for others. Integrations with other Microsoft services can be complicated and difficult to implement.
|Easy onboarding for all devices and operating systems. Identity and device management are handled through a unified console. Integrates with Active Directory to modernize on-premise Microsoft infrastructure.
|Not fully cloud-enabled. Cloud and on-premise installation options.
|Fully cloud-native with options for Windows co-management.
|Not timely, often leaves tickets unanswered.
|Documentation available, integrators, and online communities. Paid support is not consistent. Lots of unhelpful automated answers.
|Documentation available, a user community, with a dedicated and responsive customer support team.
Addressing Common Concerns and Issues
Implementing a secure MDM solution that can grow alongside your business requires a great degree of foresight. Not only do you need a solution that can meet today’s security needs, you must also consider how sustainable your licensing and onboarding needs will be in the future.
ManageEngine’s lack of cloud readiness and point solution strategy is its main drawback. Today’s IT leaders know that their future is in the cloud — and that every solution they implement today must be fully cloud-enabled.
Microsoft Intune offers advanced cloud capabilities, but it also limits its customers to the Microsoft environment through Entra ID, but some identity federation is provided. For IT leaders that aren’t already locked into that environment, implementing Intune may close other cloud adoption opportunities down the line.
JumpCloud offers complete cloud-native MDM solutions to small and mid-sized organizations around the globe. Multiple product tiers — from the full platform to dedicated SKUs that interoperate with other identity providers (IdPs) — protect customers from vendor lock-in and ensure future-proof cloud-optimized performance.
Deciding to implement a new MDM platform comes with many responsibilities. Consider the capabilities of your current tech stack as well as the road to growth your organization may undertake in the future. Achieving fully cloud-native security performance doesn’t necessarily mean locking your company’s future down with one company’s products and services. Consider optimizing device deployment and security by making JumpCloud your MDM partner of choice.
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