MAM products overview: Your options for simpler mobile management

Many vendors offer MAM products with different features and capabilities. Check out this overview to see what you get from each provider's software.

Mobile application management tools let IT focus on controlling apps and data instead of worrying about devices, and there are a lot of products on the market to choose from.

Mobile device management (MDM) has garnered the lion's share of attention as enterprise mobility management (EMM) has become important. But some IT pros argue that managing the device alone is insufficient, especially in a bring your own device (BYOD) environment.

For those who find MDM lacking, mobile application management (MAM) may be the preferred approach. With MAM products, you worry less about the device and more about the apps that run on that device. Because apps do the work and actually process data, MAM products could be the key to simplifying EMM, lowering costs and preserving the security and integrity of both the network and vital enterprise information.

MAM is a broad concept encompassing a vast array of functions and features. There are a good number of MAM products to pick from, and vendors' diverse approaches can make choosing a MAM tool difficult, but these options deserve consideration if a mobility strategy is important to your organization:

AirWatch Mobile Application Management is based on the company's Enterprise App Catalog. It provides a rule- and group-based app distribution system that includes whitelists, blacklists, app installation control, monitoring and tracking and versioning.

App47's MAM product includes a highly-customizable enterprise app store, but the company emphasizes capabilities that are ideal for organizations developing their own mobile apps. Such features include usage and performance analytics, benchmarking, crash reporting and user behavior analytics.

Apperian, a longtime leader in MAM, was one of the first vendors to point out the limitations of MDM in a BYOD world. At the core of its offering is the Enterprise App Service Environment Platform, which includes app lifecycle management, branding and customization, app rating and crowdsourcing, remote app wipe, updates and email-based onboarding.

AppSense's MAM features include a dashboard for setting and managing application deployment and usage policies, an app catalog, secure application distribution, tracking and analysis of app usage and app-specific 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard data encryption.

Citrix's new XenMobile offering is a comprehensive mobility management offering that includes MDM, desktop virtualization and a set of managed enterprise apps, including email, a Web browser and file sharing. The MAM component is based largely on an application programming interface, the Worx App SDK, which includes app wrapping and data containerization. An enterprise app store function is also included.

F5 Networks Mobile App Manager offers features such as mobile information security, license management, enterprise application security, separation of work and personal data, Microsoft Exchange integration, a secure and managed browser and an enterprise app store.

Fiberlink's MaaS360 is a robust mobile device, application and expense and content management product. MAM features include enterprise app containerization, BYOD support, sensitive data tracking, an enterprise app catalog, mobile application lifecycle management, application compliance and security, and reporting.

MobileIron was also one of the first vendors to introduce MAM. The company's AppConnect and AppTunnel products provide policy-based management of enterprise apps without affecting personal apps. The products aim to prevent of the loss of sensitive data, using containerization to isolate and manage enterprise-specific apps and data. AppTunnel sets up app-specific virtual private network tunnels, adding security.

Next Steps

Exploring EMM options: MDM, MAM, MIM

Guide to enterprise app management

A MAM primer for IT

This was first published in June 2013
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