Many enterprises are growing their global workforces and giving their employees the option to work remotely as well as use their personal devices through a bring your own device (BYOD) program.
Despite the benefits of creating a more autonomous and distributed working environment with flexible tooling, a growing number of devices that access an enterprise network can overwhelm IT and security professionals and lead to major security and user management concerns.
To help IT administrators and security professionals better manage their network and all of its endpoints, many top tech companies have developed unified endpoint management (UEM) software. UEM solutions are designed to give administrators greater visibility and control over every kind of endpoint on their network, with automation, data analytics, and policy management features to improve security, performance, and user experience (UX).
Read on to learn about the top UEM software on the market and how they meet different user- and device-centric security needs across industries:
Choosing the Right UEM Software
Also read: SentinelOne vs Crowdstrike: Endpoint Security Comparison
Features of UEM software
UEM software solutions offer features to manage device and application security as well as manage user experiences across approved devices. Although not every UEM platform includes all of these features, these are some of the most commonly available components:
- Zero-trust security with administrative access
- Patch management
- Container security
User and device management
- Device and user monitoring
- User- vs. device-based licensing
- Device and user life cycle management
- BYOD management
- Identity and access management (IAM) and other user-level security features
Policy and application management
- Policy management and deployment
- Mobile device management (MDM)
- Self-service application management
- APIs and custom integrations
- Integrated analytics, sometimes powered by machine learning (ML) or artificial intelligence (AI)
- Content and application management
More on AI solutions: Top Performing Artificial Intelligence Companies
UEM software benefits
- Life cycle management for global and remote workforces: Devices can be provisioned and updates, policies, and security safeguards can be implemented by security leaders remotely with UEM software.
- User-centric security and experiences: With identity and access management features and guided device and application setup, UEM software also eases the user experience for employees.
- Adherence to regulatory compliance and security requirements: Because UEM offers flexible deployment options for security and other mobile policies, organizations can customize their policy strategy with the tool and make sure they adhere to specific regulatory requirements for their industry or covered regions.
- Simplified device management and visibility for security leaders: UEM gives security professionals a dashboard glimpse into device and user behaviors, which gives them a comprehensive view and quicker understanding of any weak or problematic endpoints within the network.
UEM software use cases
Unified endpoint management software is useful for any business structure in which employees use a variety of mobile and desktop devices to access data and applications. Industries that deal with highly sensitive data in particular rely on UEM to add additional layers of data protection at the user and device levels. Other organizations use UEM to make remote device deployment and life cycle management easier across large, distributed workforces.
- A global pharmaceuticals company uses IBM MaaS360 with Watson to help them manage non-standard mobile devices, such as wearables and IoT devices.
- Adobe uses VMware Workspace ONE UEM to help new members of their global workforce quickly self-provision their desktop devices.
- Aegon Sony Life Insurance Company (ASLIC), a global insurance provider, uses BlackBerry Spark UEM Suite to automate application access for remote employees, while also protecting personally identifiable information (PII) from their customer profiles.
Top UEM providers
VMware Workspace ONE UEM
VMware has long been an enterprise tech leader in categories like virtualization and security, and with VMware Workspace ONE UEM, it has emerged as a leader in the unified endpoint management space. The platform is primarily used for managing BYOD, corporate and shared devices, rugged devices, and business continuity goals. The platform also integrates well with other VMware Workspace ONE solutions, such as Intelligence, Assist, Intelligent Hub, Horizon, and Productivity Apps.
VMware Workspace ONE UEM is ranked as a leader and one of two top performers across the Forrester “Wave” in unified endpoint management for Q4 2021, Gartner “Magic Quadrant” for unified endpoint management tools 2021, and IDC “MarketScape” for worldwide unified endpoint management software 2021.
- Endpoint management for Android, iOS, Windows 10, macOS, Chrome OS, Linux, rugged, wearables, and Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints
- User-level security and support through self-service unified app catalog, single sign-on (SSO), remote support, and Privacy Guard
- Workspace ONE AirLift for co-management and migration assistance for modern endpoint management
- Zero-trust security with auto-wiping and auto-remediation administrative access
- Unified application management with self-service through Intelligent Hub
- Workspace ONE Dev Center with a variety of API framework features
Pricing: Prospective customers can test-drive VMware Workspace ONE UEM through VMware’s Hands-on Labs for free. Pricing information is available upon request from the VMware sales team.
Microsoft Endpoint Manager
Microsoft Endpoint Manager is a high-performing UEM solution that combines the strengths of Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager. This now-combined platform offers users a more comprehensive strategy for on-premises, cloud, and unified management needs. Endpoint Manager is typically sold as part of the Enterprise Mobility + Security suite. Many users elect to use Microsoft Endpoint Manager because of how seamlessly it integrates with Office 365 and other Microsoft enterprise products.
Microsoft Endpoint Manager is also labeled as a leader and one of two top performers across the Forrester “Wave” in unified endpoint management for Q4 2021, Gartner “Magic Quadrant” for unified endpoint management tools 2021, and IDC “MarketScape” for worldwide unified endpoint management software 2021.
- Support from Microsoft Zero Trust technology
- Windows 11 Management with automated provisioning, configuration management, and software updates
- Zero-touch provisioning with Windows Autopilot, Apple Device Enrollment, and Android Enrollment
- Conditional Access App Control and Azure AD integrations for policy management
- Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for quick vulnerability fixes
- Windows Autopilot for device deployment
Pricing: Microsoft Endpoint Manager is often purchased in the Enterprise Mobility + Security suite, which also includes IAM, information protection, and identity-driven security. Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 costs $10.60 per user per month, while Enterprise Mobility + Security E5 costs $16.40 per user per month. More information about device licensing and cost is available here.
Ivanti Neurons for Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)
Ivanti is a top player in the UEM space, and especially after its 2020 acquisition of fellow UEM leader MobileIron, the Ivanti Neurons for Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) platform has grown its capabilities and customer base significantly. The platform is a top solution not only for initial endpoint protections but also for endpoint healing in the case of a security problem.
Ivanti is listed as a leader in both the Forrester “Wave” for unified endpoint management for Q4 2021 and IDC “MarketScape” for worldwide unified endpoint management software 2021. The platform is also labeled as the only visionary in the Gartner “Magic Quadrant” for unified endpoint management tools 2021.
- Platform support for threat detection and patching
- Simple policy and privilege management
- Compatibility with Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, ChromeOS, and Windows
- Device life cycle management through onboarding, security provisioning, and decommissioning phases
- Support for edge intelligence, workspace management, and endpoint healing through integrations with other Ivanti Neurons solutions
Pricing: Pricing information is available upon request from the Ivanti sales team.
IBM Security MaaS360
IBM is a seasoned veteran across hardware, middleware, and software solutions for enterprises. With its UEM solution, IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson, IBM offers its customers a strong endpoint management and security option and differentiates itself with Watson, a top business AI solution that offers stronger contextual insights on endpoint performance to users.
IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson is a leader in the IDC “MarketScape” for worldwide unified endpoint management software 2021. It is also a strong performer in the Forrester “Wave” for unified endpoint management for Q4 2021 and a challenger in the Gartner “Magic Quadrant” for unified endpoint management tools 2021.
- Watson offers AI-powered contextual insights
- Secure container infrastructure
- Automated threat detection and remediation
- Identity and access management integration
- Microsoft integrations include Azure AD and Microsoft 365
- Managed document solutions, including mobile content management, mobile document editor, and mobile document sync
Pricing: IBM Security MaaS360 comes in four different pricing packages: Essentials, starting at $4 per client device per month; Deluxe, starting at $5 per client device per month; Premier, starting at $6.25 per client device per month; and Enterprise, starting at $9 per client device per month.
Scalefusion has not won many major awards for its UEM product, but it consistently scores highly in customer reviews, due to the ease of use and strong data visualizations the platform provides. It’s also one of the more affordable UEM options, which could make it a good choice for smaller companies that want to better understand and assess their endpoints and user devices.
- Mobile device, enterprise mobility, and bring your own device (BYOD) management
- User data privacy and certificate management
- Scalefusion API for custom integration and developer work
- Task automation and IT service management (ITSM) support
- Device monitoring with custom network settings, geofencing, location tracking, and alerts
- Content management with remote content deletion, multiple file format support, and presentation management
Pricing: Endpoint management features are only available in Scalefusion’s Enterprise package. Enterprise costs $4 per device per month and is billed annually.
BlackBerry Spark UEM
BlackBerry has gained new momentum as it grows its portfolio in technologies like 5G, and with BlackBerry Spark UEM, the company offers a compelling UEM option for customers that want more flexibility in their infrastructure. Spark UEM is one of the best options for users who need migration support or custom dev help, especially due to its SDK and API solutions.
BlackBerry Spark UEM is a leader in the IDC “MarketScape” for worldwide unified endpoint management software 2021. It is also a Forrester “Wave” contender in unified endpoint management for Q4 2021 and a niche player in the Gartner “Magic Quadrant” for unified endpoint management tools 2021.
- Migration support between on-prem servers and the UEM cloud
- Device and digital rights management with regulatory controls
- Custom application development with SDK and API solutions
- Automation with artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Containerized infrastructure for improved BYOD visibility
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) and enterprise identity visibility
Pricing: Pricing for BlackBerry Spark UEM is available upon request from the BlackBerry sales team.
Sophos Mobile is frequently offered as part of the Sophos Central Platform, a solution that offers a more comprehensive approach to centralized management for mobile end users. The platform has earned a loyal base with its varied and strong security features, including extended detection and response (XDR).
Sophos is a Forrester “Wave” strong performer in unified endpoint management for Q4 2021. The company is also a major player in the IDC “MarketScape” for worldwide unified endpoint management software 2021.
- Supports Windows 10, macOS, iOS, and Android device management
- Content management with email and document containerization and content publishing support
- Extended detection and response (XDR)
- Preventative tools for malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks
- Compatibility with Office 365 applications
- InterceptX for Mobile offers a deep learning engine for threat detection
Pricing: Sophos Mobile offers per-user pricing. More pricing information is available upon request from the Sophos sales team.
Matrix42 Unified Endpoint Management
Matrix42 Unified Endpoint Management is a strong UEM solution that combines client life cycle and enterprise mobility management in a user-based licensing format. This is a great solution for teams that want to democratize their platform, especially because of its Workflow Studio and several prepackaged templates.
Matrix42 is a Forrester “Wave” strong performer in unified endpoint management for Q4 2021. They are also a niche player in the Gartner “Magic Quadrant” for unified endpoint management tools 2021 and a major player in the IDC “MarketScape” for worldwide unified endpoint management software 2021.
- Matrix42 Inventory for device, hardware, and software inventory and asset management
- Authorization management for secure task delegation
- API controls via PowerShell and Matrix42 Workflow Studio
- Package Cloud with prepackaged and pretested software packages
- Operating system migration, installation, and rollout management
- Automated patch management
Pricing: Pricing information is available upon request from the Matrix42 sales team.
Google Endpoint Management
Google Endpoint Management is a UEM solution that is offered as part of the greater Google Workspace environment. The other resources in Google Workspace make this an easy UEM to integrate and run. It’s also a popular solution because it’s compatible with a variety of operating systems and device types. Google Endpoint Management is a major player in the IDC “MarketScape” for worldwide unified endpoint management software 2021.
- Compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, Chrome OS, macOS, and Linux
- Administrative-level access management controls, including data and account wiping
- Agentless endpoint management through Google Workspace
- BYOD support
- Auto-enrollment in notifications for new users and devices
- Granular policy management for different users and devices
Pricing: Google Endpoint Management is available for all Google Workspace users. Some Endpoint Management features are only available for Business and Enterprise licenses. Learn about Google Workspace pricing specifics here.
ManageEngine Desktop Central
ManageEngine Desktop Central is one of the most well-loved UEM solutions for major enterprises, with customers like IKEA, Honda, and Xerox trusting it for UEM support. This is another strong solution for teams that want to democratize their processes, particularly due to its reporting and policy management templates.
ManageEngine Desktop Central is a Forrester “Wave” strong performer in unified endpoint management for Q4 2021. They are also a niche player in the Gartner “Magic Quadrant” for unified endpoint management tools 2021 and a major player in the IDC “MarketScape” for worldwide unified endpoint management software 2021.
- Software deployment and built-in package creation templates
- Automated patch management and deployment
- Active Directory reports and report templates
- Desktop configurations for security policy management
- Endpoint security features, including data loss prevention (DLP)
- Integrations with Jira, ServiceNow, Zendesk, and Spiceworks
Pricing: ManageEngine offers a variety of packages and price points across on-premises and cloud infrastructure. Learn more about specific pricing and package features here.
UEM: Feature comparison table
|AI/ML Integration||Identity and Access Management (IAM)||Policy Management||Linux Compatibility|
|VMware Workspace ONE UEM||X||X||X||X|
|Microsoft Endpoint Manager||X||X||X|
|Ivanti Unified Endpoint Manager||X||X||X|
|IBM Security MaaS360||X||X||X||X|
|BlackBerry Spark UEM||X||X||X|
|Matrix42 Unified Endpoint Management||X||X|
|Google Endpoint Management||X||X|
|ManageEngine Desktop Central||X||X|
What to look for in UEM software
Nearly all UEM solutions include policy management support, but as a prospective buyer, it’s important to pay attention to how a platform approaches policy management. Do they offer templates and prebuilt versions? Are they giving customers total customizability or a mixture of policy creation and management formats? Consider the types of policies that your market and regulatory bodies require and find a solution that will work well with your team’s exact needs.
Prospective UEM buyers should also focus on how vendors approach their pricing and licensing structures. A growing number of UEM vendors are moving to user-based pricing rather than device-based pricing. This shift tends to save customers’ money and better fits modern enterprise environments in which users are working on more than one device.
Regardless of the UEM solution you select, the most important first step is to ensure the platform will integrate with your most important business applications, data, and processes.
Read next: Top Cybersecurity Software