From The Expert Feature Article
August 13, 2013

Managed Mobility Services Too Young for True Leaders, Gartner Says

Usually when Gartner (News - Alert) does a Magic Quadrant analysis of a market, there are at least a handful of leaders. Managed Mobility Services (not to be confused with Mobile Device Management) is so new that not a single vendor made it into the leader’s portion of the quadrant. Instead, all 18 vendors profiled were clustered in the niche and visionary squares.

First things first; MSP Today has well covered the MDM market, which is software that manages the endpoint BYOD devices, making them secure and in many cases separating apps and data on the BYOD machine based on whether it is for work or pleasure.

The distinction between MDM and MMS is a bit subtle. Judge for yourself as here is how Gartner defines managed mobility services:

“Managed mobility services (MMS) encompass the IT and process services provided by an external service provider (ESP) that are required to: plan, procure, provision, activate, manage and support mobile devices, network services and mobile applications. For this Magic Quadrant, devices include smartphones, tablets and point of service (POS) equipment and the focus is weighted toward the management and support of corporate-owned devices. However, MMS include IT and process services and systems in support of bring your own device (BYOD) practices.”

And here is how Gartner sees MDM.

“Enterprise mobile device management (MDM) software is: (1) a policy and configuration management tool for mobile handheld devices (smartphones and tablets based on smartphone OSs), and (2) an enterprise mobile solution for securing and enabling enterprise users and content. It helps enterprises manage the transition to a more complex mobile computing and communications environment by supporting security, network services, and software and hardware management across multiple OS platforms and now sometimes laptop and ultrabooks. This is especially important as bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives and advanced wireless computing become the focus of many enterprises. MDM can support corporate-owned as well as personal devices, and helps support a more complex and heterogeneous environment.”

The key difference, it seems, is who offers the services. MMS is clearly a set of services. MDM is a tool that can be used by IT or a service provider. When MDM is offered as a service, does it become MMS?

A quick analysis by MSP Today concludes there is quite an overlap between the two disciplines and there could be a merger where the two ultimately become one.

In fact, the smart folks at Gartner see the exact same overlap.

“A common question has emerged regarding the difference between the mobile device management (MDM) software market and MMS. MMS are generally consumed as bundled IT and process services in conjunction with mobility management software (inclusive of MDM software). Managed mobility software (of which MDM software is only one part of the solution) is crucial to the delivery of MMS, in the same way that the use of IT operations and service management software is used in the delivery of broader IT managed services and outsourcing contracts.”

Even though many MMS vendors are delivering MDM as a service, for now at least the vendors in the two quadrant studies are almost entirely different, with only IBM (News - Alert) making both Magic Quadrant lists.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey