Let’s continue our unified endpoint management (UEM) discussion from these earlier posts, in which you may have found me being critical of UEM solutions or even understating their capabilities, so here’s one of our experiences that has influenced our decision to not explore UEM solutions.
We are a Microsoft partner and one of the wonderful benefits of being a partner is that we have access to a catalog of Microsoft products at little or no cost. Naturally, we use as many Microsoft products as possible because it makes sense from a cost perspective. In many cases, the solutions work just great; in some though, not so much. As is the case with using Microsoft’s firewall solutions. Our IT team spent days that turned into weeks, then over the course of months, realized we had to make a change.
Unfortunately in this case, our free Microsoft solution was too expensive. It was costing us too much time trying to get it to work and left our employee’s productivity at an unacceptable level of risk. So we needed to find a paid solution that did what we needed out of the box. We found the Barracuda NG Firewall F300: It met our needs, so we bought it, turned it on, and it has worked great ever since.
We spent far less on our Barracuda subscription than we did with all the hours trying to get the free tool to work. Is Barracuda another tool to manage? Yes. Another vendor to pay? Yes. Another relationship to manage? Yes. Would we rather not? Yes. Is it worth it? Every day. Why? Because the hassle of managing an additional solution or vendor relationship pales in comparison to the benefit of having a solution that does what we need it to do. In this case, we found something simple, reliable, easy, and, guess what? It isn’t that expensive. Isn’t that the goal? When did one solution to manage everything become the most important requirement? Why is procurement or management telling IT they can only hammer one check to one vendor? How come IT staff doesn’t show management what else they could be spending their time on if they weren’t stuck using the one tool for everything? Is that the right thing for the overall strategy and short- and long-term health for your organization?
You may have noticed VMware’s announcement for their product Mirage and its end of availability. If so, this discussion is quite timely, as I know many of our customer prospects are looking for alternatives and discussing current trends for managing endpoints. Be sure to take extra time to weigh your options when deciding whether or not to move forward on the UEM path with a product like Workspace ONE or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). You may just realize you don’t need all of the features, or you need one of the features to work better than what a UEM solution can offer. And lastly, ask yourself: “Is unifying endpoint management a priority for my company?”