MDM (Mobile Device Management), EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management), and UEM (Unified Endpoint Management) are often terms thrown about in the mobile security space without much consideration paid to what they specifically mean. Worse, they are often used interchangeably without specific definitions around where they overlap and how.

A Venn diagram of UEM, EMM, and MDM.
UEM is a superset of MDM and EMM

This creates a barrier for small and medium-sized business, especially in the education and nonprofit spaces, which have historically been less fluent with technology. They have to keep up in an environment where 67% of employees (and increasing) use personal devices at work and 87% of businesses require employees to access business data and apps these devices.

This is even more of a problem at a time when during the Coronavirus, when many educational and nonprofit organizations have been forced to switch to remote work during the Coronavirus. So below, we are laying out some key differences between MDM, EMM, and UEM.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

MDM lets IT administrators secure, manage, and deploy both employee-owned (BYOD or “bring-your-own-device) or corporate-owned cellphones and tablets. Typically for BYOD devices, the employees’ personal data is separated or containerized from their work data, ensuring that their privacy isn’t violated. MDM enables organizations to manage devices and user behaviors within a workplace in a secure and scalable manner.

Apart from that, an IT administrator can configure Wi-Fi access, buy, install, and manage apps, detect and neutralize security threats, track device location, and perform many other such actions to ensure corporate data privacy and private data integrity. MDM forms a subset of EMM and UEM. It also allows administrators to remotely lock and wipe devices in case an employee leaves the company or loses a device. For more information, check our MDM page.

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)

Building on all the features of MDM, EMM includes additional features around app management, work-app container (BYOD), managed configurations, email management, and secure content management. Typically, it subsumes all MDM functionalities under its aegis. For more information, check our EMM page.

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)

UEM takes EMM and applies them to the entire gamut of corporate and employee owned devices, including mobile devices, tablets, laptops, PCs, wearables, rugged devices, and other types of IoT devices.

UEM is deployed in several scenarios within an organization, including complete device management on corporate-owned devices, workspace container management on employee-owned (BYOD) devices, and kiosk management on shared devices. For more information, check our UEM page.

At a fraught time like this, industry argot can be confusing and difficult to parse. But it’s also critical to understand the differences between the terms so you don’t spend your money and resources on something that either doesn’t have the features you need or has way more than required.