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How Disruptive Is Implementing an MDM Solution?

Aug 10, 2021
TOPIC: IT
3 min read

When it comes to preparing for and deploying a mobile device management (MDM) solution, we’re often asked, “How disruptive will it be to make this move?”

Whether you’re new to MDM, switching vendor partners (you’re already reaping the benefits of MDM but want a provider with greater capabilities) or migrating your devices to Android (you’re currently using Windows devices and want to switch to Android), you’re triggering events that can cause a fair amount of stress—but with the right partner and a proven process in place, rest assured that you’ll experience minimal friction, downtime, and frustration.

The proprietary process Barcoding uses to deliver an MDM solution includes several phases: Connect, Question, Build, Deploy, Run, Explore, and Grow, each with a specific purpose and distinct value to the overall solution. In this post, we’re going to focus on explaining the Build, Deploy, and Run phases, as these are more apt to temporarily affect productivity while the system is being implemented. So, let’s get started!

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The Build Phase

During the Build phase, the work we do helps reduce friction in the subsequent Deploy and Run phases:

  • We document existing processes. In addition to working through budgeting, statements of work, and roles and responsibilities, we make sure we’re starting with a very clear and detailed picture of all the ways you’re using (and not using) your devices—who’s using them, for what, where, when and why—as well as the workflows that connect one activity to another. This helps us enhance those processes that are valuable and efficient, and make changes to those that are causing productivity-sapping roadblocks.
  • We communicate with users
    We can’t emphasize this enough: One key to a smooth transition is managing the expectations of users and stakeholders. It’s important to help them through the change, first by reiterating the “why” behind the switch; when users understand the benefits and value it’ll deliver, they’re more likely to embrace it. Sometimes, in out-of-the-box deployments, users are actually part of the processing of setting up their new devices, making clear communication even more important to the speed and efficiency of the deployment.

The Deploy Phase

During the Deploy phase, we…

  • Export data from the existing MDM solution
    Once your processes are documented and users have the information they need, it’s time to export the data from the previous MDM solution—and it’s critical to protect it all during the transfer. We track serial numbers, service contracts, location, and connectivity. If you’re moving to or from devices owned by the users (called BYOD, or “bring your own device”), the data from their mail, apps, photos, messages, and others must be synced with the new devices. This can get time-intensive, and it’s not uncommon for there to be a few glitches along the way—though nothing that the experts at Barcoding haven’t seen and are able to quickly resolve.
  • Collect and wipe (or un-enroll) existing devices
    At this point you’ll get physical custody of the devices currently being used so that you can wipe them of data. This is done by Barcoding’s team, but there will be some involvement on the part of the device user. For that reason, it’s important that instructions to users are crystal clear (and thoroughly tested beforehand).
  • Assign new devices, or re-enroll devices into the new MDM platform
    Finally, it’s time to enroll the “clean” or new devices into your new MDM platform. Depending on the solution, users may be able to enroll and configure their devices themselves, while others require help from Barcoding (no need to take your IT department’s time when you have us on your side). We also implement the necessary infrastructure hardware, and activate the solution.
    During the process of switching, it’s not uncommon to experience a big spike in network traffic, especially if most of your users are on-network at the time. For that reason, we may only load the necessary applications at first, then those that are less critical in a follow-up stage. And, to further reduce the strain on the network, we sometimes do the migration in stages rather than an all-at-once approach. This also helps keep the support team from being overwhelmed.

The Run Phase

During the Run phase, we…

  • Support users
    The last thing you want when deploying your solution is a lack of knowledge on the part of the user and the frustrations (and downtime) that come with it. Barcoding provides all the assistance your users need—24/7 in most cases—to start using the full capabilities of their devices. Because of all the upfront work we do to plan and anticipate issues, we’re able to minimize any downtime related to hardware failure, application issues, or missing devices.

Admittedly, the process outlined in this article is rather basic—there’s certainly more detail involved and the specific steps for different situations vary—but this gives you an idea of the steps needed to get a new MDM solution off the ground and working to improve processes and outcomes. Working with MDM experts like Barcoding will make it far more efficient, and will result in less downtime, fewer headaches, and faster deployment. Which means you and your team will be up and running sooner, and reaping the benefits of a smart MDM program.

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