5 min read

What is Google Mobile Device Management?

Mobile devices have become ubiquitous in the modern workplace, with employers often allowing personal devices like smartphones and tablets under Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies.

While mobility and device choice provide flexibility for employees, it also creates major security and management challenges for organizations. Sensitive company information is now being accessed and stored on mobile devices that IT teams do not always control or secure effectively.

This is where Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions come in. MDM allows centralized management, monitoring, and security of all employee mobile devices that connect to company resources.

Google offers its own MDM solution called Google Mobile Management for enforcing device policies, deploying apps, securing data, and managing the entire fleet of devices from the cloud-based Admin Console.

Whether you're part of the education field and need to manage student devices or your workforce requires remote monitoring, Google Mobile Device Management is a secure, effective way to do so.

 

Overview of Google Mobile Management

Google's Mobile Management is a cloud-based solution that allows enrollment, configuration, and management of mobile devices running Android, iOS, and ChromeOS operating systems. It offers basic mobile management features but also gives admins the ability to monitor devices for enhanced security.

Here are the key capabilities of this system:

  • Device Configuration: Remotely configure email, Wi-Fi, VPN, certificates, password requirements, restrictions, and more.
  • Security: Admins can enforce encryption, device wiping, app blacklisting/whitelisting, and device pinning.
  • Monitoring: Track device status, compliance, installed apps, hardware/software inventory, and location data.
  • Management: Manage group devices, automate device provisioning and de-provisioning, and control OS updates.
  • Apps & Content: Deploy managed Google Play apps, Company Hub for internal web apps, and distribute docs.
  • User Portal: Let users remotely locate, lock, or wipe lost devices.

Google Mobile Management integrates tightly with Google Workspace productivity tools. It is administered through the Google Admin Console unified with other Google services for fast integration into your existing system.

 

Key Features & Capabilities

Beyond the basic capabilities, there are advanced mobile management features offered through Google. Here are some features that allow you to manage the full device lifecycle.

Device Configuration & Policies

For device configuration and policies, administrators can remotely configure settings for email, calendar, contacts, Wi-Fi, VPN, passwords, restrictions, per-app VPN, certificates, authentication, and browser settings.

Password policies can enforce length, complexity, history, and expiration rules. Restrictions can be set for usage, uninstalls, and data sharing.

Security

For security, Google Mobile Management enables enforcement of device encryption, remote wipe of lost or stolen devices, selective wipe of only corporate data, app whitelisting/blacklisting, and Android Enterprise profiles to separate work and personal data.

Monitoring & Compliance

For monitoring and compliance, the solution provides detailed hardware and software inventory reports, device location tracking, status and activity reports, alerts for non-compliant events/devices, and the ability to limit access based on compliance.

OS & App Management

For OS and app management, administrators can manage over-the-air OS updates, Google Play, and third-party app installs, create an internal app catalog, configure app settings, and manage licenses.

End User Portal

The end-user portal allows self-service capabilities like remotely locking/wiping devices, locating lost devices, viewing IT contacts, and checking device details.

 

Benefits of Google Mobile Device Management

Implementing Google Mobile Management is advantageous for organizations looking for an intuitive way to manage devices. Here are some key benefits.

Simplified Administration

Google Mobile Management provides unified device management through the Google Admin Console, enabling easy administration of small and large device fleets. It has a quick setup with guided workflows and an intuitive interface that simplifies device management.

As a Google Admin, this lets you seamlessly keep track of spread-out devices, enforce policies, and keep your organization's data safe.

Enhanced Security

This solution offers advanced security capabilities, including remote device locking, wiping, and encryption. It enables secure work profiles on Android Enterprise-recommended devices and prevents threats from risky apps. Admins can rapidly enforce policies and compliance rules.

Increased Productivity 

Users get any time, anywhere access to company resources from all major mobile platforms like Android, iOS, and ChromeOS. It provides seamless syncing of email, calendar, and contacts. Managed Google Play access delivers required apps efficiently.

Cost Savings

Google Mobile Management avoids large upfront investments by using a cloud service model. It supports BYOD programs to reduce device costs. License management is simplified, and apps can be purchased and deployed in bulk, saving your organization extra costs.

Better Insights

Administrators gain granular visibility into device inventory, activity, and usage analytics. This data helps identify security gaps and optimize operations.

Easy Integration

Native integration with Google Workspace and Chrome Browser streamlines management, and SSO and existing directory sync leverage Google identity.

 

Mobile Device Management Use Cases & Industries

Google's mobile device management is suited for a variety of industries and uses, including:

  • Remote Workforce: Secure BYOD or corporate-owned mobile devices for sales teams, telecommuters, and remote employees accessing company data and apps outside the office.
  • Regulated Industries: Healthcare, finance, government agencies, and any regulated industry can use Google MDM to comply with privacy laws like HIPAA and PCI DSS when using mobile devices.
  • Education: Schools and universities can manage student and teacher devices, preconfigure school apps and policies, and support e-learning on tablets or Chromebooks.
  • Retail & Hospitality: Secure POS devices, set lock screen messages, and deploy custom apps to improve customer experience and operations efficiency.
  • Field Services: Manage rugged devices like Zebra handhelds used by field technicians, delivery fleets, and emergency responders and manage device uptime.


Comparison to Other MDM Solutions

If you're already using a mobile management system or only considering implementing Google MDM, it's important to understand how it stands apart from other systems.

Compared to traditional solutions like Microsoft Intune, VMware Workspace ONE, and MobileIron, Google MDM has:

  • Cloud-based delivery rather than on-premises software installation
  • Usage-based pricing rather than complex per-device licensing
  • Tight integration with Google Workspace productivity tools
  • Easier administration from the Google Admin Console
  • Broad cross-platform support for Android, iOS, and ChromeOS
  • Rapid deployment of Google's own Android device policy recommendations
  • Access to managed Google Play for curated enterprise apps

While traditional MDMs may offer deeper legacy OS integration, Google Mobile Management excels for modern cloud-first and mobile-first organizations. Its cloud approach brings lower ownership costs, faster deployment, and simpler management capabilities.

 

Getting Started with Google Mobile Management

Basic mobile management should be turned on as part of your Workspace subscription. If you've turned it off and need to reactivate it, it only takes a few minutes.

Remember to tell users you'll manage the remote devices they use for work, and let them know your password requirements. If you're looking to upgrade and set up advanced mobile management, learn more here.

Before you begin setting up basic mobile management: To apply the setting for specific users, put their accounts in an organizational unit.

  1. First, sign into your administrator account in the Google Admin Console.
  2. In the Admin Console, go to Menu. Then click "Devices," then "Mobile & endpoints," then "Settings," and finally "Universal."
  3. Click "General" then "Mobile Management."
  4. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Or, choose a child organizational unit.
  5. Select "Basic."
  6. Click "Save."


Best Practices for Effective Usage

To maximize the benefits of Google Mobile Management, follow these best practices:

  • Segment Devices: Group devices with similar profiles, like corporate versus BYOD, to simplify policy and app deployment.
  • Automate Compliance: Use auto-enrollment and blocking for consistent policy enforcement.
  • Communicate Changes: Notify users of policy or app changes affecting their devices.
  • Monitor Status: Use reports to identify issues like outdated OS, non-compliant devices, and inactive devices.
  • Limit Personal Usage: Have a BYOD policy limiting personal app installs and usage to prevent distractions.
  • Integrate with Workflows: Automate device assignment, provisioning, and de-provisioning as employees join, move or leave.


Get Google Support from Promevo

If you're looking to harness the capabilities of tools like Google's MDM and other Workspace features, let Promevo be your guide. As a Google-certified partner, we provide end-to-end support with all things Google.

From helping you choose the proper ChromeOS devices to using our exclusive software gPanel® for Google Workspace reporting and management, our team helps you use the innovative features of Google to reinvent how you do business.

We are proud to be a 100% Google-focused partner helping you succeed wherever you are in your Google journey. Contact us today to get started.

 

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