It is becoming more and more necessary to be able to work while out of the office, and there are plenty of ways in which to do it. Laptops, tablets and even mobile phones are all extremely important in keeping employees connected and productive while out and about. With the increase in mobile devices though, there comes added complications. With so many different types of devices and platforms, managing them and keeping them secure is not a simple task.

Meraki Mobile Device Management

At BirchenallHowden, we use a program called Meraki to help our clients to look after and manage the devices within their organisation. Meraki has a number of features that are useful for many different situations and can help solve a wide range of problems. The free software allows you to visually see all devices attached to the account and make necessary changes or communicate with employees using the platform. Meraki is ideal for Apple devices such as iPads, iPhones and Macbooks as the software is tailored specifically to them. While support is offered to other types of devices such as Windows, certain features are limited.

How it works

Users install the Meraki client on their device, then the designated support manager is able to monitor the device from the Meraki portal at their end. Devices send information to the management portal where managers are able to view information like serial numbers, operating system versions, storage and usage information, IP addresses and physical locations of users’ devices. The monitoring features then allow for much easier and streamlined support. Here are some of the things Meraki can do…

Security
Meraki can remotely shutdown and restart devices while also enabling support managers to wipe and change the passwords of devices (the password feature is only available for iPad and iPhones).

Communication
Notifications can be sent to the device user, while managers can take screenshots of the device. This makes for fast and accurate communication and can help identify problems quickly.

App Management
If there is a particular app that you would like your workforce to be using, it can be pushed out to all (or selected) devices, provided the app is on the Apple App Store. Specific apps and features can be disabled if necessary too. Messaging apps can be blocked for instance, or camera features can be disabled if an employee is working in a private or sensitive environment.

IT Support
As we use Meraki as part of our IT support, there are lots of features that assist us in helping our clients. We can check a wide range of statistics of devices which help us to diagnose problems. We can see RAM and CPU usage, check OS versions, the disk % usage and which network the device is connected to. If a device goes missing or is suspected stolen, Meraki allows us to see its exact location provided it is connected to the internet, meaning there is a much higher chance that it can be retrieved.

Remote Access
The option of remote access is also available, meaning that support managers can take control of a device remotely and control it in real time in order to fix issues or give the user directions.

Company IT Policy

When introducing mobile device management into an organisation, it is important to inform your employees about any changes they are likely to experience and put in place a company IT policy. We spoke about the importance of having an IT policy in your business here. Being open about the reasons for mobile device management is key. It may seem as though you are “snooping”, when in fact the aim is to keep your company’s data secure and ensure your employees are equipped to do their jobs efficiently.

If you would like more information on Meraki, mobile device management or installing a company IT policy, please get in touch!

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