What is Device Management Software?
Just as it is impossible now to think of a world without electronic devices to assist us in our daily lives, it is equally hard to imagine our reality with no device management to govern the massive volume of machines that surround us.
We all use printers and know that they’re a fine piece of tech. Their proper operation is usually taken for granted, but what if we suddenly lost control of them? Printing random items, while being the least ecological and effective working practice, doesn’t seem to be a major threat to business stability, but a situation when hundreds or so uncontrollable devices begin to spit out sensitive data to random people does sound like a major incident. Happily, such things rarely happen, but the comfort of having everything neatly managed only comes from the fact that these devices are handled by (hopefully) a reliable and secure software infrastructure. This, in turn, leads us to the question…
…why should we really care about device management?
In our technological world today, things are changing so rapidly that holding on to long-established notions and practices may quickly leave individuals as well as whole businesses steps behind the main trends in the industry. Hence, the constant need to update our knowledge of even the most obvious terms. Just as devices require regular software updates, so our expertise of the tech world needs updating every now and then. Along with the challenges brought by the rise of the Internet of Things, the device management as we knew it, say, a decade ago, has evolved into something if not completely different, then much more complex than it used to be. Therefore, as technological development goes hand in hand with business profitability, the term definitely needs special attention.
In order to answer the requirements of the ever-growing market, a modern device management system must essentially provide scalability, flexibility and, last but not least, high levels of security — and here is where device management software solutions come up on the stage.
What is device management software then?
Given the complexity of deployments that the industries around the world face nowadays, there can be no device management without respective software to handle the IT part of the whole enterprise. Even the smallest sensors or actuators come equipped with electronic components such as microprocessors, memory, or communication modules. These, of course, are easiest to manage at the software level, but only as long as the implemented device management software is reliable and robust.
The most straightforward definition of device management software
It’s a solution that enables to handle any type of electronic assets in a hassle-free and end-user friendly way, which usually involves out-of-the-box deployment capabilities and simple and neat graphical user interfaces. Yet surely, there should be more to it than just the nice façade of streamlined front-end solutions, as software robustness and reliability are mainly achieved through a strong and well-founded software architecture.
Therefore, as mentioned earlier, device management systems must be scalable in order to keep up with the expansion rate of the enterprise. What it basically means is that the infrastructure is able to cope with the growing traffic as the volume of devices, data or other assets increases to keep the business running smoothly. Otherwise, device management may become the bottleneck of your enterprise, effectively stifling the development and standing in the way of natural expansion that well-planned business projects tend to pursue. What follows from this is that if you’re thinking of managing a fleet of 10,000 devices, be sure to plan ahead and check if your potential software provider and its device management software offer support for projects involving dozen times more devices. Better still, if your future contractor can boast of successful million-scale deployments, then it’s a sure sign that you won’t hit the glass roof as your project grows a few times larger.
It may seem that flexibility and scalability in device management boil down to the same thing, but this is not exactly true. While scalability involves the ability to adapt to the changing volumes of data traffic, flexibility explores another side of the same problem — the capacity to act within an environment of constantly changing workflows, technical requirements and business needs. Your business model may seem well enough for the present day and the next few quarters, but sooner or later it will need amendments or radical changes that stem from the simple but irrevocable fact that the industry is extremely dynamic. Therefore, don’t let device management software trail behind and drag your enterprise down to a dead end. A comprehensive device management software must necessarily provide means for high-level customization in order to remain relevant to the evolving project environment.
Finally, there’s also the security aspect to consider. While it’s quite sure that your devices will be well-protected during the early phases of project development, it must be taken into account that as they become obsolete, they also get vulnerable to a whole mass of hostile attempts. Therefore, it is essential for a device management software to provide superb communication security solutions and mechanisms dedicated to performing regular system maintenance and firmware updates.
Examples of device management software
In the labyrinth of waxing and waning technology fads and trends, it is easier to turn to well-grounded industry sectors for successful examples of device management solutions. With a decades-long tradition, telecommunications is surely one of such stable branches that has been taking advantage of device management software solutions to leverage its possibilities.
Among the platforms to offer these, AVSystem’s UMP stands out as a leader in advanced multiprotocol device management. UMP (standing for Unified Management Platform) is a software platform used by telecommunications services providers for provisioning, monitoring and controlling devices within their or their customers’ networks, either on-premises or via cloud services.
What’s more, the platform is scalable, which means that its architecture offers support for practically unlimited number of devices, ranging from batches consisting of a few hundreds of devices to multi-million fleets. This brings in a whole set of possibilities for project evolvement while ensuring that businesses don’t get stuck because of the limitations that are outside their control.
UMP also allows for easy integration with external services and platforms, gathering everything neatly in one place and ensuring that the solutions provided will be suited to a specific environment. Likewise, the fully customizable group management mechanisms are a strong point of the platform: they allow the users to quickly and seamlessly add support for new device models, carry out complex device reconfigurations and do many other bulk device actions. With its built-in real-time monitoring and diagnostic features, including geo-visualisation, UMP also helps system administrators react instantaneously to any problems encountered to ensure a great user experience for end customers.
All of this, together with a proven record of success within the telco industry, makes for a comprehensive and effective device management system that enables its clients to grow their businesses with no fear of holdbacks from the software side of the deployment.
All things considered, device management is certainly a core component in any project involving electronic assets, be they pin-sized sensors or heavy industry machines; that is why the awareness of its importance is pivotal to the development of both small-scale projects and major enterprises.