Different industry workers using Zebra DNA software

Tighter Security, Better Productivity: This Mobile Device Management Solution is a Superpower for Zebra Handheld Computers

How important is choosing the right mobile device management solution (MDM) when buying Zebra computers, tablets or wearables?

We look at it this way.

Choosing the wrong MDM set-up – or failing to use one – is like sending a talented football team onto the field without a captain. You’ll see a lot of skills, but little teamplay. Gaps may inevitably appear in your security. Productivity may be suboptimal.

Choose the right MDM configuration, however, and you’re going to see plenty of teamwork from your functions and apps. And you’ll get the right results in terms of hardened security and increased efficiency from your employees.

In this post, we’ll explain the problems with using devices at work and why mobile device management provides a solution. We’ll also reveal why any user of Zebra Technologies’ devices should seriously consider using its Zebra DNA Cloud MDM. This powerful tool can serve as your mobile device management solution. Or, crucially, it can augment your existing MDM with a remarkable array of functionalities surpassing those offered by competitors. Ultimately, choosing Zebra DNA Cloud can add up to a solid return on investment.

What are the inherent issues with devices at work?

The biggest issue is security. The proliferation of workplace devices has led to a dramatic increase in the attack surface open to cyber criminals. Many, a few or just one device in a fleet lacking the appropriate security updates, secure password mandates or encryption can lead to catastrophic data breaches.

Meanwhile, non-standardised or confusing interfaces, or employees using devices inappropriately – to play games or download inappropriate ‘workaround’ apps – can all affect productivity.

Compliance rears its head here too. An organisation can find it incredibly difficult to meet regulations without appropriate measures to secure and control mobile devices.

What is a mobile device management solution?

A mobile device management solution is a toolset of software designed to ensure the security of corporate data on mobile devices, and optimise employee performance.

Typically, an MDM will include features to make it easy to:

  • secure devices
  • deploy devices
  • configure settings, apps and security.

Managers can accomplish this remotely, deploying settings simultaneously across all devices with a simple click.

What is Zebra DNA Cloud?

Zebra DNA Cloud is a mobile device management solution that can be used independently or in conjunction with a third-party MDM. This cloud-based interface gives anyone responsible for managing Zebra devices the power to access an incredible array of Zebra software solutions in a simple and unified way. These solutions are known collectively as ‘Mobility DNA’ and can all be accessed, configured and controlled via the DNA Cloud interface.

By using DNA Cloud, you can handle every stage of a Zebra device’s lifecycle – deployment, management and optimisation. The level of control is remarkable.

The Zebra DNA Cloud dashboard provides a system overview, including a count of "Active" devices that have communicated with the system within the past 24 hours.

The dashboard provides a high-level system overview of your fleet of mobile computers, laptops or wearables. This includes device and battery status, license allocation and available Android updates. Some of the functions you can undertake include:

  • Mandate automatic security updates to all phones, or to selected devices
  • Enforce security policies such as biometric passwords
  • Provide remote support to phones and locate missing phones
  • Prohibit certain apps and install others, fleetwide or individually
  • Create a ‘single-purpose device’, by launching an app on startup and preventing it from being exited
  • Prohibit access to USB
  • Capture data using barcode scanners more efficiently

One of the benefits is that even non-technically-minded people can use the tools to configure, monitor and update devices.

Do I need DNA Cloud even if I have an MDM?

Zebra DNA Cloud can become your mobile device management solution if you don’t have one and need only a basic requirement.

However, many customers using third-party mobile device management solutions also use Zebra DNA Cloud to cover work scenarios not covered by their existing MDM. Essentially, Zebra DNA Cloud augments an existing setup to provide better security and productivity.

Zebra DNA Cloud (and all the Mobility DNA functionality available through this interface) solves problems and provides tools not offered by other MDMs.

Also, Zebra specifically designed these features to maximise security and productivity with its devices. Quite simply, there are no tools better optimised to protect Zebra devices, save workers time, and prevent IT team burnout.

For instance, with DNA Cloud you’ll have access to LifeGuard OTA to ensure devices are constantly up to date with the latest features and security releases. You can achieve this remotely with a single click. Other features such as battery health insights will not be available with a third-party MDM.

In our view, even if you have a mobile device management solution, Zebra DNA Cloud is an essential tool for optimising security and efficiency with Zebra devices. To return to our football analogy, without it you may be down to 10 players and, in security terms, ‘pretty stretched at the back’.

Is it tricky to set up with an existing MDM?

No. DNA Cloud can live alongside the existing MDM and it’s common for clients using a third-party MDM to integrate it into their set-up.

Zebra provides a series of solutions to help integrate and deploy devices relatively simply. For instance, StageNow helps organisations to easily stage a handful or thousands of devices with a quick scan of a barcode or tap on an NFC tag.

Nuffield Technologies can also help you with Zebra DNA Cloud integration.

Do I need to pay for Zebra DNA Cloud?

Some features are free of charge and others incur a small license fee. Many tools, including the Enterprise Keyboard Designer – which can help optimise data entry for teams – are free. Other features concerned with installing security updates and applications, and configuring devices remotely, are paid-for services. Our team at Nuffield Technologies can give you full details on which are free and which you’ll need to pay for.

Nuffield Technologies finds hardware and software solutions for organisations of all sizes. If you’d like to find out more about using Zebra DNA Cloud, or see a demonstration, get in touch.

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