MDM, EMM and UEM: The key definitions of enterprise mobility

Spend more than a few minutes on any blog that talks about enterprise mobility, and you’ll likely see a flurry of terms: MDM. EMM. MAM. UEM. Those of us in the industry (ourselves included!) throw these terms around and often just assume that everyone knows what we’re talking about.

Of course, that’s not always the case. It’s tough to keep track of all the industry terms and slang, and even if you technically know what, say, MDM means (mobile device management), it’s possible you don’t really know what mobile device management actually means.

Earlier this year, TechTarget executive editor Jack Madden tackled just this problem with a great article about the differences between the most popular terms and phrases in the enterprise mobility space. While of course we recommended giving the full article a read for an in-depth look at the difference between MDM, EMM, and more, it’s worth looking at the gist of his article when trying to make left from right.

Here’s a definitive overview:


MDM, or mobile device management, unsurprisingly secures the entire device, often allowing administrators to change app and data permissions, remotely wipe devices, set passcode, and more. This is certainly a secure solution, but is harder to implement in work environments where devices are not all corporate-owned.


MAM stands for mobile app management and, as its name implies, applies its controls at the app level rather than the device level. In today’s BYOD world, this can be useful, as users are often hesitant to hand over full control of their personal devices to the company. MAM allows specific controls within apps, often on smartphones not owned by the company.


EMM–which stands for enterprise mobility management–seeks “to cater to all enterprise mobility needs,” from security to identity management to onboarding. In a real setting, this really means a mix of MDM and MAM (depending on the need within the specific business unit). People often use EMM as a blanket term to describe any mobility goings-on within an enterprise.


UEM, or unified endpoint management, is the newest and most cutting-edge of all the approaches described here. (We actually wrote about it on our blog earlier this year.) UEM is similar to EMM, with the key difference being that UEM vendors support desktops and laptops in addition to mobile devices. This is a ‘single pane of glass’ solution that attempts to bridge all device management into one place.

As you work towards designing and implementing an enterprise mobility strategy in your workplace, it’s absolutely essential to know what’s what. Having a clear understanding of all the options will help ensure that you’re doing what’s best for your business, even if you’re only taking it one step at a time.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data ExpoCyber Security & Cloud Expo and 5G Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

Related Stories

Leave a comment


This will only be used to quickly provide signup information and will not allow us to post to your account or appear on your timeline.