With the increase of Apple device usage in the workplace, there are many solutions available to manage and deploy them. One of the most common solutions for Mac computers, iPad devices and Apple TVs is an MDM, and now Agent-based solutions are rising to the top.
You have most likely heard of MDM solutions, and may even use one in your business already. However, Agent application programs are a great way to manage Mac computers in an easier and faster way. In this article, we will go over what an MDM solution is versus an Agent application, and what the benefits of each one are.
MDM-based solutions for Apple devices
A mobile device management solution is the process of deploying, securing and managing Apple devices such as Mac computers, iPad devices and Apple TVs within a company or business. This allows your team to use mobile devices while protecting your corporate data. MDM solutions allow for IT administrators to be able to configure policies and push those policies to the device. MDM also provides management over your company’s Apple devices to provide constant monitoring and managing.
Apple MDM solutions work through the Apple Push Notification Service (APNS) and stores the information from your company’s Apple devices in the cloud. Because of this, the solution is sometimes slower to communicate with the device due to network or other server issues. These network issues happen because most MDM functions are operation-based rather than state-based.
Some of the features of an MDM solution that you can take advantage of include:
- There is no need for local 3rd party software.
- It allows for zero-touch deployment and customization of Mac computer setups when combined with Apple Business Manager (Formerly DEP).
- Allows device inventory and tracking, remote device wipes, app distribution and management, password enforcement and data encryption.
Agent-based app for macOS
An Agent app is an application installed on Mac computers that continuously collects updated device information directly from the computer, which makes managing the macOS devices faster. Some of the information that is collected includes which apps are installed on the Mac computer and how the applications are used, while not collecting any personal data from the end-user.
The Agent app works through a locally installed agent that runs through a remote server to get device information that reports back to the admin team. This allows IT administrators to manage and control Apple devices all at once. While this program needs to be installed on all of the company’s Mac computers, once it is installed, the Apple device can be tracked if it is connected to the company’s network. Some of the benefits to using an Agent app include:
- It allows for better and easier remote management and monitoring of devices.
- It can be faster and more reliable than an MDM solution.
- It works great for employees who may work remotely and who have a limited network capabilities.
Mac management with Mosyle
For Mac management, Mosyle provides both MDM-based and macOS Agent features. Our Agent App for Mac helps Admins accomplish system-level tasks like running custom scripts, installing third-party software and installing PKGs. The Agent app is also the Self-Service Mosyle app, in which you are able to create an in-house app and book catalog for end-users to install the software they need.
This will empower them with an easy way to have all the educational tools and configurations needed to boost productivity.
Admins are be able to make sure everything is running properly by viewing information about the Apps, Printers and Chrome extensions that were installed and/or removed from the Mac computers, along with general information that is available on the Device Info.
Administrators can also track the progress of application and software installations that were distributed using PKG files and Apple’s Apps and Books (formerly VPP).