Location Services-based features in MDM

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Location Services is one of the most important data parameters in a mobile device as it provides the current location of the device and is useful in a lot of different industries such as Logistics, Delivery Services etc. Mobile Device Management solutions leverage device location services and helps you improve productivity and/or security. Let us look at all MDM Location-based features provided by ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus as an enterprise mobility management solution

Instant device location

You can get the current device location just by configuring the Geo-tracking settings available on the server. It is to be noted that Mobile Device Manager Plus requires the ME MDM app to be present on the device and granted adequate permissions for location-based monitoring. The ME MDM app accesses the location of the devices and allows you to track devices instantly to get their current location immediately as explained here. Further, in case you're managing a whole lot of devices but want to geolocate only a select set of devices, you can simply add them into a group and apply Geo-tracking for that particular group. In case you need to view the device location, you need to configure the same in Device Privacy Settings.

Force enabling Location Services

As stated previously, you need the Location Services to be enabled on the device for utilizing location-based device management features available in MDM. However, Location Services can be disabled by the device users, preventing MDM from obtaining the location. To overcome this, MDM provides you methods to force enable Location Services on devices for location tracking and prevent them from being disabled by the user as explained here.

Location-based restrictions

In addition to having configurations for preventing device users from disabling Location Services and location based monitoring, MDM also provides you with location-specific restrictions in case of Android devices. You can choose to disable fake locations, prevent usage of Google maps etc. Click here to know more about these restrictions.

Handling stolen/misplaced devices

With mobile devices being handy and portable, chances of it being stolen/misplaced is quite high. These devices with corporate data stored can lead to unauthorized data access or sharing. In case of misplaced devices, MDM lets you remotely lock the device to prevent unauthorized usage, ring an alarm to determine the location etc. You can view the full list of security commands here. In case the stolen devices, MDM lets you put the device under Lost Mode - lock the device and optionally display a message and contact number on the lock screen. If anyone needs to hand over the device, they can use the contact number displayed on the lock screen. Further, the device location is also shown and in case there is no sign of the device being returned, you can to either completely/selectively wipe the device data.

Restricting movement of corporate devices

In case of corporate devices handling corporate data, you wouldn't want the devices to leave the organization's premises in order to adhere to security standards. However, keeping of track of several devices at once and ensuring it always stays within the organization's premises is going to be difficult for the IT administrator. Geofencing lets you define a virtual geographical region and if the corporate devices leave this region, then both the device user and the IT administrator get notified. In addition, you can also wipe the device or mark it as lost, to prevent misuse of corporate data.

Unified map view

In case of industries such as logistics, there are chances that you need to track several different devices at once. This might be difficult for the IT administrator in case there are a large number of devices. With MDM's unified map view, you can view the current location of all managed devices in a single map. 

Location History

In case of industries such as logistics, there are high chances you would want to know the list of locations traversed by the device over a period of time. With Location History, MDM saves the list of all locations traversed by the device user over a period of 30 days. You can also customize the define the distance to be traversed by the device before recording the location. Further, you can download the list of coordinates (latitude and longitude) traversed by the device and also view the list of locations between a specific date range as well. You can know more about Location History here.

Usage of open-source maps

In order to ensure data privacy, MDM doesn't integrate with any third-party maps to show device location on the MDM server. Instead it uses Zoho Maps, which in turn is based on the open-source OpenStreetMap. However, you can view the device locations on third-party maps such as Google Maps, as explained here.

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