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The EMM Dating Scene

September 19, 2013 Ray Potter

On Monday, I was catching up on my reading when I noticed a familiar face featured on Forbes.com in Maribel Lopez's column.  It was me!  What an honor to be included in the well-known analyst's series of interviews with CEOs and mobility experts.RayPotter

I wanted to add a few more thoughts, specifically regarding concerns that should be addressed by buying agents.  There's no way to cover all the bases with one or two articles or posts, but we have to start somewhere.  Looking for an EMM vendor is like searching for a spouse. You have to weed through the hype, check references, and go through a trial period before fully making the commitment.  There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, so you need to get out there and meet some candidates.

When end users ask me about questions to ask vendors, I often mention "What's your scalability?" as a consideration.

There is a great deal of connotation implied within this question.

Scalability is one key area to consider, as you want to think ahead for optimistic long term growth.  Bluntly, you can be assured that vendors who are prepared to deploy to all 305,000 employees at GE immediately can handle your needs as well.

The flip side of the coin is that you may not need a truly massive support network, but you'll want a vendor that is nimble and accessible. You should be confident that they can grow with you and that your internal IT team can manage the deployment. There is a happy medium between the start-up with two guys in a garage and no dedicated support team and an outsourced technical support call center that keeps you on hold for an hour.

In that vein, don't be too quick to rush to the latest and greatest, high hype, cool vendors; those solutions may not be right for you. The needs of each customer will vary, but the ability to provide technical support and to continue innovating the product is a non-negotiable. Worse, those vendors may not be around in 9 months because this industry moves so fast. You may be their first customer… or their last.

Asking about a vendor's scalability is practically a secret code.  It means "Tell me about your size, your reliability, your history, your roadmap, and your team.  Tell me all the factors that will help me sleep at night and get buy-in from my superiors."

I can't stress it enough - you need to seek a high comfort level with your EMM vendor.  Policies can be changed and updated, the devices will evolve, but switching EMM platforms is a nightmare.  So choose wisely, and don't rush into that long term relationship without thinking carefully.

 

P.S. I just wanted to extend a sincere THANK YOU to Maribel, Forbes, and our friends, customers, and partners who have been so supportive and encouraging regarding this article.

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Ray Potter

Ray Potter

Ray Potter is the Founder of SafeLogic, which was spun off from his previous venture, the Apex Assurance Group consulting firm. He brings over 20 years of security and compliance experience, including leading teams at Cisco and Ernst & Young, to the operations team at SafeLogic. Ray loves playing guitar and flying airplanes.

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