StageNow is a powerful tool that allows for efficient device lockdown and configuration in enterprise settings, particularly when used in conjunction with Enterprise Browser and Enterprise Home Screen (EHS). Here are some key bullet points summarizing the steps and features related to StageNow lockdown in an enterprise environment:
Kiosk Mode with EHS:
- Kiosk Mode in Enterprise Home Screen (EHS) allows devices to run a single application that cannot be exited, making it ideal for specific use cases like price checkers or patient check-in systems.
- It opens the selected app in full-screen mode and blocks the BACK and HOME keys, preventing users from accessing other device functions or apps.
- Kiosk Mode settings are configured in the `enterprisehomescreen.xml` file, which is human-readable and can be easily edited.
- It’s possible to enable or disable USB Debugging in Kiosk Mode, depending on your security requirements.
User Mode with EHS:
- User Mode is the default state for EHS and restricts access to only the apps specified in the `<applications>` section of the `enterprisehomescreen.xml` file.
- Apps must be listed in this section to be visible in User Mode; otherwise, they remain hidden from the user.
- User Mode allows for a controlled environment where only specific applications are accessible to the user.
Enterprise Mobile Devices can be managed using methods other than traditional MDM as long as device security is stout. That technique might not be considered an industry best practice but we’ve seen admins manage devices in their own way to meet business requirements while using familiar toolsets. Despite the negative perception of ‘skirting’ using an MDM, it can be easy and secure to manage devices without one.
Staying “old school” with device management is a practical option for certain organizations and scenarios. If your company is opposed to an MDM-based solution due to complexity or cost, this is how you would ensure devices still conform to your needs.
Environments Suited for this Solution
There are a number of business use-cases where managing devices outside of a full MDM solution makes sense. If your company utilizes web apps instead of apps built on the native Android code base, then an MDM is not required to push application updates.
Some companies only have a limited number of installed business applications that don’t require version changes often. That situation may also be conducive to management via manual or user-initiated updates. Not relying on an MDM can make sense for companies that only have a small number of devices and the overall overhead cost is of concern to the IT team.
Combining the BlueFletch Launcher with Zebra’s StageNow provisioning tool gives IT teams the flexibility to build devices without the complication or cost of a full MDM solution designed for much larger, complex device deployments.
- Restricted access to applications required for an employee’s job function.
- No access for the basic user to device settings – ensuring a consistent configuration.
- Day to day work is streamlined since users can only access to what is needed for job functionality.
You create StageNow barcodes that:
- Lock-down devices by restricting access to settings and pre-installed Android apps
- Configures the device for the environment (i.e. wifi and certificates)
- Installs any business applications, if required
- Installs the BlueFletch Launcher
When applications need updates your team simply creates a StageNow barcode for users to scan that downloads and installs the application. This barcode can then be distributed digitally to different physical sites where devices are used or maintained. Ensuring proper user communications and adherence to procedures becomes the key process step to manage devices.
Just as with any solution, there are advantages and disadvantages to this method and use-cases that are ideally situated for it as well as use-cases that do not fit well. This solution can not force application updates remotely and is reliant on business operations to ensure clear communications with users should a change be required.
With StageNow and the BlueFletch launcher as an all-encompassing solution, there is no need to pay expensive license fees for an MDM (up to $150/device each year). Configuration and management oversight tasks are simplified in comparison to a full MDM Solution. Even without an MDM, it is still possible to “see” your devices and ensure they are operating. BlueFletch’s Support Analytics provides a detailed view into device analytics via dashboards and individual device logs.
BlueFletch is committed to delivering mobile software and hardware solutions that fit your business needs. This means custom-tailoring the solution to what makes sense for your business instead of forcing your business process to conform to our rules like other device management solutions. Whether your team is managing 10 devices or over 500, BlueFletch delivers MDM solutions, custom software solutions and also partners with leading rugged device hardware providers – all to ensure that your business has the flexible solutions it needs.
Reach out to us to schedule a free mobile strategy workshop to help define your business needs and explore the solutions.
Mass Deployment with StageNow:
- StageNow, along with compatible MDM systems, can be used to mass deploy configurations and lockdown settings to multiple devices efficiently.
- Required files for deployment include EHS installation package, `enterprisehomescreen.xml`, Enterprise Browser installation package, `config.xml`, and optionally, the start-page file.
- Configuration files and applications should be placed in their respective directories on the device using StageNow or MDM.
- EHS can be set as the default Launcher, ensuring it runs on device startup and enforces the configured lockdown settings.
- Restarting the device after configuration ensures that EHS takes control and enforces either Kiosk Mode or User Mode based on the `enterprisehomescreen.xml` settings.
Testing and Precautions:
- Zebra recommends thorough testing of all apps and configuration files on a working device before deploying them to a larger number of devices.
- It’s crucial to ensure that the desired apps and settings work correctly in the specified mode (Kiosk or User) before deployment to avoid potential issues in a production environment.c
StageNow, EHS, and Enterprise Browser offer a comprehensive solution for locking down Android devices in an enterprise setting, providing security, control, and customization options to meet specific business requirements.