The Definitive Guide to Zebra MDM Options in 2024: Everything You Need to Know

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    Overview of What is an MDM / EMM Solution: 

    • Deploy software to devices via Play Store
    • Configure permission, policies, and device restrictions
    • Reporting on devices 
    • Grouping and segmenting device

    Differences between managing Zebra Android devices vs consumer BYOD 

    • Zebra Devices are typically used in dedicated roles
    • OS updates need to be managed and controlled. 
    • Need to be able to have more control over dedicated devices (operations wants consistency across devices) this is a benefit of rugged devices such as Zebra (when compared to samsung, nokia, pixel etc)
    • Also usually come with embedded scanners
    • Company chooses when updates happen vs a user (work apps can be managed through a play profile). 
    • Corporate owned devices need to be enrolled from the start (company owned policy)

    Key Features specific to Managing Zebra Devices. 

    • Be able to run stage now xml
    • Ability to run android intents
    • Ability to deploy Android APKs directly (without having to go through the play store).  Without having to be reliant on a 3rd party vendor publishing an update. 
    • If using Play store, ability to configure OEM config
    • Remote control support for zebra device. 
    • Ability to deploy from local sources (e.g. relay servers) 
    • Ability to control version (e.g. pin a version of a device). 
    • Ability to roll back or downgrade software. 

    Why you need an MDM that is designed to support  Zebra Android Devices. 

    • Highlight use cases
    • Need to be able to control software versions
    • Controlling security to prevent breaches
    • Controlling user experience – consistently reduces training. 
    • Visbility in to device fleet (e.g. are devices missing, are they being untilized) 

    Zebra MDM: Comprehensive Guide to Manage Your Devices

    Zebra MDM Options for 2024: 

    The primary options – the following are the vast majority of 

    WorkspaceOne → First to market, but losing marketshare to SOTI.

    • Grouping, smart groups, the first to get features in place for zebra devices. 
    • Building packages is easier
    • Ability to get into devices quickly from dashboard.  Search 
    • Workspace one assist as a remote control → ability to easily get to file management.  FILE manger straight from remote control. 
    • API surface is really good for interacting. If you have to manage larger number of devices, the APIs are very helpful.   
    • Support relay server. 
    • Support on prem 
    • Support for direct APK installation
    • Support for zebra printer management ( additional add-on
    • Only support A5 and above (7 highly recommended)

    SOTI – in 2023 would be the most likely options. 

    • Package editor is the model, this may be more complete, and hard to reverse engineer if something goes wrong. 
    • Scripting engine is useful for devices. Supports stagenow xml;  functions they have built. Can be run from remote control 
    • Support on prem still. 
    • File sync rules for paths on severs (effectively mimicking the on prem);   through the agent; if you modify the file system, all devices will automatically pull;   can be used for OS updates. Ability to pull files off of devices for logging. 
    • Support for zebra printer management. 
    • Support for direct APK installation
    • Supports 4.2 and above  (android classic and android enterprise)

    Intune → Intune is rapidly gaining market share and may overtake SOTI in the near future. 

    • People who are already microsoft shop get it at discount 
    • Less features than SOTI and Workspace one; but cheaper; 
    • First to offer integration with shared device mode. 
    • Cloud based only, doesn’t support anything except google play store. 
    • Forces companies to think more modern applications of android applications;   Google has forced MDMs to move to Android enterprise. 
    • No way to check files or install status of profiles. No feedback on failures or errors. 
    • Doesn’t support:
    • No remote control out of the box, we have seen most companies leverage a third party remote solution like team viewer (or a remote control like the one offered as part of BlueFletch’s Enterprise toolset). 
    • Only support A8 and above

    The Complete Guide to Zebra MDM: Everything You Need to Know

    Secondary options: 

    Samsung Knox

      • Mainly Samsung support only
      • Can support basic MDM function for Zebra devices through it Android Enterprise 
      • Do not use if you are using zebra

    42Gears / SureMDM 

      • Zebra resells and supports it
      • Not as featureful as the above three primary options. 

    Manage Engine

      • Focus on mac management;  have some support for android

    Ivanti Nuerons for MDM 

      • Ivanti replaced it’s rugged product (avalanche) with Neurons for MDM (formerly mobile iron) in 2023.  Based on the consumer focus of MobileIron, there is not a larger install base on Zebra devices. 


    • Have not seen this at any larger customers (above 100 device)


      • HAve not seen in any large customers using zebre
      • Supported cisco, 

    Scale Fusion

      • We never seen them in any large customers. 

    Zebra DNA Cloud

      • We have never seen this used in any enterprise customers. 
      • Has some features specific to managing zebra devices.  
      • Might be an option for smaller install base. 


      • Primarily a security tool that most enterprises leverage on top of Intune, WSO, or soti
      • Very focused on SSO and security 
      • Support remote control 
      • Google android enterprise solution; but Android only
      • Supports both Play store installation and local file download install
      • Can be added to Intune to add management features that Intune customers would find in Soti or airwatch. 

    Zebra Printer profile manager

      • We have seen this used for managing Zebra printers where an MDM doesn’t support managing printers. 

    Zebra MDM: Comprehensive Guide to Manage Your Devices

    Best Practices when looking at a new MDM or migrating to a different MDM solution for your zebra devices. 

    Understand your infrastructure limitations 

      • On-prem
      • Network limitations
      • Security constraints

    Device landscape and versions 

        • How many devices you need to support;  for thousands of devices you need to have better search, grouping, sorting, and API support
        • Android version support – what version of Android will you support
        • What device types and landscape will you support

    Are you supporting GMS and/or AOSP devices. 

    • Are you supporting devices other than Zebra Android (e.g. Windows, iOS)

    Understand your application deployment requirements 

    • Is everything you are deploying in the play store
    • Are you deploying custom-built apps
    • How important is version control and the ability to roll back versions on devices.     

    Security requirements – 

      • What do you need for lockdown
      • What do you need for SSO support
      • Do you need to use shared device
      • What support do you need for certificate infrastructure (Wifi certs)
      • Do you need a VPN built into your MDM? 
      • Review options in OEMconfig to understand what you need to configure
      • Review security option in AE for what you need to configure (restriction profiles are not necessarily the same across all Zebra MDM options)

    Understand your operation use cases: 

      • How are you setting up and provisioning devices
      • What reporting do you need
        • API reporting 
        • Automated reporting
        • Analytics – Application usage and intelligence (xsight, etc)
      • Are your devices shared or are they dedicated to specific users. 
      • What technical support do you need from your MDM vendor (diferrent MDM options would have different support… SOTI is reported by our customers as the best for support, followed by WSO, and intune is near 0 support). 

    Training and documentation

        • How much training is available for your infrastructure management team fo the solution
        • Is the documentation published and easy to search. 
          • What does your help desk need 
            • Remote control 
            • File management 
            • Stagenow access for remediation
            • Ability to run intents to support remediation of devices. 
            • Granular control for app install/uninstall – the ability to force an install and uninstall of applications. 
          • Are devices located inside four walls or outside
          • Are you a Microsoft shop (Azure AD/EntraID) and Microsoft app landscape (Teams, outlook, edge). 

    Ready to implement a robust MDM solution for your Zebra devices? Contact the experts at Bluefletch today to get started with a customized Zebra MDM deployment. Their team can help you select the right features, integrate with your existing infrastructure, train your staff, and ensure a smooth and successful rollout.