Tech

Geofencing Capabilities of Entgra MDM

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We’re pleased to announce that Entgra MDM has yet another new feature – geofencing capabilities. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) admins can define required virtual perimeters for controlling access over specified boundaries and perform some operations to those which are inside of those boundaries. Geofencing is a very useful feature in governing access for user groups. It can be conveniently set up by drawing boundaries over areas on the map.

Let’s discuss how the geofencing capabilities work through an example. Imagine that the Ministry of Education wants to provide tablets or mobile devices for school children in rural areas for online learning during the pandemic. And they wish to provide all the learning materials to the devices and manage those device capabilities. Additionally, they want to ensure that these devices do not leave school premises. The Ministry can use geofencing capabilities to monitor the devices’ locations, manage capabilities, and perform certain actions.

The Functionality of Geofencing Capabilities

Before you create a geofence, you need to set up the Alerting Configurations under the Platform Configurations. You can provide an email address where you can receive alerts. According to your use case, you can define whether users cross or access boundaries.

After defining the configurations you will be able to create geofences in Entgra MDM. The following data should be provided to create a new geofence.

  • Geofence name: Provide a name for identifying the geofence
  • Description: Add more details about the geofence
  • Device group(s): Assign a group (or groups) that consists of the devices that need to belong to the geofence
  • Event configurations: Add the given alert configuration to the relevant field

Afterwards, you need to mark the boundary line on the map. By using a shape such as a polygon or a circle, mark the area that you want to define as the geofence and then click on the Create button. The geofence table lists all the geofences that you create.

Returning to our example, after creating a geofence by including the school boundaries, if one of the students tries to leave the school with a device, the head of the school receives an alert and he/she can track the device location. The head of the school can also view how many devices in the relevant geofence are active at any given time. In addition, it can check the location of the provided devices and the device count, preventing devices from being misplaced.

Not only that, the group (or groups) that created the geofence can apply the required educational materials at the same time, adding various restrictions to the devices and managing them.

Entgra MDM has extensive enterprise wide MDM features that you can customize for your business needs. Learn more about the product and how we can help here.

You can also get in touch with us via contact@entgra.io

Allow and Block Listed Apps With Entgra MDM

Manage device applications by using our latest feature

Entgra MDM now enables you to allow and block listed apps with the latest feature. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) admins can manage device applications by using the blacklisting and whitelisting technique.

By way of an example, think of a school or an educational institute that provides tablets to their students for online learning. Admins need to restrict several apps from these devices (such as social media apps) in these scenarios. This means that these apps will be blacklisted whilst other apps, such as educational ones, would be installed in the devices sans interaction with the students.

The app blacklisting and whitelisting feature help you to meet these requirements. App whitelisting means that all applications, except the ones explicitly defined, are blocked. End users can only use apps that have been explicitly defined. App blacklisting occurs when defined applications cannot be installed on target devices. If the given black listed apps are already installed, they will be removed from devices.

The Entgra IoT Platform has an Application Restriction Settings policy with the capability to manage device applications for appropriate users. You can access this policy in the Android policy section on the Entgra IoT Platform. In this feature, you have the ability to select the appropriate app list type. Depending on the type selected, the functionality is as follows:

Allow List

After selecting the allow list you need to add these apps’ names and their package names. When the policy is applied to the device, only the listed app will be available and other apps will disappear.

Block List

Provide the names of the apps and package names that you want to add to the block list. When the policy is applied to the device, only the listed app will be removed and other apps will remain in the device.

In this way, you can change the number of apps on devices according to your preferences.

Let us return to the example. The head of the school or institution can add apps and their package names that he/she wants to block from the devices to the Block list. These listed apps will be removed from the devices while the required apps will remain. On the other hand, if he/she wants to add some educational or learning aid apps to the students’ devices, these can be installed through this policy.

Entgra MDM has extensive enterprise wide MDM features that you can customize for your business needs. Learn more about the product and how we can help here.

You can also get in touch with us via contact@entgra.io

Understanding Entgra’s Enterprise Mobility Management Capabilities (Part 2)

An introduction to our file transfer feature

This blog is the second part of a series that deep dives into Entgra’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) capabilities. Through this blog series, we aim to provide a better understanding of how Entgra’s technology can help you manage and secure your devices, improve the performance of your employees, and increase business profits through seamless device management.

Transfer Your Files and Perform Operations in Local Device Files

Imagine that you are managing a sales team. Your day to day activities involve sending sales reports or any other kind of find to your team members’ mobile phones or tablets. Or perhaps you need to edit files that you have already sent by renaming it or delete unnecessary files stored in a device. These actions can be performed easily when you are in the office.

Now imagine that your sales team is in the field and you want to transfer files to them, transfer files from their device to your server or perform an operation on the file in their device without disturbing them.

Fortunately, there’s a way to perform these actions.

Entgra IoT Server, with its EMM features, provides file transfer features to tackle similar kinds of scenarios. Admins can transfer files from an FTP server to a folder in the user’s device and vice versa using the file transfer feature. It is also possible to remotely access a device’s file system and perform file management tasks such as copy, rename, and delete files. 

Here’s a short video that illustrates how simple remote and access is:

Using Devices in the Field

Click on the “connect to device” option on each device to start a remote session when using your devices in the field. This will display the device’s files on the screen. Select the option that allows you to select a server, where you can view all preconfigured FTP servers. Then simply click one of the servers, the server files will be fetched and shown on the screen. You can select any file and perform file transfer from local device to the FTP server or vice versa. This also comes with an option to rename and delete the local files in the device also.

The first blog of this series gives you a quick introduction to our remote screen sharing and control features. You can read the blog here. You can learn more about our IoT, EMM, and Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology here. We’re always happy to hear from you, so drop us an email on contact@entgra.io to start a conversation with us.

Digitalizing Day-to-Day Tasks of Public Field Officers

How Sri Lanka’s government administrators can digitalize vital citizen data collection functions

Sri Lanka has a multitude of government agencies with varying levels of processes involved. At present, numerous public field officers employed by these agencies perform many tasks – such as citizen data collection – manually using paper forms. They include village officers (or Grama Sevakas), public health inspectors (PHIs), community midwives, environmental police officers, municipal council employees, and field officers from the Department of Agrarian Development and the Department of Census and Statistics to name a few. They then visit the relevant area government offices to sync their work – again performed manually.

In a bid to digitalize key government functions, some agencies have begun distributing public field officers with mobile devices that contain a set of apps to eliminate these manual tasks and ensure that data is available in a centralized system in a timely manner. 

While this is a welcome move, this endeavor does not address key functionalities. These include:

  • A centralized strategy to monitor and manage devices deployed in the field.
  • An ecosystem to provide remote app updates or new apps. Public field officers are required to manually download and install apps. 
  • Strategy to provide operating system (OS)/ security updates and mandatory app updates such as virus guards.
  • Remote troubleshooting of device, app, and OS related issues that would eliminate time consuming and costly field visits by IT support teams.
  • Tools to enforce data usage restrictions, misuse of devices or data/ device theft.
  • System level architecture to provide centralized identity, device management, integration or APIs.

The lack of these functionalities would pose several challenges that will impede the long term success of a large scale project such as this. This blog provides a step-by-step guide on how government agencies can implement a device strategy that addresses these functionalities and simplifies data collection whilst saving costs in the long term.

Device Strategy and Ecosystem: A Step-by-Step Guide

The device strategy and ecosystem must address each of the following considerations before devices are used in the field.

Device functionality

Takes into account issues such as device robustness, how they would work in the field seamlessly, battery life of each device, and device weight.

Device specifications

Operating system used by devices (i.e. OS or Android), scanning requirements, whether or not devices are able to connect to printers, and the warranty period of devices.

Device ownership and user policies

Privacy and user guidelines are central to a project such as this. The device strategy must address who exactly will be given access to use devices in the field, guidelines for doing so, and the policy adopted for usage outside of official duties.

Identity and access management and storage

Security and identity management (IAM) are often the cornerstones of a sound device management strategy. A successful IAM system consists of single sign-on (SSO), self sign up, password set ups, and password resets. This system must decide on whether OTPs for sign up will be sent via SMS or email for secure signing in and the official verification/approval process.

Device configuration

Test devices, check runtime usage, and ensure that onboarding configurations are functioning as intended and device apps work in offline mode.

App development

Apps must incorporate user behavior, use the mobile device management (MDM) app store, sandbox environment in place, and kick start beta testing.

Device distribution and education

Once all of the above are in place, the relevant government agencies must prepare lists of device recipients, map serial number ID with employee IDs, decide on a complete support structure (i.e. who will provide 1st and 2nd level support), prepare instruction manuals to educate users, and organize device delivery to the field force. This is also the ideal time to formulate the device roll out plan and scale the device system with the expected support load.

Run a pilot and deploy devices to the field

This is the ideal moment to define the defect reporting process and the warranty claim process.

Pre-work device check and monitoring

Finally, before devices are in full use, assess the level of support needed, how alerts/escalations are reported, and app functionality.

Data Analysis and Visualization to Aid Policy Makers

A project such as this will require particular attention paid to methods of data storage and visualization to facilitate analysis by policy makers. The device strategy requires a central data storage mechanism – by ‘data’ we refer to both citizen data and device functionality data. Data visualization will be enabled in the form of dashboards to aid government employees and policy makers.

By implementing a device strategy with these considerations in mind, government agencies are better able to lower costs through greater control over device usage, plan for the long term, and start digitalizing services for the benefit of citizens, policy makers, and public field officers alike.

Entgra provides has worked with many public agencies and private sector organizations to implement robust device strategies. Learn more here.

A 7-Step Device Strategy To Succeed With IoT Technology and Create Flexible Organizations

A device strategy must take into consideration business planning, product building, operational efficiency, scaling, tech support, value creation, and sustainability to thrive

Photo by Benjamin Smith on Unsplash

With the ongoing pandemic creating many upheavals, organizations are increasingly grappling with a monumental challenge – creating seamless workflows and remote working environments whilst staying resilient, relevant, and flexible to respond to present and future changes. These changes are also taking place against a backdrop of evolving technology usage, both by organizations and individuals. Industry analyst Gartner identified Internet of Behavior (IoB) as one of the strategic technology trends for 2021. Explained simply, IoB is a data-driven approach to guide behavior. Data is gathered from many different sources and IoB will increasingly shape interactions between people and organizations. Using data from multiple sources and devices to gain insights into business operational processes and productivity is of course not a new phenomena. Organizations across industries have been moving towards deploying connected devices and Internet of Things (IoT) enabled business environments for quite some time.

Successful use of IoT technology requires a device strategy, regardless of the type of organization. When I use the term “devices,” I refer to both mobile devices and IoT enabled devices. A device strategy must take into consideration 7 important factors to thrive: business planning, product building, operational efficiency, scaling, tech support, value creation, and sustainability.

Business Planning

Organizations that require a device strategy fall into 4 broad categories – device manufacturers, application developers, system integrators, and device users. Each of them have different needs and priorities when formulating a device strategy. As a starting point, ask yourself some crucial questions about your organization – which of the above 4 categories you belong to and what your organization envisions for itself.

Here is an overview of the different technology requirements for these organization types:

  • Device manufacturers – to develop devices and basic software (such as an API) to showcase device capabilities
  • Application developers – need to build IoT applications on top of their existing hardware
  • Systems integrators – to integrate several IoT applications and create value in a particular industry
  • Device users – provide devices to their employees to be used for specific purposes

Product Building

All of these organizations must then identify the specific market requirements, target customers, and the expected types of device engagement. These are the things to keep in mind for a product building strategy.

A generic guideline is as follows:

  • Device manufacturers consider where and how the devices are to be used, taking into considerations issues such as device robustness, protocol use (existing or new protocols), chipset usage (existing or new chipsets), device security, and power consumption.
  • Application developers are mainly concerned with the types of devices that will be used, the type of software platform to use, application distribution, and how the application logic compares with power consumption.
  • Systems integrators’ main concerns are with integration – which platform to use, the need of new platforms, security, protocols, analytics, dashboards, and how they can expose APIs with external parties.
  • Device users need to understand if they’re using the right type of device, whether or not these devices are user friendly, data security and storage, and device ownership (who owns the devices – the organization, device manufacturer, or the employee).

Operational Efficiency

Once you build your IoT applications and deploy your devices, then it’s time to think about operational efficiency. Your key concerns at this stage would broadly consist of detecting device failure notifications, identifying device anomalies early so as to minimize operational disruptions, pushing software updates to all your devices in your ecosystems, and how you can reset your devices in the case of a security breach.

Scaling

Any organization must first have a thorough understanding of their IoT deployment so that they can formulate and implement a scaling strategy. A starting point for this exercise would be to first identify which architecture layer within your IoT deployment needs scaling and how this can be done, recognize usage and failure patterns, consider questions around device throttling, and finally, if your organizations will use server or edge computing capabilities.

Support

When we talk about technology support, the biggest issue is what actions an organization will have to take when a remotely installed device fails. Using backup devices is an option (although this is often not the most cost-effective choice).

Value Creation

Devices and their deployment are expensive. Long term value creation must therefore be a cornerstone of your device strategy. Measure the impact of device integration and understand what steps your organization can take to prevent your devices from becoming less valuable over time, how your organization can gain a competitive advantage through your devices, what type of data can be generated from your devices for business insights, and how you can diversify your business offerings and processes.

Sustainability

A discussion about value creation naturally leads to questions about sustainability. Sustainability focuses on 3 areas – technology, data security, and legal challenges.

On the technology front, devices and platforms used today may not be valid in several months’ time. As such, organizations must address any vendor lock in issues with your devices, whether or not your platform can be scaled with other devices and applications, and any license fees and data ownership concerns that you will encounter.

When considering data security, any breach impacts consumer trust in your organization which in turn affects sustainability. Pay particular attention to how your data is stored, whether or not you use a managed cloud service, who will be given access to the data, whether or not a data filtering mechanism exists within your organization, and how your mobile apps were developed. 

Finally, on the legal challenges front, many regions have introduced data privacy and security laws, for example, GDPR in the EU, CCPA in California, USA, and CDR in Australia. With these regulations, there’s a chain of liability, many different and complex data ownership scenarios, and automated contracts. Any questions on a sustainable device strategy must look into the intricacies of these regulations and even in the absence of formal regulations, pay heed to privacy concerns of individuals and device users.

Learn more about our Mobile Device Management (MDM) and IoT technology. Our customers span the Android device manufacturing, original design manufacturing, government, education, pharmaceutical, healthcare, insurance, and service industries.

Entgra MDM Now Includes LiveFeed, Enabling Admins to Remotely Track Device Details With Ease

We’re pleased to introduce LiveFeed, our latest addition to Entgra MDM. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) admins can now use LiveFeed to troubleshoot issues on devices in real-time and monitor the device performance in a live session.

Photo by Marek Levák on Unsplash

LiveFeed has numerous uses in businesses. For example, imagine that you’re a sales manager and you want to promote an enterprise application or any other application to the sales representatives who are working in different locations. You then install the application, inform your sales representatives, push that particular app to the devices, and check that it’s functioning properly. Some of your colleagues could inform you that they have been unable to install the particular application or you observe an installation failure on some devices by checking the operation log of the server. Imagine trying to install this application repeatedly and it fails.

To provide other examples, sometimes you receive complaints about devices that function at a slow speed with users experiencing performance issues and even random freezing. At times, devices do not synchronize with the server even when they are switched on. In such scenarios, sales managers will not be able to apply any device operation, policy or app installation to any device. Devices that fail to charge properly and the need for devices that charge faster is another issue.

At this point, if you can view the current details of relevant devices, you can easily discover the reasons behind the above failures. In such a scenario, LiveFeed will be of great help to you.

LiveFeed Functionalities

LiveFeed is available under the Remote Session. After connecting to the device, select the tab called “LiveFeed”. It will show the device details fetched from the device. The extracted device details will include:

  • Battery details – The health of the battery, temperature, and charging percentage.
  • Device memory – Internal memory usage and external memory usage of the device are shown separately.
  • RAM usage – RAM usage of the device.
  • WiFi connectivity – WiFi connectivity strength of the device plus daily and hourly WiFi data consumption.
  • Mobile connectivity – Mobile connectivity strength of the device plus daily and hourly mobile data consumption.

All of the above mentioned details are derived from the live data of the device. As such, when a user makes a query about the above scenario we can initialize a remote session of that particular device and open the LiveFeed feature. Following that, we can examine the details derived from the device and perform troubleshooting.

Let’s return to the application installation failure example that we discussed earlier. In this particular example, the reason behind the installation failure is due to the poor WiFi or mobile signal strength of the connected device. Moreover, if the device has limited internal or/and external memory space, this could be another contributing factor. Another factor could even include an error with the device.

When we look at the other examples, the reason behind slow functioning devices is less RAM. A synchronization failure can happen when relevant devices are located in areas with poor mobile or WiFi signal strength. Devices with poor battery health experience charging issues.

There are several underlying causes behind application installation failures. By using LiveFeed, you can remotely identify these factors with ease without having to examine the device physically, thereby saving time and providing customer satisfaction in the process. LiveFeed also enables you to learn about the causes behind above mentioned synchronizing and device charging issues.

You can watch this video to learn more about LiveFeed.

Entgra MDM has extensive enterprise wide MDM features that you can customize for your business needs. Learn more about the product and how we can help here.

You can also get in touch with us via contact@entgra.io

Virtual Classrooms: From Chaos to Collaboration

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

As the world continues to battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is our daily reality and how are teachers and students faring in virtual classrooms?

Not so well, apparently, as attested unanimously by Parents Anonymous.

Most schools in Colombo already have a functioning distance learning system in place and well established mechanisms through which schools communicate with parents and students.

During periods such as these when schools are closed unduly and indefinitely, schools usually take measures to send out SMSs alerting all parents regarding any important news, changes in schedules, and guidelines to follow in times of crisis. Individual class teachers have WhatsApp groups created for the class, informing students about study packs, assignments, exam schedules, and such. Then there is the actual online distance learning system through which the teachers conduct interactive virtual lessons routinely.

This system functions fairly well most of the time with students managing by themselves.

So what’s all this fuss about?

A deeper look into the matter reveals several underlying problems, some of which are so banal that they would not have occurred to your IT administrator.

In one instance, for example, half of the students of Class A had completed an assignment that was meant for the whole Grade. The specific assignment for Class A, however, had been posted on the class WhatsApp group only. The students who worked on the wrong assignment somehow did not have access to that update, mostly because the phones were with their parents while they worked on some other device.

Another common issue encountered with running virtual classrooms is the disparity of devices and platforms used by individual students. The use of a variety devices such laptops, tablets, and smartphones are commonplace in today’s era of digital flexibility.

The Challenges

The main technical challenge posed here arises when integrating into existing or implementing new systems with the complexity of various disparate operating systems, hardware, software, and network requirements. The different devices and platforms for communication used by students also have to be taken into consideration as well.

A centrally administered platform, with precise User Profile Management can easily address the issues above.

The varying degrees of computer literacy among students, teachers, and parents using the system have to be taken into consideration as well. This plays an important role in deciding on a solution that works equally well for the not so tech-savvy.

The Benefits

The benefits of smoothly operating virtual classes far surpasses the concerns outlined above. This is going to be the trend in the future, so the focus at hand should be on ironing out the hindrances and adapting to the future and beyond.

Virtual classrooms are aimed at providing a fun, interactive learning experience that encourages students to individually explore, share knowledge, and learn through collaborative experiences.

Similarly, the age of digital pedagogy presents a novel teaching experience to tutors too when the right mix of trending technological techniques are employed.

The figure below summarizes how students, teachers, and parents can benefit from virtual classrooms.

Figure 1 — Empowered classroom collaboration with Entgra

How Entgra’s Solutions Can Help

Applying the right technology and using optimal solutions that cater to your specific requirements enable you to tap into the convenience and effectiveness of digitalization.

The right kind of implementation would allow students to explore without restricting their freedom of access to knowledge, and with right protection from misuse and abuse on the internet. Moreover, such potential need not be hindered by concerns of security and adverse accessibility to a plethora of unwarranted information for the students.

Entgra’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions for empowering classroom collaboration offers just that, tailored to the specific requirements of an educational institute.

Given below is what we are capable of in a snapshot:

Figure 2 — MDM solutions by Entgra for education

With over hundreds of companies around the globe already empowered by our enterprise-grade solutions, your virtual classroom problems are safely dealt with by our team. Built on extensible plug-in architecture and enhanced by world-class engineering expertise, the Entgra IoT Server is capable of empowering the best MDM services available today. Get in touch with us via contact@entgra.io and learn more about us here.

Understanding Entgra’s Enterprise Mobility Management Capabilities (Part 1)

A quick overview of our remote screen sharing and control features

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

This blog is the first in an ongoing series that takes a look at the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) offered by Entgra. These blogs will provide a better understanding of how Entgra’s technology can help you manage and secure your devices, improve the performance of your employees, and increase business profits through seamless device management.

Show Me Your Screen

Imagine that your neighbor wants to work as a driver for Uber. Yet after registering with Uber, he encounters strange errors when logging into the app. Luckily for him, you are a support engineer at Uber. Your neighbor comes over and shows this problem to you. With a few clicks here and there,  you fix the problem for your friend and now he uses the app happily. 

Now imagine that a customer is experiencing an issue in another country. You cannot identify this issue over a call and you need to see what exactly the customer is doing to understand the problem. Unfortunately for you, the customer is not your neighbor to make both of your lives simpler.

But there’s a way around this problem. 

Entgra IoT Server, with its EMM features, provides remote screen sharing and control capabilities to tackle similar enterprise scenarios. If you have a set of field devices with a mission critical application on a set of enterprise owned mobile devices, you may want to know where these devices are and remotely troubleshoot in case there are issues that are hard to fix. Clear the app data and cache, reboot, reinstall the app, examine files from the app and in some cases, you may need to wipe the device to fix the problem. Your options here are to buy a very expensive remote control solution and install it on all devices or get a solution such as Entgra’s with remote control capabilities. 

Here’s a short video that illustrates how simple remote and access is: 

Under the Hood

When your devices are used in the field, you may initialize a remote session by clicking on the “connect to device” option on individual devices. This starts a web socket connection with the device and streams the device’s screen as a live feed. On top of this, we have written a custom keyboard that sends keyboard inputs to the device and types them in when needed. The mouse inputs are also sent in a similar manner which translates to click, drags or presses as commanded. The bottom line is that you have access to a complete remote login system via Entgra to manage and troubleshoot your field devices.

In our next blog, we’ll be taking a look at how you can work with files. You can learn more about our IoT, EMM, and Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology here. We’re always happy to hear from you, so drop us an email on contact@entgra.io to start a conversation with us.

Unified Endpoint Management of APIs for Enterprise Devices

Complete enterprise device management solutions

Photo by Blake Connally on Unsplash

Enterprise Devices — Leading the Way

In a world driven by smart technology¹ that seeks to reap the maximum benefits from recent advancements as soon as possible, one can do little to not be left behind. This is twice as much important if you’re a thriving global enterprise or aspiring to be one. Keeping abreast requires all of your ingenuity.

Enterprises today are increasingly adopting various types of disparate devices into their everyday business operations. Some of these are standard legacy mobile devices like tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Then there are Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as sensors, PLCs², communication gateways, edge computing devices, CCTV cameras, etc. that are also heavily used to monitor and control all aspects of business and supply chains.

Technical challenges arise after these devices are employed. Enterprises need to change business processes to communicate with them seamlessly while adhering to enterprise application development paradigms. This is when a unified set of API endpoints (UEMs) that represent the complete enterprise device deployment becomes a game changer.

Recent Trends in Enterprise Device Adoption

Let’s start with a broader perspective on device dependency. Statistics reveal that the number of mobile phone users far outnumber those with access to electricity, or even running water.

Source: https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?articleId=1741352

This means that a startling 69% of the world’s population has access to mobile phones.

Other recent surveys on enterprise device adoption reveal a steady increase in the use of active connections worldwide, with IoT device usage increasing faster compared to traditional device usage.

Source: https://www.comparitech.com/internet-providers/iot-statistics/

Enterprise Devices That Give Us a Sixth Sense

Enterprises are adopting connected devices for a real-time understanding of ground level conditions, adding an element of sixth sense in business processes across supply, production, and consumption chains. Various types of devices, sensors, PLCs, communication gateways, edge computing devices, etc. are employed to ensure process efficiency. Moreover, this boom in device usage has been accompanied by a significant reduction in the cost of deploying devices in recent times.

In keeping with the latest trends, data communication and infrastructure have also drastically improved with plenty of software platforms enabling connections between different devices for application development or business process enhancements.

Explosion in Device Adoption

All these developments have led to an explosion of disparate device end points coming into the picture, bringing about a new set of challenges for enterprises. As a result, we now have a number of device endpoints within an enterprise that require monitoring, managing, and specified permissions for access within the framework, calling for effective device onboarding and managing strategies.

Challenges in Enterprise Device Management

However, this also means that enterprises are now dependent on these device endpoints to execute some form of business functionality, or to receive feedback on business processes.

This brings us to the fundamental problem of tackling the challenges posed by enterprise device management. Typically, one of the following illustrated deployment architecture patterns handle device deployment:

Some important points considered by these deployments include:

  • Heterogeneous deployment architectures
  • Expansion of corporate (traditional) network boundaries
  • Network connectivity
  • Device functional accuracy determination
  • Rogue device detection
  • Identity and access management (device identity/ human operator identity)
  • Establishment of authorized access for device data/control
  • Firmware distribution and different device OS platforms
  • Asset tracking at manufacturing, QC, distribution, and installation phases
  • Heterogenous development architecture
  • Typical “difficult” devices placements such as remote locations, manholes, tunnels, etc.
  • Complicated wiring architecture
  • Communication modules

Integration Challenges in the Lifecycle of an Enterprise Device

Identifying and addressing integration problems during the various phases of a device’s lifecycle requires considerable effort as indicated by the diagram below:

Consequently, each stage in the lifestyle has its own set of integration requirements as outlined below:

Device Manufacturing Phase

  • Serial ID/ MAC address registration
  • Provisioning token/ certificate generation
  • Firmware burning to ROM

Quality Control / Checks

  • Temporary activation of provisioning token
  • Test operations/ controls
  • Wipe-offs/ factory reset

Ready for Sale / Warehouse

Sold to Customer

Delivered to Installation Site

Installation and Verification

  • Issuing temporary tickets for testing
  • Customer/ site assignment
  • Device activation (token/ digital twin)
  • Warranty activation

In-Production 

  • Device communication with IoT platform
  • IoT platform communication with device
  • Application <-> device interfaces
  • Token authorizations
  • Firmware management

Faulty / Maintenance/ Rogue

  • Device event processing and modeling
  • Deactivation requests
  • Service records/ maintenance mode switch

Device Discarded

Entgra’s Device Integration Platform

The Entgra IoT platform acts as a single platform where you can connect devices from different vendors, enabling you to build applications on top of these devices in a unified way. Given below is a high level view of our IoT platform architecture:

Our device integration platform has the added advantage of sharing the same common architecture, and therefore the same code base, as that of WSO2 technology.

Device integration with Entgra

On top of this IoT platform, we have also have built a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution that specifically targets managing traditional mobile devices such as kiosks and laptops, available as an off-the-shelf product.

Entgra Mobile Device Manager

The Entgra IoT Platform, therefore, offers a standardized set of APIs for simpler enterprise device onboarding, working equally well for standard mobile devices traditionally managed through MDMs as well as for IoT devices.

Your Enterprise Device Journey

This blog provides an overview of how you can manage different types of devices as standard API endpoints within your enterprise architecture to seamlessly onboard different types of devices into your business. Get in touch with us via contact@entgra.io to learn more about our IoT and MDM technologies.

References