What's better than MDM? MokiMobility MDM.

What's better than MDM? MokiMobility MDM.

Summary: If you need complete control over a publicly-accessible iPad, MokiMobility is your answer. You won't believe it until you see what it can do for you.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

MokiMobility's mobile device management (MDM) solution isn't your father's MDM. In fact, I'm hard-pressed to call it MDM at all. After watching a demo presented by MokiMobility's President, Ty Allen and CMO, Brad Hintze, I told them that I think that we might need to come up with new language to describe what they are doing with tablet computers--specifically, the iPad. I've brainstormed a bit but can't seem to develop terminology that fits, so maybe we'll leave it up to their users and my readers to come up with some clever nomenclature.

Traditional MDM applications deliver Apps, create some security, enforce policies and generally manage the device in a very general sort of way. That's good enough for some business applications. Mobile application management (MAM) applications usually place applications on the mobile device that allow access into a network.

The approach is a little different with MDM and MAM. With MDM, the MDM administrators enforce policies on the device by allowing or disallowing actions and behaviors. Some users see this as a more heavy-handed approach. MAM is a bit less intrusive on the entire device and often requires that users "buy into" the application management policy by accepting the installation of one or more Apps to the device.

Both approaches have their positives and negatives for the business and for the user.

MokiMobility has a different approach. It's not BYOD per se. It's more about deploying tablets as tools for public use. That's pretty dangerous.

Why is it dangerous?

Here's an example from my younger and more adventurous days as a computer tech.

My friend James*, his real first name, and I, used to visit retail computer stores and retail store computer departments to A) Mess with the "experts" who worked there, and B) To terrorize (and possibly break) their systems. Yes, it was malicious, rude, juvenile and borderline illegal but it was loads of fun for us. Not so much for the poor guys working the floors in these places.

We would often power off the systems, bring them up in safe mode or repeatedly turn them off and on to see if we could really mess them up. When we could break through the kiosk-style applications that ran on them, we would rename or delete critical files and so on. Sometimes we would just ask silly questions and then do something really stupid with them watching us--like, "What does this button do?" And, then power off the system.

Yeah, we were cool like that.

I have dozens of those stories but, alas, I digress.

Obviously, vendors don't want this to happen--even by accident and certainly not purposely from jerks who show up just to be obnoxious. When someone places an iPad in a public place as a kiosk or user entry device, how do you suppose that device is managed? By an MDM, MAM or not at all? Probably one of those three.

Some people have gone to the lengths of placing plastic guards or even tape over the iPad's Home button to keep people from breaking out of the kiosk App. There's no need for such low tech methods. MokiMobility can disable the Home button, allow or disallow touch, limit browse time, whitelist sites and much more. They create a safe haven for your kiosk system that no one can break out of accidentally or otherwise. Guys like James and me will have to find our entertainment elsewhere.

But, rather than just talk about MokiMobility, actions speak louder than words, you need to watch it for yourself. Check out MokiManage and +MDM, while you're there. Be sure and look them up at trade shows too.

* James is about 5'4" and I'm 6'2", so it always looked like I had taken my very obnoxious kid to a store to let him play with the computers. Admittedly, I mostly just laughed at him and his antics but when the mood hit me, watch out. We were a pair. I kind of miss those days.

Topic: Tech Industry


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • Unique MDM option

    Lots of MDM out there, but Mokimobility allows the world of iPad and tablet kiosks to manage their apps and devices remotely. They have worked with many of our clients and enabled them to use a consumer tablet as a single purpose device to do all sorts of functions.
  • Not all its cracked up to be.

    After using this company for a few months, my videos no longer displayed properly after they updated their app (which i think is still more in beta then anything else. After addressing this issues, i was told that they needed to focus on new features (yeah why bother with paying customers - just go for new ones). Waiting 2 months and no changes. - After requesting again the email was sent from the CEO as seen below. which pretty much sums up - fix it on your own - even though they locked me into 1 year contract - Be Warned - here is the letter sent to my by their team. Hi Phil,

    Running a business that depends on software that is out of your control is tough. Moki understands that and strives to provide the best solutions possible. Over the last several years of working with kiosk customers we have found that not all configurations fit into the same mold and therefore a change has become necessary to make the kiosk experience more accessible and customizable for each user. In an effort to make this happen our developers have been busy preparing our kiosk app, MokiTouch 2, available to the public via open source. In the coming weeks you will receive an email with information on how to download the code and make any changes you desire. Moki understands the need to manage settings remotely so you'll still be able to manage the settings remotely in MokiManage.

    This means that clients who desire additional features or changes to the user experience will need to make these themselves and Moki will not be involved. We apologize for the inconvenience this causes, however, it is the best way for us to allow for the several different kiosk customizations that arise.