The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools has arrived.

A month later than last year and the 2nd iteration of the quadrant since the name and qualifying classification change to UEM from Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) which started out as Mobile Device Management (MDM) back in 2011.

Just 11 vendors making the cut down from 14 last year. Gartner citing Client Management Tools (CMT) as the major reason for this with NationSky, Sophos and SOTI all dropping out.

‘Gartner believes the need to migrate from CMTs is a starting point that most organizations face. For this reason, the existence of CMT functions or integration was given a much greater weighting and consideration in Gartner’s 2019 analysis of UEM compared with the 2018 Magic Quadrant. This directly impacted the vendors considered in the analysis and their position — year-over-year comparisons should not be attempted as they do not represent a direct comparison due to new and different criteria and weightings.’

Let’s double click on that statement and try not to compare to last year (as hard as that may be).


A copy of the report can be directly downloaded from Gartner.

We all have a choice.  To me, the best analogy is cars.  We can drive a car burning non-renewable fuels which at some point will run out.  Or, we can feel good about ourselves and drive a hybrid which burns less non-renewables but needs two engines with twice the complexity.  Or, we can drive an electric car and simplify the entire engineering process with fewer moving or serviceable parts.  Can you guess where I’m going with this?

I see CMT as somewhat the same.

We can opt to stick with CMT just like petrol cars even though we know there is a better way and our days of using them are numbered.   We can move to co-management or coexistence with CMT and UEM tools just like driving a hybrid adding additional complexity so we can feel comfortable in our progress.  Or we can break clear and go all in with UEM just like an all-electric car and realise the benefits of a modern approach and stop looking backward to go forward.

Which will you choose?

I like that Gartner has bought this into the limelight, but I am not sure promoting some vendors by way of additional weighting for hanging onto legacy management methods and penalising or even worse dropping others is the best way to do this.  Examples include MobileIron appearing to be ranked lower than others when their core competency is UEM, SOTI being dropped altogether despite showing solid growth and Citrix making the biggest move we have seen in years.

When we started out with System Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM) as the first widely adopted Client Management Tool (CMT), phones looked like this.

So is co-management is just kicking the can down the road a little longer and like releasing a new model of the same phone in a different colour?

It took Apple to push the world to something better, and today we expect phones to look like they do, so why should we be carrying forward, promoting and increasing the weighting of the ‘old ways’ in a new Quadrant after Gartner retired the CMT Quadrant in 2016 citing ‘market innovation stalling and focus shifting to unified endpoint management’

What do you think about the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management tools?  Did Gartner get it right or have we taken a step backward from the vendors who created the MDM and EMM category with a mobile-first, user-first design principle to a legacy IT infrastructure integration-first approach to move forward?

We know that Windows 10 does not want to be managed like a traditional domain-joined, locked-down, standard operating environment (SoE) updated reluctantly every few years.  So why should CMT capability be increased in importance when ranking vendors in the Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools?

Two years ago Mobile Mentor took the plunge into UEM and ditched our legacy CMT.  We needed to know what was possible and what was painful – so we could advise our clients from real-world experience.

Happy to report that all our corporate and BYO devices (Windows 10, macOS, Android and iOS) are UEM managed without any legacy CMT.  We moved from GPO’s to Conditional Access Policies and a Cloud API driven configuration of a SoE.  We now benefit from managing all endpoints from a single pane of glass.

Congratulations to our UEM software partners and to all those that made it into this year’s quadrant.  Onward we go.