The third iteration of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) has arrived.  Like I do every year, it’s time to unpack, agree with and challenge what it all means in a topsy-turvy year that we call 2020.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this quadrant is probably the most important magic quadrant of all magic quadrants right now.  With COVID-19 locking out a very large majority of the worldwide workforce from their offices, modern endpoint management has enabled businesses to continue to operate securely – when done right.  This is true especially when compared to businesses that have been, and in many cases still are, stuck in the domain centric on-premise legacy management model developed 30+ years ago.  Without modern device management for a remote workforce, you really are up the creek without a paddle.

This year only 8 vendors made the cut down from 11 last year.  What sticks out for me is the distance between vendors this year with Microsoft showing a clean set of heels to the pack and more importantly getting very close to perfect execution against the evaluation criteria which has increased significantly over the years from Mobile Device Management (MDM) to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) to Unified Endpoint Management (UEM).  This is in stark contrast to the ‘start up’ quadrant of aspirational MDM vendors stuck in the bottom left corner we saw in 2011.

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

So, what can we make of this?

  1. The category of UEM as it is defined by Gartner is certainly becoming harder to qualify for.

  2. The tech is mature and ready to roll with Microsoft going close to a perfect score (If such a thing exists).

  3. The sector is mature, but customers are not. Gartner cites less than 5% of businesses having a single console for endpoint management and security in place today.

  4. The laptop (Windows 10) is the new king (thanks, COVID) and has all the mindshare.

Has Gartner made the qualification for the UEM category too broad?

With 11 honourable mentions and 4 dropped vendors, it seems you need to have a Billion (VMware and IBM) or Trillion (Microsoft) dollar market cap to be a leader.  Has the dial been over-rotated, and have smaller innovative UEM tools been overlooked as a result?

Contradicting the above, has Gartner gone soft with too many honourable mentions given out to vendors that really are not even in the hunt?

Jamf: Let me start with an excellent product for macOS and iOS but with no Windows 10 or Android capabilities and as far as I am aware no plans to add management for Windows 10 or Android, should they be considered for a quadrant that uses the word ‘unified’ and talks about a strategic planning assumption on the first page of ‘consolidating to a single console for endpoint management?’

Tanium: Also, an excellent and very innovative product but with no iOS or Android capabilities once again is it a UEM if it does not actually do Unified Endpoint Management?

Virtual Solution:  I must admit I had to look this one up as I had never ever heard of them.  An iOS and Android secure container for PIM with no device management capabilities.  This one really puzzles me.  Can someone from Gartner please explain why this is an honourable mention?

Congratulations to ALL vendors who made this year’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management.  The bar has certainly been set high.

Will we see a reset of the criteria next year or will we see a perfect score from one of the gorillas?  Time will tell.  Onward we go.

Ready for Unified Endpoint Management?

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