New to Apple IT Management? Here Are the Acronyms You Didn’t Know You Need to Know
Whether you’re new to the lingo of cloud-based IT management, or Apple devices are being introduced to your environment for the first time, don’t let the swirl of letters keep you from understanding cloud-based IT management, including MDM (Mobile Device Management), and how it can work for your business.
To help you read the alphabet soup, here’s a selection of relevant acronyms and terms to help you start your search for cloud-based IT support.
The Solutions Basics
EMM: Enterprising Mobility Management
EMM is often described as all-encompassing: it’s a comprehensive method of remotely managing devices, device configuration, and the content stored on them. Hardware-agnostic and robust, EMM allows IT admins to control user access to data and internal websites at large business organizations.
MDM: Mobile Device Management
MDM has a couple of meanings, including Medical Decision Making and Madame in French, but for our purposes, this acronym typically refers to Mobile Device Management (or a Mobile Device Manager).
In cloud computing, MDMs are software programs that IT departments can use to manage, monitor, and secure all mobile devices in use across an organization. Employees may have laptops, cell phones, and tablets they use for work at home, on the road, and in the home office. With an MDM, these devices can be updated, secured, or located as needed without having them in the same room as the IT department.
RMM: Remote Monitoring and Management
Sometimes called “network management,” RMM is a kind of software that’s designed to help MSPs keep an eye on client networks, computers, and other endpoints. In short, it’s another way of saying remote IT management.
UEM: Unified Endpoint Management
UEM refers to a class of software tools that provide one single console that allows IT admins to manage mobile, PC, or other devices. This is a further evolution of MDM and EMM: think of it as a singular approach for managing all devices within an organization that rely on MDM, APIs, and mobile operating systems. Many vendors market UEMs as a piece of their EMM software.
When You’re Looking for Someone to Manage the Solutions
MSP: Managed Service Provider
MSPs remotely manage their customers’ IT infrastructure. Using the cloud, MSPs can proactively maintain their clients’ IT systems without employees having to turn their device over to IT or make in-person appointments for maintenance.
SOCaaS: Security Operations Center as a Service
To begin with the first half of this term, an SOC is a security team that works to protect a client or business from cyberattacks. When this service is provided on a subscription or through software, it is referred to as SOC as a Service. For businesses that can’t afford to keep cybersecurity experts in house, SOCaaS is a great solution that dovetails nicely with the cloud infrastructure already in place at businesses that already have an MSP in place.
What’s that Feature Called, Anyway?
ILM: Identity Lifecycle Management
Few acronyms on this list sound as much like they’re derived from The Matrix as ILM, but it’s not about who you are – it’s about who has access to what data and applications throughout their time at your company. ILM refers to a system of software and business practices that manage individual access to devices, information, and identity.
This component of IT systems is perhaps easiest to think about this in terms of an employee exit: when someone leaves your organization, you’ll likely need to manage their old email address, their software licenses, and their devices. You’ll also need to safeguard any data they had access to or could have accessed remotely. Of course, ILM practices also include introducing all those components during employee onboarding.
LAN: Local Area Network
If you work in a traditional office setup today—surrounded by desks where your colleagues sit at computers much like your own—you’re probably working on a LAN, whether your computers are connected by ethernet cables or a wifi network.
To help manage the workload and traffic on a LAN, many MSPs use a LANcache to help balance the load. This basically means that if you were to attempt to open a file stored by your company in your shared cloud, the request would first go to another device on the network that has access to that files first. Rather than pulling more data from the internet, accessing this data from the LANcache saves the system some work.
SSO: Single Sign-On
Most folks who’ve had SSO at work won’t want to go without. SSO not only provides new employees with a seamless onboarding experience, it also helps keep everyone on your team grooving day-to-day. This integration allows users to manage multiple passwords and identities across different devices without the hassle of memorizing all of their credentials.
Apple IT Nuts and Bolts (Where There’s Not Always an Acronym)
Automated Device Enrollment
The Apple’s Automated Device Enrollment program makes cloud computing easy, mainly because it was built to do so! Automated Device Enrollment refers to how new devices are added to your MDM or remote IT solution. You may be familiar with this program by its old name – the Device Enrollment Program (DEP).
If your company purchases products directly from Apple for business use: Apple can preload applications and set up new devices to run your on MDM program before the new user opens this device for the first time. And if you’re in the process of migrating to a new MDM, Automated Device Enrollment can help you get all devices onboarded into the program.
ABM: Apple Business Manager
The Apple Business Manager isn’t commonly known by an acronym, but we still believe it belongs on this list of terms. (Shout-out to any IT admins moonlighting as marketers – or more likely supporting their tech – who likely know ABM from their marketing experience). Apple’s Business Manager is a web portal that IT admins use to manage all the Apple devices on their network.
Whether it’s the CEO’s iPhone or the Apple TV in the conference room, Apple Business Manager is where you’ll need to go to deploy or arrange these devices.
Apple School Manager
For educational institutions, Apple School Manager is a key piece of device, identity, and software application management. This tool is custom-built for schools of all types and sizes, and incorporating Apple’s MDM features and additional education-friendly features like Apps & Books.
Apps & Books
Although this application doesn’t currently have an acronym attached, Apps & Books used to be known as Volume Purchase Program accounts (VPPs). Whatever the name, the function hasn’t changed significantly. Apps & Books can also help companies purchase and distribute software and devices through their MDM or the Apple Configurator 2.
While Apps & Books is especially powerful for educational institutions, it’s not just for schools. With an Apps & Books account, you’ll have the ability to use Automated Device Enrollment and pre-load your MDM onto new devices along with any other software your employees need to get up and running on a new device.
Still not sure how this works? Imagine you’re the IT admin at a middle school where each student is assigned an iPad for their personal use every school year. When educators request that an eBook or app be pre-loaded onto students’ devices, you can use Apps & Books to make this happen.
This kind of seamless experience makes Apple devices easy for teachers and students to use. Of course, this same method for distribution works through Apple Business Manager.
Find the Right Cloud-based IT Management System for Your Organization
It can be hard to figure out what features or capabilities your organization is missing until you know what’s available, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start reading up and learning what’s out there. Cloud-based IT management systems are complex and amazing when you think back to the days of dial-up, but these concepts aren’t hard to master once you break them down into plain language.
A closer look will show you that great products aren’t just a sum of their features. Most products aren’t a catch-all solution, even if their descriptions are dominated by acronyms that stand for big promises. With a little research, you can begin to envision the kinds of IT support, training, and security your business needs.