SpiceWorks Free Mobile Device Management Software
SpiceWorks has always been famous for providing free solutions for IT pros, ranging from network monitoring, inventory to mobile device management solutions. Not to mention SpiceWorks is also home to a community with 2 million IT pros who actively engage in cooperation, troubleshooting and asking the tough questions they find hard to get answers for. In this post we will explore the pros and cons of using the SpiceWorks Free Mobile Device Management Software powered by Maas 360.
Connecting a Mobile Device to SpiceWorks
Let’s show you a brief demo as to how you can enroll a device to SpiceWorks. To start off, sign up and create a free SpiceWorks account. Once done, download the Spiceworks desktop application and install it.
During installation you will be prompted to install an extra app, you can skip this installation by unchecking the checkbox shown below.
Once installed, you can launch SpiceWorks to begin administering your mobile devices. To start off, add a new user. This will generate credentials which you will require to enroll your device. You can use the given QR Code to initiate the enrollment process for your device. This is a somewhat lengthy process during which you will require installing the appropriate app on your mobile device and using the given credentials to register the device on the network after which its administrative credentials will be remotely overtaken by the network admin using SpiceWorks.
Create Mobile Device Inventory by Enrolling Devices
The mobile device management solution by SpiceWorks offers a range of handy management options, such as the utility to remotely monitor and manage mobile devices. You can ‘enroll’ iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices, as well as devices via Active Directory.
Once a device is enrolled you can have detailed inventory data available such as the device type, purchase price and purchase data, MAC address, warranty information, serial number, asset tag, etc. Some of this data is automatically picked once a device is enrolled, whereas other details (e.g. Warranty) can be manually added.
Remotely Configure Devices and Manage Mobile Security
You can also setup reports and alerts, associate devices with received IT helpdesk tickets, as well as get nasty with thieves to remotely locate and wipe mobile data. And of course, this also means that you can remotely configure mobile devices on your corporate network.
Limit Use of BOYD, Rooted & Jailbroken Devices
As mentioned earlier, connected devices can be remotely located, wiped and configured using SpiceWorks Mobile Device Management Software. Moreover, you can also control email access, and manage WiFi, VPN and Email profiles. Similarly, you can manage privacy for BOYD devices, which is quite handy for organizations opting for the Bring Your Own Device initiative. And since rooted or jailbroken devices are a possible loophole in any network, you can even restrict jailbroken or rooted devices. Basically, you get administrative privileges for connected devices and you can perform remote functions as an admin to restrict security, configure, locate and even wipe data for lost devices.
A word of caution: Before you use SpiceWorks a bit of caution is necessary. This is because despite the fact that there is extensive information, including video tutorials available for the MDM solution by SpiceWorks, it is worth going through the usage features extensively. I would personally not recommend immediately enrolling devices or running SpiceWorks on your corporate network without a bit of testing.
During testing I enrolled my Android device and tried out various features but then I also ended up getting my device locked out because the MDM (Mobile Device Management) software had taken administrative privileges. I removed the device from the Dashboard and made the Android Manager the default admin and ended my device in a boot loop. After a bit of self loathing I ended up on a forum and realized I wasn’t the only one complaining about the issue. Turns out, you have to unenroll a device and not simply remove it directly. Either way, I had to perform a hard reset to get my device going again (the reason I was unable to include mobile screenshots in this post).
Should you use SpiceWorks MDM Software: After going through my rant above the natural question is, should you use SpiceWork? The answer depends upon your requirements. Is it the fault of the developer I ended up my phone in a boot loop? The answer is ‘No’. I was sloppy and should have gone through extensive details before removing my device. But I’m just an ex systems engineer turned blogger, so it’s no big deal for me (besides I restored my data from backups after the hard reset). However, if you are an administrator deploying SpiceWorks MDM on your network, you should be more cautious and going through extensive tutorials with some testing beforehand id advice.
It is worth mentioning here that the remote management features of SpiceWorks are mainly limited to the paid version which costs $4 per device per month, with the option to opt for volume discounts.