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Mastering OS Management: A Vital Practice for IT Administrators as part of Mobile Device Management

OS management is a complex endeavour, often more challenging than initially perceived, much like numerous tasks in enterprise mobility management. Seasoned administrators frequently recount harrowing experiences when ill-prepared for an OS update, and the repercussions that ensued. These anecdotes typically precede a firm recommendation to adopt an OS management tool for future updates, such as Samsung's Knox E-FOTA.

Defining OS Management and Its Crucial Role in Enterprise Mobility

OS (Operating System) management encompasses the processes by which IT teams assess, test, and deploy OS updates to mobile devices. These updates enhance functionality, efficiency, stability,

and security, making them indispensable for businesses. While consumers might tolerate the occasional inconvenience of updating their Android OS, for mission-critical enterprises with tens of thousands of devices, orchestrating update rollouts becomes a mission of paramount importance. Relying on consumer-centric methods proves suboptimal in such scenarios.

Before embarking on a major OS update, whether for an employee's work device or an entire workforce's devices, owners and administrators must weigh the following risks:

App Compatibility: New OS versions can introduce changes or deprecated functions that affect existing apps optimised for previous versions.

User Adjustment: Users may require time to adapt to UI changes or new features, potentially losing personalised data.

Productivity Impact: These issues pose productivity threats to both employees, whose devices may become unusable due to a flawed update, and IT administrators who must address these crises, diverting resources from critical tasks.

Effective OS management and monitoring tools offer a defence against these risks while providing additional advantages for administrators.

Enforced Compliance: One crucial aspect of OS management is enforcing compliance to prevent OS fragmentation. Allowing employees to update devices at will leads to fragmented OS versions, complicating IT management.

The Risks of OS Fragmentation

OS fragmentation, dreaded by IT administrators, occurs when some devices run different OS versions within a fleet. This fragmentation exacerbates issues like major app compatibility problems. OS updates can unexpectedly break critical apps, necessitating urgent fixes. With OS fragmentation, IT teams must develop and test multiple app versions simultaneously, significantly increasing workload and complexity. Moreover, OS fragmentation heightens security vulnerabilities and hampers IT agility, as deploying urgent patches becomes more time-consuming.

The Solution: Knox E-FOTA for Reliable OS Version Management

Samsung Knox E-FOTA stands as a beacon of OS management. E-FOTA, short for Enterprise Firmware Over The Air, offers comprehensive control over Android OS and firmware versions in Samsung mobile device fleets, ensuring devices operate on the most suitable OS version for business needs.

Selective OS Updates: Knox E-FOTA's selective update feature allows IT to assess and pre-test updates for compatibility with mission-critical apps, reducing productivity risks.

Fleet Compliance: Unlike traditional B2C firmware over-the-air (FOTA) processes, Knox E-FOTA lets IT administrators determine when and if devices are updated, eliminating OS fragmentation fears.

Granular Control: Knox E-FOTA empowers IT with granular control, enabling beta testing, device state criteria, and optimal update schedules to minimise disruptions.

Achieving Efficiency and Productivity

Streamlining device setup and management is essential for businesses. For instance, Colruyt, a Belgian supermarket chain, replaced outdated devices with Samsung XCover Enterprise Edition handsets. Knox Suite, included in these devices, simplified fleet replacement and ensured immediate protection against threats.

However, maintaining this level of protection through routine software updates posed a challenge. To avoid disruptive updates during work hours, Colruyt utilised Knox E-FOTA. Scheduled at midnight when stores were closed, E-FOTA updated over 12,000 devices without affecting productivity or causing IT headaches.

OS Management Tools Are Essential

OS updates remain a fundamental aspect of IT management, safeguarding devices against vulnerabilities. While most updates entail minimal risks, OS management tools like Knox E-FOTA mitigate potential disruptions and reduce ongoing operational expenses. IT teams cannot afford to update without such tools.

For those interested in Knox E-FOTA, it's included in Knox Suite, an all-in-one UEM bundle with robust OS management capabilities, offering a free 90-day trial. Even if you're using a different EMM, integrating Knox E-FOTA can enhance OS version control for Samsung mobile devices.

Learn more about SAMSUNG KNOX by calling Merge Communications today, the official partner of SAMSUNG in New Zealand.

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