SOTI MobiControl Review

Centralizes management of all our devices across multiple sites with different configurations

What is our primary use case?

We use it for managing our mobile devices.

How has it helped my organization?

MobiControl is vital to our operation. We have to have SOTI to manage all of our devices. Otherwise, we would have different configurations at each site and it wouldn't be centrally managed. We like the fact that SOTI allows us to centrally manage all of our devices.

What is most valuable?

Among the valuable features are managing configurations of all devices and being able to remote into devices. That's pretty much all we use it for. We send out configurations for each site that has its devices. Each site has a different configuration, and SOTI manages each configuration for each site.

The remote control technology and screen sharing feature help us resolve issues faster. We primarily use them for Windows CE and Android right now, not iOS. These features are good. We like them.

We use the Lockdown Kiosk Mode feature on all of our devices. We use that so that the operators can't change any settings in the background, and so that the applications they run are immediately available to them. It's a good feature. The admin console is also good; no problems with it.

What needs improvement?

I would like them to improve the process of enrolling Android devices. It's much more difficult to enroll Android devices than it is Windows CE devices. There are a lot more steps required.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. We've had very few cases with SOTI. Over a five-year period we've had something like ten cases.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. We have two groups that manage SOTI. I'm in manufacturing and I have a counterpart in logistics. He has more facilities, so he has deployment servers around the globe, whereas I just have one. 

That is going to change in the next couple of years. We're going to be putting in new deployment servers, probably in Europe and China, likely next year. From what I've understood, that's going to be pretty easily done. We're just going to use a management server in the United States and updates will be sent to all the deployment servers that we set up. 

So it seems really scalable, and we've purchased an additional quantity of licenses that we think we'll need for that deployment.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been good. They're very responsive. We had basic support before, but now we have the Enterprise Support. We just got that, so I can't evaluate it. But the basic support we had was very good. They were very responsive. That's the main good thing to look out for: making sure they answer emails and the like.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward. We have the Enterprise Support package, so they walked us through how to set it up.

In terms of our implementation strategy, right now we're upgrading from version 12.4 to 14.2. It's taken a couple months, but I just set up an on-premise test environment to start moving some pilot devices over. Once that's complete, I'll upgrade the test environment to 14.2, and we'll test it for two or three weeks and then schedule a time to upgrade the production environment.

I am doing the deployment myself, but the admins at each site are helping with the testing process. Once I've completed the test environment, the site admins will test their devices, and I'll do the upgrade after they're done testing.

What about the implementation team?

We used SOTI directly. We have that Enterprise Support and they are required, according to that support model, to help us walk through that. Our experience with them has been very good.

What was our ROI?

It has saved us money because the manpower needed to manage all the devices, without an MDM, would be a lot. But I can't give any specific numbers.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It makes sense to have scanners on SOTI MobiControl, but it makes less sense to have printers because there are fewer features for them, while the price is the same for both. If they had a lower license fee for printers, we would probably want to purchase those. But since it's the same cost, no matter what kind of device it is, we've opted out of doing printers. There are just not enough features to really justify it.

What other advice do I have?

Plan early and give yourself enough time to plan. Make sure you know what the customer needs as soon as possible. Make sure they understand what they need as well. Test everything. That's probably the best advice I could give, even though it's common sense.

We don't really use application deployment. We don't deploy the actual application itself using SOTI. The application is preinstalled on the devices. We do deploy certain configuration files. We also don't use the real-time location services. 

I wouldn't say MobiControl has reduced device downtime, it's just made it easier to configure the devices.

We have about 40 factories where we're using it. That is probably going to double over the next two years.

I'm the main administrator for the solution, and we have a local admin at each site or group of sites. They have fewer admin responsibilities, but they have admin over their particular sites, their particular folders and devices. I have control over everything. My counterpart in logistics has been using SOTI for a long time, so I lean on him a little bit for his expertise. So it's really two guys who support the system.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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