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IBM Security MaaS360 vs Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Microsoft Endpoint Management and IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson are two popular options for enterprises shopping for a unified endpoint management (UEM) solution. 

UEM approaches give enterprises more control and oversight over network connections, mobile device usage, and many other network-related issues, all from a single centralized dashboard. 

Both platforms have much to offer in this space and can boast many mostly positive reviews. In this comparison, we’ll compare the two platforms across five key areas:

  • Features

  • Integrations

  • Benefits

  • User reviews

  • Pricing 

Unified endpoint management (UEM) software

The chief aim of UEM solutions is to give enterprises oversight of their endpoint management approach. Today, enterprises are tasked with managing complicated, sprawling networks that connect hundreds of endpoints. UEM helps these companies manage a long list of connections.

UEM includes elements of enterprise mobile management (EMM), which is an approach to mobility management that covers devices and/or mobile applications. UEM builds on EMM by adding endpoint management that extends beyond mobile devices. 

Enterprises use UEM to centralize the oversight of endpoints, including:

  • Mobile devices

  • Laptops

  • Tablets

  • PCs

  • Printers and other office machines

  • IoT devices and sensors

  • Other connected endpoints

Features

Both Microsoft Endpoint Management and IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson includes several standard UEM features:

  • IT asset management

  • Endpoint reporting capabilities

  • Remote functions like device wiping and locking, password management and WiFi configuration

Here are a few standout features from both products. 

Microsoft Endpoint Manager

IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson

Built-in Microsoft tools including Intune, Configuration Manager, Desktop Analytics and Windows Autopilot

AI-enhanced endpoint management

Network vulnerabilities identification

Support for industry and global security compliance, including FISA, EU-US Privacy Shield and CSA STAR Level 1

Multiple environment support capabilities (servers, virtual environments, mobile devices, cloud-based endpoints and more)

Built-in IBM MaaS tools, including MaaS360 Container App, Microsoft MaaS360 Policy Recommendation Engine, MaaS360 Advisor, and MaaS360 Business Dashboard for Apps

Malware protection

Apple iOS and Android support

Our pick: IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson

IBM’s unique approach to endpoint management includes AI enhancements. AI has become central to a wide range of software solutions at this point, especially in the cybersecurity realm, and for good reason. Done well, AI can deliver rich insights about internal networks that may never be uncovered by humans. Here, IBM uses its AI capabilities to help enterprises identify vulnerabilities and areas for potential improvements and streamlining. 

A screenshot of Microsoft Endpoint Manager's endpoint security overview. Photo via Microsoft.

A screenshot of Microsoft Endpoint Manager's endpoint security overview. Photo via Microsoft.

Integrations

Application

Microsoft Endpoint Manager 

IBM Security MaaS with Watson

Jira

X

X

Spiceworks

X

X

ServiewNow

X

X

ZenDesk

X

X

Microsoft products

X

X

IBM products

X

X

Our pick: Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Microsoft and IBM have been leaders in the software field for decades at this point, so it’s not a surprise that both companies have prioritized integration. Reviewers cite integration as a plus for both UEM products featured here. However, Microsoft’s general approach to networking seems to be more appealing to end-users versus IBM, to a small degree. That said, current IBM users will be happy with the company’s UEM offering.

Benefits

Microsoft Endpoint Manager

IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson

Intuitive dashboard interface 

App containerization features 

Robust control over organization-owned devices

Detailed reporting capabilities 

Customizable policy creation that enterprises can push to devices

Remote worker benefits, including multi-factor authentication and app protection policies

Remote worker benefits, including multi-factor authentication and app protection policies

Network insights powered by AI

Our pick: Microsoft Endpoint Manager

It’s nearly a toss-up, but Microsoft edges out IBM in the benefits category when it comes to everyday use cases. UEM software is most beneficial as a tool for centralizing complex management issues around large networks. Reviewers praise Microsoft again and again for its streamlined interface and dashboard while dinging IBM for an interface that one reviewer called “cartoonish.”

A screenshot of IBM MaaS360 with Watson's security dashboard. Photo via IBM.

A screenshot of IBM MaaS360 with Watson's security dashboard. Photo via IBM.

User reviews

Review site

Microsoft Endpoint Manager

IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson

SoftwareReviews

7.2/10.0

6.9/10.0

TrustRadius

8.2/10.0

8.2/10.0

G2

4.5/5.0

3.8/5.0

Our pick: Microsoft Endpoint Manager

It’s a close competition between the two UEM platforms, but on the whole, reviewers appear to prefer Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Still, IBM has its loyal defenders out in the world of online reviews. Personal preference weighs heavily — it’s always a good idea to try out these products firsthand. 

Pricing

Price range

Microsoft Endpoint Manager

IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson

High range

$14.80/user per month

$9.00/device per month

Mid range

-

$6.25/device per month

Low range

$8.80/user per month

$4.00/device per month

Free version

Several free trial options 

Free 30-day trial

Our pick: IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson

IBM is our pick here simply because the company offers more price points. In addition to the three ranges compared here, there’s yet another price level between the mid and high ranges for IBM’s platform. This approach is appreciated by enterprises dealing with a wide range of network realities, some of which may not fall into either option available through Microsoft. In other words, enterprises are less likely to pay for services they won’t need with IBM.

Overall

Category

Microsoft Endpoint Manager

IBM Security MaaS360 with Watson

Features

X

Integrations

X

Benefits

X

Pricing

X

Our pick: Microsoft Endpoint Manager

In the end, Microsoft stands out as the winner when it comes to the main reason enterprises invest in UEM: centralization. Reviewers consistently rate Endpoint Manager highly when it comes to things like its dashboard and ease of use. 

IBM is a close second, however. Like Microsoft, the company has developed an approach to UEM that brings together a host of helpful endpoint management tools. In either case, enterprises will be better off for investing in one of these products versus continuing on with ad hoc, segregated endpoint management approaches. 

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