20 December 2023


In an increasingly connected and mobile-centric world, mobile devices play a pivotal role in business operations. From smartphones to tablets and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), these devices have become essential tools for communication, productivity, and data access. However, with the growing reliance on mobile devices, companies face significant challenges in management, security, and compliance.


Mobile Device Management (MDM) has become an indispensable discipline for businesses seeking to maximize mobility's benefits while minimizing risks. Within this context, various modes of mobile device management (COSU, COBO, COPE, CYOD, BYOD) provide structured, secure approaches tailored to different industries and business types.


This article delves into COBO mode, exploring how this approach enables businesses to leverage mobility advantages while maintaining strict control over devices, security, and compliance.

What is COBO Mode?

COBO (Corporate-Owned, Business-Only) mobile device management represents a stringent approach where the company exclusively owns and controls devices for business purposes. Employees are prohibited from using these devices for personal activities, strictly limiting their usage to approved business tasks and applications. Choosing this management mode reinforces the decision to disallow personal device use, emphasizing the importance of Mobile Device Management (MDM) in its implementation.

Phone in COBO mode (also called Fully Managed) with free access to the system to control available functions and applications. (Play store, WiFi, Bluetooth...)

Benefits of COBO Mode

  1. Absolute Control: The company retains total control over devices, applications, and data, ensuring effective centralized management.
  2. Simplified Compliance: Businesses subject to stringent regulations can more easily comply using COBO mode devices.
  3. Technical Support: IT teams can provide more consistent technical support as they are familiar with standardized devices. Standardization simplifies device management, maintenance, and updates.
  4. Enhanced Security: COBO mode enables strict security policies such as data encryption, complex passwords, and access restrictions, reducing vulnerabilities. Remote data locking and wiping capabilities prevent sensitive data leaks in case of loss or theft, enhancing overall data protection.
  5. Productivity: By restricting personal device usage and limiting non-essential app installations, COBO eliminates distractions that compromise work efficiency. It ensures optimal device performance and ergonomic usability, enabling employees to navigate crucial business applications seamlessly. By fostering a dedicated professional environment, COBO maximizes productivity within the company.
  6. Reduced Failures: Limiting potentially conflicting or resource-intensive app installations helps maintain device stability, reducing the risk of unexpected failures. Additionally, by curbing wear from non-professional uses or resource-demanding applications, COBO extends the device's operational lifespan.
  7. Clear Work-Life Separation: COBO devices encourage a distinct boundary between professional and personal activities, which employees may appreciate.

What are the disadvantages of COBO mode?

  • Loss of Flexibility for Employees: Employees must forgo personal device use, lacking the choice of device models, potentially leading to tension or affecting satisfaction and productivity.
  • High Costs: Purchasing, managing, and maintaining COBO devices incur significant expenses, including initial device purchases, software licenses, and technical support costs.
  • Rigidity in the Professional Environment: Strict security policies can hinder employee productivity by limiting access to certain applications or features.
  • Vendor Dependency: Companies may become reliant on device vendors for updates, security patches, and technical support, which can be restrictive.
You want to manage and secure your fleet of terminals by opting for COBO mode?

Which Sectors Are Suitable for COBO Mode Use?

Due to its flexibility and diverse applications, COBO mode is well-suited for various sectors: healthcare, leisure, administration, service, passenger, and freight transportation:

  • Services: COBO mode can manage field agents' devices in the service industry. Company-provided devices allow control over access to essential professional applications such as appointment management, communication apps, GPS guidance, or flashlight functions. Security policies ensure data protection and responsiveness to client needs by enabling the use of all necessary work-related applications.
  • Transportation: The COBO terminal management mode is frequently employed for freight transportation. It provides versatile smartphones to drivers while restricting usage to professional domains. For instance, COBO mode might grant access to GPS, calls, messaging, business applications, and browsing while preventing global phone settings alterations or new app installations. This approach empowers drivers with a versatile yet completely secure and optimized device to fulfill their duties.
  • Security: COBO mode can equip security personnel in the security sector. Company-owned devices are configured to access essential agent work applications such as surveillance and internal communication. Security policies ensure data protection and manage emergencies, offering multi-purpose devices for agents during their service.

Does COBO Mode Require Mobile Device Management (MDM)?

COBO Mode Require MDM (Mobile Device Management) Solution for ensuring efficient deployment, management, security, and compliance of devices. An MDM solution offers centralized control, security functionalities, application management, and technical support, making it an essential complement for implementing COBO mode.

Interface Clyd

The interface of your MDM solution allows you to deploy your devices in COBO mode and monitor them over time

How to Implement COBO Mode?

  • Selecting the MDM Solution: Choosing the right MDM solution depends on specific business needs, fleet size, and required functionalities. A well-chosen MDM enables centralized management, implementation of security policies, app distribution, and remote issue resolution, simplifying mobile device management in the enterprise.
  • Device Selection: Choose mobile devices that meet specific business needs, considering MDM compatibility, software compatibility, processing power, storage capacity, durability, etc.
  • Establishment of Security and Usage Policies: Establish strict security policies such as password management, data encryption, and authorized applications. This allows for effective deployment and configuration.
  • Enrollment: The enrollment and initial configuration phases are crucial in setting up COBO mode (Corporate-Owned, Business-Only). Enrollment involves integrating mobile devices into the MDM solution for configuration and ongoing monitoring. Several enrollment methods exist, such as KME token, Knox, and Zero Touch.
  • Initial Configuration: Configuration involves implementing security and usage policies via MDM: installing professional applications, managing settings, kiosk mode, etc. Through its back-office interface, the MDM simplifies mass deployment of device configurations, ensuring consistency in usage and security.
  • Device Deployment: Distribute devices to employees, ensuring they understand security policies, restrictions, system utility, and whom to contact in case of issues.
  • MDM Maintenance and Support: Utilize the MDM's back-office to remotely manage devices, perform software updates, troubleshoot technical issues, etc.

Implementing COBO mode with MDM ensures strict control and enhanced device security, making it suitable for businesses concerned about data privacy and regulatory compliance. MDM also streamlines continuous device management and allows swift responses to evolving security needs.

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