So why would I be writing about this? I’ve recently come across a customer who needs to change their Google EMM registration as they’ve lost the ability to sign into their Google account.

First things first….

I would never suggest an organisation change their Android EMM registration account as you’re basically binding your Workspace ONE UEM environment to a new Google Organisation. This will mean that all devices will need to be re-enrolled!!!!

I’ve done some testing but it’s worth noting a couple of things before I run over this – The device I’m testing is Work Managed Device, not Work Profile. When Workspace ONE UEM is bound to Android Enterprise, it creates a completely unique ‘Managed Account’ on every Android device that is used to download apps and essentially use Google play services. This is hugely beneficial because the user doesn’t need to have a gmail account to download and install apps BUT this is also important because when a change happens to the Android Enterprise Organisation, the managed account on the device will no longer be able to communicate with Workspace ONE as it effectively is looking for a different Google organisation.

That being said, I’ve tested this within my own lab environment and recorded the outcomes for anyone considering this. When the Android EMM organisation is changed:

  • Profiles can still be installed on the device as they’re being installed directly from Workspace ONE
  • Communication is maintained between the device and Workspace ONE UEM
  • Unable to leverage any Play store services
  • No new apps added to Workspace ONE will be visible on the device managed play store
  • Previously added applications in Workspace ONE will no longer be deployable from the console

Here’s a video of my testing (apologies, it’s a bit rushed due to time scales!):

To my knowledge, there is no way of changing the Google EMM account without re-enrolling the entire fleet of devices. This is due to the managed account dependencies and play store integration that’s essentially being severed as soon as you change the EMM settings within Workspace ONE.

This is 100% something that should be completely avoided!!!

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