Unless you have been meticulously growing your technology arsenal with little deviation, you probably have several brands and platforms in use at your business. Especially if you embrace BYOD, you surely have different devices floating around, which presents obstacles for administration and security. At one time, supporting different platforms in a Microsoft-centric environment was frustrating, but recently it has become simpler.
The Microsoft Intune system serves as an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that allows business to connect mobile device management (MDM) systems and other rogue devices to centralize management.
Thanks to efforts from both Microsoft as well as other manufacturers, like Apple and others, securely using a variety of platforms is more functional than ever. We’re going to discuss the advantages Microsoft Intune brings to device management and explain how these systems integrate with Microsoft Azure.
Overview of Microsoft Intune
Intune is a part of the Azure platform – it enables productive usage of mobile devices with company resources. The system allows a large variety of mobile devices to connect to a business network as well provides a variety of security and administration features.
Microsoft Intune is the company’s answer to modern EMMs for the variety of devices in circulation, allowing companies to integrate virtually any device. In addition to management of the devices themselves, Intune provides tools that aid in securing isolated areas of devices. Processes that were formerly complex become much simpler with Intune.
Features of Microsoft Intune
Like other EMM solutions, Microsoft Intune enables businesses to interact with registered devices connected via business, home, or mobile network. Admins can create profiles for different devices that include software required for each user. Multiple profiles can be configured based on a couple different variables, such as the device type, user role, or some combination of the above.
The main advantages of the Microsoft Intune include:
Ability to enroll devices for specific user scenarios – Devices can be setup such that they’re ready to go for a specific user right out of the box, or in BYOD scenarios. Once enrolled, security measures are implemented, making the device far more secure.
Large-scale deployment for different devices –With Microsoft Intune, it’s possible to configure large batches of devices for software updates or installation without physically using the device or requiring users to do much more than have their device connected to a network. Most devices can be rolled out in large quantities, reducing the necessity to produce instructions or allocate time to assist users. For example, by plugging in the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) or Samsung Knox, devices can be automatically provisioned to have all the necessary applications out of the box.
Delegate admin responsibilities – Administrators can be broken into different management groups, giving them control over isolated groups, such as specific departments, office locations, or device types, when necessary. Admins who are only able to interact with a manageable number of users (especially with large enterprises), effectively removes the possibility of accidental deployments of privileged software or accidental removal of mission-critical apps.
Activate supervised mode or kiosk mode – Like many EMM solution, Microsoft Intune can activate heavily restricted usage modes for different devices. For example, it can activate and manage Apple’s supervised mode that allows admins to track certain activity, alerting teams to unauthorized use or in the event a device is lost or stolen. It can also be used to alter Windows 10 machines to kiosk mode as well as many Android devices.
Microsoft Azure and Competitors Working Together
Third-party and brand-specific MDMs are useful for most environments but these aren’t always ideal in most Microsoft-based businesses. Thankfully, Microsoft has made some major advancements with integrating other solutions into their system with Intune.
Semantics aside, Intune acts as a connector for a variety of different devices, enabling greater control through the Azure-based interface. This provides several capabilities that weren’t formerly possible or required utilizing separate interfaces to accomplish. As each device manufacturer and third-party competitor are a bit different, requires a bit of research to implement these other systems for harmonious operation.
Configuring each device will be a little different. But with Intune, you’re able to do the following specific tasks for the various devices:
Secure email – Especially with on-premise Exchange systems, security can be a concern. Intune offers managed certificate service that validates the device, greatly reducing the risk of a BEC attacks.
Fortify Office 365 – Even though Office 365 provides powerful security measures, device data can be at risk because of other apps installed to mobile devices. Intune’s app protection policies prevent other applications installed on a device from gaining access to sensitive data.
Divide company-owned devices from BYOD – Some MDM solutions are highly inflexible with segregating company and personal devices. With Intune, there is a non-intrusive process for integrating personal devices into a business environment by applying application-specific policies that don’t “take over” a user’s personal device. The reduces expenditures by eliminating the necessity to furnish phones for users and provides staff peace of mind.
Control usage-restricted scenarios – Much like enabling kiosk or supervised modes, devices can be altered to operate in highly-restricted modes that fall outside of these parameters. This is ideal for devices that might be shared among users, like in a retail or manufacturing setting, as it can eliminate the possibility of interacting with anything other than mission-critical applications.
Start using Microsoft Intune as you EMM solution
Managing a large variety of different devices – especially smart devices – has been a headache for IT administrators. Even with other MDM solutions, it has been an ongoing issue with securely connecting devices to a company network. Microsoft Intune solves these issues by providing a centralized management platform for everything.