The way in which we manage our workforces’ devices is changing. Gone are the days of large, overly complicated on-premise management solutions like Quest (Dell) KACE and Microsoft System Centre. With the continued drive of remote working, flexibility and ultimately employee separation our management tools need to change, now.
Luckily, Microsoft where ready for this move to remote management. They and have spent a long time and A LOT of investment in turning the 2011 product of Microsoft Intune into the 2021 product, which is now known as Microsoft Endpoint Manager, a now formidable UEM (Unified Endpoint Management) tool.
Evolution – just in the nick of time
The original Intune product was designed to answer the question of the time: How to we provide some form of management to the changing device landscape? With the launch of new form factors, and splitting operating systems at the time, this EMM (Endpoint Mobility Management) tool focused on delivering the same basic functional control across the spectrum of devices it supported.
Microsoft is not a company to miss a shift in the market. They released that as we moved into the late 2010’s and into 2020’s that business no longer wanted two products, one to manage devices onsite and one to manage them in the cloud. With this they began the process of taking the features from Microsoft’s System Centre Configuration Manager and merging them with the EMM tool, Microsoft Intune.
This process happened just in time to be ready for the world shifting events of Early 2020. The now mature product from Microsoft gave the best of Config Manager, Intune’s EMM and the fringe features of MDM and MAM that the suite had been dabbling with.
So, the question then becomes, why are you not using it?
For nearly all business,Microsoft Endpoint Manager can play a huge part in ensuring:
1. All your devices controlled,
2. Windows is up to date,
3. patches and software are being deployed and managed.
This on its own takes away 3 key functions you may have existing systems in place to support. However, the largest success for Microsoft Endpoint Manager comes in the form of flexibility. Your users don’t need to be on your VPN, in your network or even in your country to get software updates or even new packages.
This is only then strengthened when we look at the white glove, of out of box experience which can be leveraged with Autopilot.
Imagine you never had to build a laptop again!!
Wouldn’t that just be great? Not only that, but imagine that if a device needed to be moved from user to user. Then you could remotely reset and deploy a fresh version of the operating system and all applications to the device, join it to the domain and have it ready to be reused.
Well with Endpoint Manager and Autopilot you can do just that! The core logic behind the approach is that you don’t need to touch a device to get it ready to use.
Now this can either be directly from the factory or on a previously managed device. This will reduce the time to resolution on support issues and ultimately free up you and your team to work on project that are more important.
With this process, gone are the days of creating a gold image having to run sysprep and then trying to configure the Out of Box Experience with an answer file. Microsoft has simplified this down to a steps-based process. This uses the latest image from Microsoft alongside an answer file based on the Microsoft Endpoint Manager interface, not on a text file. This combined gives you a great position to show business improvements from a system implementation.
Where can YOU make improvements?
The biggest question to ask yourself is where could you optimise your;
- device management,
- system imaging,
- software deployments,
- application installations and updates,
- operating system updates
- and device provisioning?
If the answer is that any of these could be improved, then Microsoft Endpoint Manager is the platform you need to be looking into.
These are just some examples of what Microsoft Endpoint Manager can do. I would be remised to say that the above is a fair representation of all that the suite has to offer. The product is massively impressive and continues to develop and grow as Microsoft as a company moves away from the legacy of its on premise-based solutions to a truly cloud driven SaaS approach.
I know taking this step might seem like a leap in certain circumstances. However, I am always available to discuss how you can leverage better device management for your business. As are the rest of the Technical Architecture team at Planet IT
Please feel free to reach out using the contact details below:
Call 01235 433900 or Email : [email protected]