Choosing the Right Mobile Device Management Stack for Your Business

We recently outlined the benefits of mobile device management (MDM), and some of the distinctions between mobile device management and application management enrollments. In this article, we’ll further detail the different mobile device management platforms available and a surprising option you may not even realize you already have!

Enterprise mobility management is a booming field, so it is unsurprising that there are hundreds of companies competing for market share. VMware, Citrix, IBM, and even the reinvigorated Blackberry company offer their own device management platforms. While you may be familiar with those names, not all of the companies you’ll find on ranking or software review sites have such established reputations. 

With something as business critical as your company’s data security, and technology evolving so quickly due to the pandemic, our experts recommend security software from the names you know and recognize. You may not be familiar with the programs that big cloud computing firms offer, but names like Microsoft and Citrix are household names for a reason. Thanks to a 20-year partnership between the two companies, Citrix offers one of the best Microsoft integrations on their MDM platform, called Endpoint Management. 

While our experts recommend the Microsoft tools for enterprise mobility and mobile device management, you don’t just have to take our word for it. According to the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant Report for Unified Endpoint Management, Microsoft is leading the way in enterprise mobility solutions. 

Microsoft Intune

Microsoft’s premier enterprise mobility management platform is called Microsoft Intune. Intune is a cloud service/SaaS product providing mobile device management, application management, and PC management capabilities. Intune supports devices across the operating system spectrum, including Windows, Windows Mobile, iOS and iPadOS, Android, and MacOS computers. 

Microsoft Intune is offered in two deployment modes: standalone (for cloud-only server systems) and hybrid deployment. In a hybrid deployment mode, Intune works with the on-premise System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). 

Intune compliments Windows Defender secure-and-protect service, Windows 10’s control center for virus and threat protection, network security scans, and more. In familiar Windows intuitive usability, the Windows Defender control panel flows seamlessly into the Intune manager when configured. 

Microsoft Intune also allows for advanced configuration of Conditional Access policies via the Azure Active Directory. Conditional Access provides granular access control to keep your corporate data secure, while giving users an experience that allows them to do their best work from any device and from any location.

You can define conditions that gate access to your corporate data based on location, device, user state, and application sensitivity.

What we love about Intune, as a solution for many of our clients, is the fact that so many businesses already have access to it in their existing Microsoft license!

Intune is included in the following licenses:

  • Microsoft 365 E5
  • Microsoft 365 E3
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security E5
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security E3
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium
  • Microsoft 365 F1
  • Microsoft 365 F3
  • Microsoft 365 Government G5
  • Microsoft 365 Government G3
  • Intune for Education

Intune for Education is included in the following licenses:

  • Microsoft 365 Education A5
  • Microsoft 365 Education A3

Microsoft Intune is available both as a standalone Azure service and as a standalone product within the above 365 licenses. Additionally, a limited version of the Intune tools, Basic Mobility and Security, are available within all Microsoft 365 systems. Compared to Intune, Basic Mobility and Security supports a narrower range of devices, does not offer VPN configuration, mobile application deployment, and several other key capabilities you may need for your business. 

Office 365 MDM

For an even simpler experience getting started with mobile device management at your company, all Microsoft Office 365 licenses come with built-in MDM controls. In contrast with Intune, users do not need their license key to have a device enrolled, as it is enabled by default in the Office 365 deployment. Office 365 Mobile Device Manager does not offer as advanced capabilities as Intune or MS 365’s Basic Mobility and Security, but is a good place to start for configuring basic policies and getting your feet wet with device management tools. 

The Right Tools for Every Organization

With so many Microsoft security and enterprise mobility management options, it can be hard to know exactly which program will best serve your needs. What you can be assured of is that Windows Management Experts has the experience and depth of knowledge to help you develop your enterprise mobility strategy. 

We’re so confident in our value that we have a full training available for free on our resources page! On that page you can watch a live-recorded demo of Microsoft Intune, where Microsoft expert John Marcum walks through some common pitfalls customers struggle with when going down the MDM path. Keep an eye out for our next blog post, where we will cover some advanced topics and questions business owners frequently have.

If there’s a question we can help you answer today, give us a call at 888-307-0133 to discuss our Enterprise Mobility Services programs!

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