Microsoft released a major update to Intune with its November 2014 update. This update redesigned the admin interface, while adding a few additional features. The account and admin portals have been redesigned to have a more Azure look and feel. Most of the underlying functions are still the same.
One of the biggest changes is that it is now referred to as “Microsoft Intune” instead of “Windows Intune”. This done to better reflect what the product does. It doesn’t do just Windows anymore – it can do Android and iOS.
We can manage our users, groups, and subscriptions from the account portal. This stuff is pretty basic, and unchanged from the previous release of Intune. The main difference on the account portal is the Azure AD integration. Administrators can now set up a domain sync from here. If you already have your domain in Azure AD, you can go ahead and tie your existing Azure AD to Intune. It will appear under the “Domains” option.
To set up domain sync, follow the six steps that are on the “Set up and manage Active Directory synchronization” page. After the domain is set up, you will be able to provision users.
Microsoft has redesigned the Admin Console to look exactly like Azure, providing administrators one interface across there platforms. They even threw in some tiles.
From this screen, though, most everything is the same from the previous design of Microsoft Intune.
This update was not just about a design refresh. There are a lot of new features also. One exciting one is bulk enrollment of devices. Administrators do not need to do go everything device, go to the enrollment portal, and enroll every device individually anymore. This mainly leveraged on iOS devices using Apple’s DEP program. The device will basically show up at your door already enrolled. It is recommended to use a service account here. One important item to mention though is “Device Enrollment Managers”. Your account that is used to enroll these devices must be added here. This allows accounts to register more than five devices.
Another change is allowing multi-factor authentication. This only works with enrolling Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices, but does provide an extra layer of security for these devices.
Finally, the November 2014 update comes with the ability to restrict administrator access to certain groups of devices and users. This allows for delegated administration of devices and users in Intune. Global administrators can now define administrators for other groups. This is handy in distributed IT environments, where different admins are needed in different areas.
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