Moving to a mobile workspace creates many complications for companies. IT teams still need to manage the licenses and deployment of applications, but they often have no physical access to the mobile devices, and many will not be controlled by the organization.
Microsoft Intune provides a solution for mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) to control and deliver licensed applications to devices. Intune integrates with the Microsoft ecosystem and can deliver specific policies to control applications on a variety of mobile devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.
Microsoft Intune and the MDM market
Microsoft Intune operates primarily in the MDM and MAM markets. Researchers estimate that the MDM market, currently valued at $8.49 billion in 2020, will grow at a robust CAGR between 27.8% and 29.8% to reach as much as $98.71 billion by 2030.
The MAM market is larger but growing slower than the MDM market. Researchers valued the MAM market at $154.05 billion in 2019 and only anticipated a CAGR of 11.5%.
Microsoft does not break out their revenue for Microsoft Intune and often includes the Intune license for free in other product bundles. Key competitors in the MAM and MDM markets include:
- MAM: Apple, Google, Amazon, Gameloft SE, Netflix, Practo, Cure.fit, Ubisoft Entertainment, Xiaomi Corp
- MDM: Blackberry, Cisco, Citrix Systems, IBM, Quest Software, Samsung, SAP, Sophos, VMware
Microsoft Intune features
Microsoft Intune builds on its Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager and extends the capabilities through the Microsoft Azure cloud. Its key features include:
- Automated application updates
- Automated support staff notification
- Automatic inventory of devices and applications
- Cloud management and web browser administration
- Extends cloud security to endpoints
- Integrates to deliver Microsoft Zero Trust technology
- Manages mobile devices and provides automatic provisioning
- Remote malware scans
- Reporting on users and device compliance
- Reporting on which apps are used and their usage
- Support for Android, macOS, and Windows operating systems (OSs)
- Support for delivery of .exe, .msi, and .msp software packages
When selecting an MDM or MAM solution, IT administrators often seek the following key benefits:
Attempting to enforce compliance after deployment can be a slow, tedious process that puts IT teams in an adversarial relationship with users. Administrators can configure Microsoft Intune with settings, features, and security that enforce compliance from the beginning.
Admins can set up password or PIN requirements, VPN connections, and other features to enforce security and data protection before users can establish bad habits. Using Intune reduces IT team hours for deployment and eliminates compliance remediation headaches.
Device and application management
Once the rules for a user group have been set, Microsoft Intune automatically enforces those rules and provisions resources to new users added to a group. The solution also saves time for IT administrators by also automatically enrolling devices, including bring your own device (BYOD); distributing certificates; and checking the status of devices.
Secure corporate data
Microsoft Intune can enforce end-to-end encrypted VPN connections, support multi-factor authentication (MFA), and check that devices are secure. If a device is lost, stolen, or no longer used for corporate data, Intune permits for the corporate data and applications to be deleted remotely.
Intune can also deliver conditional access on a device basis or based upon network access risk. This powerful feature provides additional controls to protect corporate data from theft or misuse.
Des Moines Public Schools
The 33,000 students and 6,500 staff of the Des Moines Public Schools system depend upon a small IT team to quickly deliver more than 15,000 laptops and tablets at the beginning of the school year. Managing the repair and imaging of these devices used to be a long and stressful process, and the IT team needed a more efficient option.
“One of the things that attracted us to Intune and the Windows Autopilot process was that computers could be fired up and used by the end user right out of the box, no imaging needed,” said Robert Bledsoe, network architect at Des Moines Public Schools. “We could also reset the devices remotely, which saves a lot of time.”
Fraser Health Authority
Fraser Health Authority serves 1.9 million residents of British Columbia with 40,000 staff in multiple hospitals and community health centers. Fraser Health sought to execute a digital transformation that improved access to patient data, permitted virtual care, and secured patient information.
Using Microsoft Intune to deliver Microsoft Teams provided a rapid, secure solution that allowed physicians to easily connect with both patients and colleagues.
“The solution allows information to be exchanged among providers and between providers and patients, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of those virtual appointments,” said Rav Gill, collaboration services project manager at Fraser Health.
ResultsCX handles more than 71 million customer service calls in nine key verticals including healthcare, insurance, online retailers, and telecommunications.
Their IT team wanted to improve the deployment of a virtual desktop solution and pre-configure device management through the cloud. Adopting a Microsoft solution managed by Microsoft Intune provided scalability and improved response time.
“Customers used to ask us what we could do for them in six weeks. Six weeks became four and then two or three,” said Jamie Vernon, senior vice president of IT infrastructure and operations at ResultsCX. “Now, we have all we need for our teams to deliver really quickly.”
When selecting between MAM and MDM competitors, organizations express a preference for Microsoft Intune based upon several key differentiators:
Deep integration with Microsoft products
Most enterprises depend upon Azure, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft 365 applications. Programmed by the same company and backed by the same powerful brand, most IT managers feel secure in selecting a Microsoft solution for their Microsoft infrastructure.
Partner programs for Microsoft resellers
Well-established in the PC software market, Microsoft enjoys a robust partner reseller ecosystem. While this means that Microsoft benefits from thousands of companies promoting its product, the end customers gain more customized support from partners and pricing bundled with their other Microsoft products.
Partner programs also allow for smaller enterprises to consider adopting Microsoft technology that may be out of reach for their in-house IT team. Microsoft Intune will be a solution offered by many managed service providers (MSPs) to their smaller-end clients through other product bundles.
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Microsoft and its partners rarely sell Intune separately. Often Intune will be included in bundles with Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite, Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
These license models typically make sense for organizations because they also need to acquire licenses for the Office 365 or similar applications to be delivered to the user. Although, Microsoft does offer device-specific licenses for Intune at $2 per month for kiosks and other multi-user devices unaffiliated with a specific user.
Many companies struggle to adapt to a semi-permanent remote workforce and securely deploy apps to a mix of BYOD and corporate-owned devices. Using a MDM or MAM solution solves many security and compliance problems.
Many organizations already using other Microsoft solutions will find that Microsoft Intune combines well with existing solutions to improve security and device deployment. While Intune will rarely be used as a stand-alone solution, it is a valuable add-on to an existing IT and security strategy.