I get a lot of questions about Microsoft’s mobile device management (MDM) strategy. It can be confusing because to achieve the full spectrum of management functionality, multiple Microsoft products are required:
- Exchange ActiveSync (EAS)
- System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
- Windows Intune
Can you do some MDM with only EAS? Of course. Can you do MDM with only Intune? Absolutely. So how do you explain this multi-product approach to MDM? Although not strictly true, the way I like to look at it is as a series of layers, with each layer adding additional functionality, and Configuration Manager bringing it all together.
|Exchange ActiveSync (EAS)||Configuration Manager||Intune|
Microsoft calls this approach Unified Device Management (UDM) since it goes beyond simply managing mobile devices. Using the MS approach all devices including servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones can be managed with the same tool set. Some might consider this too confusing and prefer a point solution with less moving parts, however, consider the following:
- Many organizations already have Configuration Manager in place
- Many organizations already have Exchange or hosted Exchange in place
- Using an incremental approach allows you to start small using the pieces you already have without purchasing new software and tailor the solution to your specific needs while controlling costs
Start with Exchange and Configuration Manager and add InTune when and where it makes sense.