It was subtle, but if you listened to Brad Anderson's keynote at TechEd 2013 you might have caught a reference to a revamped acronym: BYO. Brad left off any trailing indicator of what exactly he was talking about, but instead left it up to the crowd to figure out that BYO is now the acronym for Bring Your Own Anything.
I had almost forgot about this except today I was reminded after reading an announcement where Amazon is reducing AWS prices. In the announcement (here) they use a BYOL acronym (Bring Your Own License). It seems nothing is off the table these days when it comes to "Bring Your Own…"
Obviously, during the keynote, Brad eventually referred to Microsoft's efforts around BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and how System Center 2012 R2 will further tie Configuration Manager 2012 and Windows Intune together to provide an extremely robust MDM offering. In fact, later on, in post-keynote interviews, Andrew Conway, director of product marketing for System Center, suggested what we've all been guessing for a while: that Windows Intune is Microsoft's direction for endpoint management. That's not to say that the sun is ready to set on Configuration Manager, but due to Microsoft's Cloud-First mantra for development, and the conduit Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 introduced between the on-premise management solution and Windows Intune, the final days are being tallied.
In the TechExpo at TechEd 2013, I had a fantastic discussion with a MDM vendor, SOTI, who offers probably the most comprehensive MDM solution I've seen. My first glance at their product revealed nothing special, but after spending 20 minutes digging through the features, I was awed. Clearly, this is a company that Microsoft needs to acquire or invest in to accelerate their expansion into MDM. A few hours after my talk with SOTI, T-Mobile announced a partnership. That peaked my interest and so after some additional research, it appears other carriers also use SOTI to manage devices. Can you imagine if Microsoft had a mobile client preinstalled on every device sold today?
Still, a BYO scenario is interesting. And, as the days and months progress, I will be more and more curious to see what else employees and companies will be required to provide on their own. In the end, I guess, Microsoft will provide the Cloud as a utility and both the consumer and Enterprise will need to bring everything else. BYOx means that Microsoft is simply gearing up to be ready for whatever the customer may throw at them in the future. You bring it, they'll manage it.