Configuration Manager or Microsoft Intune? How About Both?

Configuration Manager or Microsoft Intune? How About Both?

In the 2nd episode of the Endpoint Zone, a new series with Microsoft's Simon May and Brad Anderson, there's a lot of ground covered. Simon and Brad dig into some Windows 10 features to start, but quickly transition into a good discussion on the EMM market and how System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune serve to provide a best of breed management environment.

Here's some highlights to listen for…

  • System Center Configuration Manager is the industry standard for PC management, managing 2 out of every 3 PCs for every Enterprise in the world. Amazingly, even with this amount of acceptance, the product still increases its coverage by a full point of share every quarter.
  • Brad believes that rich, sophisticated PC management like System Center Configuration Manager will remain an on-premises task in the Enterprise for the near future.
  • Enterprise mobility, on the other hand, should be a Cloud service. Brad carefully made the decision to not just "host" Configuration Manager in the Cloud, but build a separate service that is fully Cloud capable. Intune is that service. When he looks at other vendors offerings, he considers them simply products that are just "hosted" in the Cloud, not true Cloud services.
  • A true, Cloud capable service is the only way to deliver a true MDM experience. In the beginning, Microsoft only needed to track Windows, so updating Configuration Manager every couple years was fine. Now, in addition, Microsoft has to track iOS, and multiple flavors of Android that change and update constantly. A Cloud-based offering (Intune) is the only way to provide the required agility to compensate quickly to continue supporting the different platforms. Microsoft can make changes to Intune that are available immediately.
  • Since Configuration Manager and Intune can be connected, this allows the lumbering on-premises solution to take full advantage of the quickly updating and improving feature sets of Intune.
  • Right now, there are 12-13,000 unique organizations using Intune as a standalone solution, and many more are using a combination of Configuration Manager and Intune. Customers have a clear choice to use one or both.

It should also be noted (not included in Endpoint Zone episode 2) that some changes have occurred in the groups that Brad manages at Microsoft. I've mentioned before that many Configuration Manager customers have felt a bit miffed that Intune was getting all the development resources and improvements, while Configuration Manager was getting left behind. Microsoft is showing renewed interest in Configuration Manager focus, and you'll see some exciting new features and direction once the Configuration Manager Technical Preview is ready for testing early in 2015. But, more than that, for the past couple years the Intune and Configuration Manager product teams have been split, run as two separate development groups. Those groups were recently merged into a single team.

If you want to dig straight into the System Center Configuration Manager and Intune discussion, jump to about 18:30. At almost 40 minutes, the whole thing is worth a listen…


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