Microsoft EMS Administration Shifts to the Azure Portal

Microsoft releases its new streamlined Enterprise Mobility + Security administration interface on the Azure Portal.

Cloud management

Microsoft has migrated the Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) management interfaces to the Azure Portal, a move the company says will provide administrators with a more unified, productivity-enhancing experience.

EMS encompasses Microsoft's cloud-delivered mobile and identity management offerings, including Intune, Azure Active Directory (AD) and Azure Information Protection. For administrators who use even a handful of the features provided by those services, it can mean spending a considerable amount of time just moving from tool to tool.

In an effort to make their lives easier, Microsoft has spent the last few months streamlining the management workflows and administrator interface in EMS, according to Andrew Conway, general manager of EMS Product Marketing at Microsoft. The end result is a new EMS administrator experience that gathers Intune, Azure AD and Azure Information Protection into a single location in the Azure Portal, a management hub of sorts for Microsoft's various cloud offerings.

"The new console simplifies the configuration and management of powerful cross product workflows, such as conditional access, allowing you to define complex access management policies across Azure AD and Intune within a single interface," Conway wrote in a June 29 blog post. "It also delivers deep integration with Azure Active Directory groups, which can represent both users and devices as native, dynamically targeted groups that are fully federated with an organization’s on-premises Active Directory."

As shown in this online video from Microsoft, a customizable dashboard provides instant access to the EMS feature set. With a minimum of clicks, administrators can quickly configure policies that stretch across the mobile device management, conditional access and data encryption components within EMS.

The new EMS administrator experience is available now. Users can access the revamped consoles and dashboard by logging into the Azure Portal.

Looking ahead, Microsoft is working on a new Azure Information Protection client, due to be released in late September, announced Dan Plastina, partner director of Information and Threat Protection at Microsoft, in a separate blog post. The new client will be preceded by two preview releases in July and August.

For the next client update, the Azure Information Protection group is focused on improving its condition-matching engine and enhancing its automation capabilities. Users can also expect a fresh batch of bug fixes, stability improvements and a reworked Information Workers component.

Beginning with the September update, Microsoft plans to make subsequent updates generally available once a quarter. The intervening months will likely see the release of preview versions, Plastina added.

Microsoft isn't alone in giving its mobility offerings a makeover this month.

Last week, BlackBerry announced a sweeping round of updates for its Enterprise Mobility Suite. New capabilities include the ability to securely access sensitive corporate data on unmanaged Windows or iOS devices. Users can also apply and manage data protection policies for Microsoft Office 365 mobile apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and use the new DocuSign integration to speed up workflows involving loan applications, financial transaction authorizations and other legally-binding documents.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...