Microsoft Intune MDM Software Embraces Apple Device Enrollment
This month's updates include support for Apple's iOS device enrollment system and new access controls for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.Intune, Microsoft's cloud-based mobile-device management (MDM) software, now plays better with Apple's mobile device integration solution for IT departments. The latest service update for Intune, being rolled out by March 7, allows IT personnel "to streamline the enrollment of iOS devices purchased directly from Apple or an authorized reseller with the Device Enrollment Program (DEP)," stated Microsoft in a March 4 announcement. First introduced during last year's launch of iOS 8, the time-saving Apple DEP feature enables organizations to automatically provision iPhones and iPads without setting up each device manually. Aimed at enterprises, Apple DEP provides "zero-touch configuration," according to the Cupertino, Calif.-based device maker. "Automate [MDM] enrollment for every device, so that when activated, they are immediately configured with account settings, apps and access to corporate services over the air," boasts the company on its Website. "There's no need for staging services, and no need for IT to physically access each device to complete setup." Apart from fast-tracking iOS device deployments, Microsoft is providing customers of select cloud services with another layer of security. The Intune refresh includes new options that allow administrators to block or restrict access to the OneDrive for Business cloud storage service or SharePoint Online for devices that don't meet an organization's compliance and device enrollment policies. Also new are OneDrive apps management features for iOS and Android.
Microsoft's update features a control that allows administrators to limit how many devices a user can enroll in Intune. Businesses can also now leverage Intune to install .appx files, typically used for manually installing or "side-loading" Windows Phone 8.1 apps.