NOW@MMS 2012 - the world of connected devices

Microsoft extends InTune for BYOD with IOS and Android

The second day keynote at MMS traditionally discusses Configuration Manager. That was extended a bit this year to include Microsoft's cloud-based service for device management, InTune.

The world has changed from the one-user-one desktop topology to where the typical power user has 5-7 devices, with 916 million smart connected devices (phones, tablets, and laptops) shipped in 2011. To recognize this, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager now has user-device affinity and can distribute applications to users, rather than the now legacy capability of distributing packages to devices. But it's more than just application distribution via ConfigMgr.

The proliferation on BYOD can be viewed of an extension of the PC revolution that began 30 years ago, where users wanted to bring their own devices (then personal computers) to work - rather corporate IT embraced them or not. Today the personal computer is often the legacy device, and the devices brought to work are often tablets and smart phones. To meet the demand to manage those devices in a corporate world, Microsoft's next release of InTune, available now as a test release, can control use of non-privileged (a.k.a. non-Microsoft) platforms - Apple (IOS) and Android - through the cloud by identifying their users as domain joined (underlying technology being Azure linking into Active Directory). Those users can select applications in your own corporate marketplace (store) that are either in-house or "deep-linked" to the Apple/Android/Microsoft stores. This enables corporations to control the applications on devices being used without necessarily owning them. To keep applications and data secure, you can implement a VDI approach, where corporate applications and data are not stored on the device. Control and governance across all devices enables IT to set policy and control devices appropriately in a user-centric environment.

Factoids from today's keynote include:

  • 175,000 downloads of the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Release Candidate (RC)
  • 500,000 devices managed in production using the RC
  • 280,000 devices being managed by Microsoft IT (MSIT)
  • 307,000 agents deployed as part of the ConfigMgr TAP
  • Demos incorporated a Windows 8 tablet
  • MMS 2013 is moving to New Orleans in June 2013

For Microsoft's highlights of what's new in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (too much to show during a 90 minute keynote!), see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg699359.aspx.

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