Organizations usually support hybrid & remote workforces, because of which they can face challenges when managing various devices used to access organization resources. Students & employees have to collaborate and work from any place. So, they should be able to securely access as well as connect to these resources. In addition, admins have to protect organization data. In order to handle such situations, you can use Microsoft Intune.
What Is Microsoft Intune?
Microsoft Intune is referred to as an endpoint management solution that is based on the cloud. User access to organizational resources is managed by it. In addition, it helps to simplify app & device management across several devices, such as mobile devices, desktop computers, & virtual endpoints.
Moreover, you are capable of protecting access & data on personal devices and those devices which are owned by organizations. This cloud-based endpoint management solution includes compliance & reporting features to support the Zero Trust security model.
Intune History and Development:
It was launched in 2011 as Windows Intune. Later, the name was changed to Microsoft Intune in 2014. The company, in December 2016, unveiled a preview where administrators could use the Azure portal to access this endpoint management solution and manage it. In June 2017, the company announced Intune’s general availability via the Azure portal.
Microsoft Intune Key Features:
These are some important features of Intune, including:
- You are able to manage users and all kinds of devices, even those that your organization owns, as well as your personally owned devices. This management solution is compatible with Android, Android Open Source Project (AOSP), iOS/iPadOS, etc. Besides, it supports macOS, Linux Ubuntu Desktop, & Windows client devices. Intune enables you to use such devices to access organization resources securely with policies that you have made.
- This cloud-based endpoint management solution helps to simplify the process of app management via a default app experience such as updates, app deployment and removal. You are capable of connecting to as well as distributing apps from the private app stores, deploying Win32 apps, enabling Microsoft 365 apps, managing access to different applications, and their data, generating app protection policies, etc.
- Intune can also automate policy deployment for compliance, security, apps, device configuration, conditional access, etc. As soon as the policies are ready, deploying them is possible to your user groups & device groups. Internet access is the only thing required to receive these policies.
- Students & employees use self-service features in the Company Portal app when they want to install any app, reset any password or PIN, join groups, and so on. Additionally, to reduce support calls, you are capable of customizing the Company Portal app.
- This management solution is integrated with mobile threat defense services ( for example, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint) & 3rd-party partner services. These services ensure that the focus remains on endpoint security. Thus, creating policies that respond to threats is possible. In addition, you can automate remediation & do real-time risk analysis.
- A web-based admin centre is used to focus on endpoint management, such as data-driven reporting. Admins are able to sign into the Intune admin centre from any device that will have internet access. Microsoft Graph REST APIs are used by this admin centre to access the Intune service programmatically. In the admin centre, each action refers to a Microsoft Graph call. Whether you are unfamiliar with Graph & need to know more, you should visit Graph integrates with Intune.
- Advanced endpoint management & security are offered by the Microsoft Intune Suite, which includes optional add-on features, like Endpoint Privilege Management, Remote help, Microsoft Tunnel for MAM, etc.
What Is MDM Or Mobile Device Management?
Microsoft Intune lets you control personal devices and also those that are owned by the company. This cloud-based endpoint management solution can provide a feature called enrolling devices. You need to enrol in terms of protecting your devices by producing VPN connections, setting PINs & passwords, and setting up threat protection.
Users may not prefer this management solution to control their devices totally when they use their own devices. In order to overcome the problem, Intune provides some choices. Hence, it offers separate access to resources utilizing official & personal credentials. Besides, as a user, you are able to set up MFA or MultiFactor Authentication to access organizational data & applications.
What Is Mobile Application Management (MAM)?
Mobile Application Management helps to protect the data for custom and store apps. MAM lets you manage apps on personal devices and those which are owned by the company. In addition, it allows admins to assign apps to devices as well as user groups & specific groups. It is compatible with configuring apps with specific settings & updates. MAM allows to see the track reports on accessing applications by users.
How Does Intune Work?
In the approach of Microsoft to managing mobile devices, Intune uses APIs, especially in mobile OSes, for the execution of tasks like enrolling devices. Enrollment allows IT personnel to maintain an inventory of devices with the help of which accessing enterprise services is possible. There are other different tasks like mobile device configuration, certificates, Wi-Fi & VPN profiles, and compliance reporting. Intune is also integrated with Azure AD with the aim of providing access control capabilities. Hence, the toolset has to work toward a zero-trust environment.
The app management approach of Intune covers areas like assigning phone apps to the workforce, configuring the apps with standard settings & removing enterprise data from them. While getting used with different EMS suite services, this management solution allows an organization to offer those apps that access additional mobile apps & data security features, including multifactor authentication and SSO.
Benefits of Microsoft Intune:
This powerful solution is used to manage and secure corporate data on different devices. With the help of this solution, organizations are capable of improving their productivity, security & return on investment. These are the important advantages of Microsoft Intune:
Choice of Multiple Devices:
It enables employees to enrol, register, & manage their own devices like Tablets, mobiles, & laptops. As a result, they can use their preferred devices to improve productivity & job satisfaction.
Unparalleled Management of Office Mobile Apps:
It lets employees access corporate resources via Office 365 and other apps. Besides, it enables employees to access work files & emails to boost productivity.
Advanced Endpoint Analytics:
For organizations, it is possible to track the progress of organizations and improve them with integrated endpoint analytics to achieve the target.
Intune enforces device enrollment and compliance policies to secure corporate data. In this way, it is possible to protect sensitive information and does not depend on the location from where it is accessed.
Maximize Return On Investment:
With the help of the latest cloud features, this management solution can help organizations in protecting their data & assets. In addition, it ensures that they will get the most value out of the Microsoft 365 subscription.
Monitor Mobile Devices And Computers:
Intune permits Organizations to generate notification alerts if there is any problem with computers and devices to inform the right people in time so that they can take necessary action.
No Infrastructure Required:
Intune makes sure that organizations are not required to buy any infrastructure and maintain them. It helps to reduce the cost and helps to make management easier.
This cloud-based endpoint management solution can provide flexible licensing options that are based on every user instead of each device. Therefore, organizations only need to pay for their required licences. It reduces costs & makes budgeting more predictable.
Available In Multiple Languages:
You can get Microsoft Endpoint Manager in more than twenty different languages. As a result, it becomes accessible to a wide range of customers.
Supports Multiple Mobile Operating Systems:
It is compatible with Mobile Device Management for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, & Windows Phone devices.
Conditional access gives control access to different apps & devices, depending on particular conditions. It helps to improve security & compliance.
Barriers can be made between personal and corporate data with Intune. Therefore, organizations can retain control over corporate data, and it can even be removed from personal devices, if required.
Automation And Self-Service:
With this cloud-based endpoint management solution, Organizations automate routine activities like device compliance checks, software updates, etc. It reduces the IT staff’s workload and helps to improve efficiency. In addition, it can provide self-service portals using which employees can enrol their own devices without the need of contacting IT for assistance.
Challenges Of Microsoft Intune:
This management solution excels within a Microsoft environment, and the reason is that it is integrated with other Microsoft products. It is able to manage non-Windows platforms and cannot be at the same level as any specialized product. For instance, a few products can offer more options to manage devices in the Apple ecosystem.
In addition, organizations using Linux devices might want to look at alternative UEM platforms. For Linux distributions, there is no management capability apart from verifying compliance & providing access securely to company data.
Microsoft Intune Pricing:
The price of Intune is per user per month. And according to this, organizations are capable of buying it as a standalone plan or purchasing this as a component of another subscription. These are the three separate plans:
Microsoft Intune Plan 1:
Plan 1 has the fundamental UEM functionality, and it is included with a subscription to Microsoft 365 E3, E5, F1, F3, EMS E3 & E5, & Business Premium plans. The expanded tools can be bought as add-ons for Plan 1. If you want to buy Plan 1, you need to pay $8 per month.
Microsoft Intune Plan 2:
It serves as an add-on to Plan 1. This one features some extra tools like Microsoft Intune Tunnel for MAM as well as endpoint management for speciality devices. For Plan 2, you need to invest $4, in addition to the $8 for Plan 1 per user per month.
Microsoft Intune Suite:
It is the highest-tier plan for Intune. This one is an add-on to Plan 1 and comes with add-ons from Plan 2, and more tools. There are some additional tools that you can get in Microsoft Intune Suite: Remote Help, Endpoint Privilege Management, advanced endpoint analytics, etc. Several tools are ready to be released in the later phase of this year. $10 is the cost of this plan, in addition to $8 for Plan 1 for every user per month.
- Microsoft 365 E5: $57 per user for each month
- Microsoft 365 E3: $32 per month per user
- Enterprise Mobility + Security E5: $16.40 per user for every month
- Enterprise Mobility + Security E3: $10.60 per user for each month
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium: $20 per month per user
- Microsoft 365 F1: $2.30 per user in each month
- Microsoft 365 F3: $8 per user in each month
- Microsoft 365 Government G5: $35 per user in every month
- Microsoft 365 Government G3: $20 per user in each month
- Intune for Education: $8.28 per month for every faculty user, along with the student use benefits.
- Microsoft 365 Education A5: $10.80 needs to be paid per month by every faculty user.
- Microsoft 365 Education A3: Each faculty user has to pay $5.80 per month.
- Intune stand-alone license: $2 per device each month.
What Can You Do With Microsoft Intune?
These are a few things that you can do with Microsoft Intune.
Manage Devices With Microsoft Intune:
If the organization incorporates a BYOD policy or issues corporate devices, this cloud-based endpoint management solution enables you to enrol all employee devices & control them. In order to control all features, settings & security, you are able to adjust the settings in Intune, but it depends on how your organization will issue devices.
As soon as the devices are enrolled, you can configure devices to fulfil security standards. Besides, you can see the reports on users along with both supported and non-supported devices. You are also capable of removing organization data when your device is lost, stolen or can’t be used any more.
Manage Applications With Microsoft Intune:
In order to protect organizational data at the application level via app protection policies, this management solution is designed. Hence, the app policies can be made & deployed on those devices which are enrolled in Intune. In addition, these policies can restrict certain actions to secure access to personal devices. Besides, in order to isolate organization data from personal data, the app policies can use Azure AD identity.
Increase Security And Compliance With Microsoft Intune:
Intune integrates with Azure Active Directory to enable a wide set of access control scenarios. Hence, the organization needs smartphones, which have to be compliant with your organization’s standards.
Your set of rules can be defined within Intune for locking down some services for a particular set of users and devices, depending on the organization’s security & compliance standards.
This endpoint management solution is part of Microsoft’s EMS or Enterprise Mobility and Security suite. In order to identify who has access to the application and what can be accessed, this cloud-based endpoint management solution coordinates with Azure AD. Besides, it can integrate with Azure Information Protection to protect data. You can use this with the Microsoft 365 suite of products.
For instance, it is possible to deploy OneNote, Microsoft Teams, & Endpoint to mobile devices. It lets the employees in the organization be productive on all of their devices. Besides, it helps to keep the information of the organization protected.
MDM For Office 365 vs. Microsoft Intune:
Microsoft can provide two mobile device management solutions, which are— MDM for Office 365 & Microsoft Intune. Although there are a few similarities, you can find some key differences between them.
MDM For Office 365:
It is available in multiple Office 365 subscriptions and can provide integrated tools for your company in terms of managing your user’s smartphone. Besides, this one can provide a limited feature set. You can use this to enforce policies as well as settings for controlling the access of Office 365 data on mobile devices. The capabilities are categorized into four sections, which are as follows: requirement of password settings, encryption settings, non-jailbroken devices, and a managed email profile. This one is an excellent MDM solution when no requirement for mobile application management will be there.
Intune can offer solutions for both MDM & MAM. It makes sure that your corporate data is protected in Office 365 as well as in all apps where the data exists. The Azure Active Directory & Intune portal let you deploy, configure, & manage applications. Moreover, Azure Active Directory & Intune portal allow you to wipe devices when any of your employees lose their devices. Intune is available with multiple Microsoft 365 licenses and a standalone license. In addition, it comes with more policy settings, like policies to configure settings, updates, applications, etc., compared to MDM For Office 365.
Microsoft Intune Requirements:
It comes with different systems & administrative requirements. Users need to have managed devices that should come with an Intune subscription through a standalone license or another license that will include Intune. Besides, the person who needs to deploy & manage Intune should have a global administrator or Intune service administrator role. Remember that it is not necessary to have an Azure Active Directory set up. However, you are recommended to have this because it would automate the procedure of adding groups within Intune.
Depending on the manufacturers of the device, which you may want to manage — these are the following OS requirements:
- Apple iOS 12.0 or later
- Apple iPadOS 13.0 or later
- MacOS 10.13 or later
- Android 6.0 and later
- Surface Hub
- Windows 10 (Home, S, Pro, Education, and Enterprise versions)
- Windows 10 Enterprise 2018 LTSC
- Windows 10 IoT Enterprise
- Windows Holographic for Business
- Windows 10 Teams
- Windows 10 1709 or later
- PCs running Windows 8.1 or later
Microsoft Intune 2023 Updates:
These are the Microsoft Intune 2023 updates.
If you use Intune policies for Update Rings, it means that the configuration of Windows settings is going on. Its function is to manage how & when devices will install Windows updates. When your Windows update setting includes a Windows 10 or Windows 11 version dependency, the version dependency will be noted in the settings details.
These are the Windows Update settings for Windows 10 & Windows 11 Updates where managing under update rings with Intune is possible.
Make Updates Available As Soon As Possible:
This option confirms that no delay will happen in making the update, which is available to devices. It is the default behaviour for Windows Update.
Make Updates Available On A Specific Date:
It enables you to choose a day when the update can be installed in the policy. Windows Update is not going to offer any update to devices with this configuration until the day is reached.
Make Updates Available Gradually:
Through this process, it is possible to distribute the availability of the update across a range of time that you configure, with Windows Update making an update available to the device’s different subsets, which are targeted by the policy, at different times. With the help of this option, reducing your network’s effect is possible when it is compared to providing the update to all devices at the same time. Hence, you need to check the following section to learn how the option can be used.
Before a device sends reporting data, which is used in the Windows 10 feature updates report for Intune, you have to Configure data collection:
For all feature update versions, service-based data will be collected. And you do not need to configure data collection.
Once you configure data collection, you can collect Client-based data from devices.
- The devices have to fulfil the prerequisites for Windows 10 and the later feature updates policy, which you can see documented as the Feature updates for Windows 10 & the later policy.
- Devices need to be Azure Active Directory or Hybrid Azure Active Directory Joined so that these can support the data submission for reporting.
- Devices have to run Windows 10 1903 or later versions or Windows 11.
- Windows 10 & later feature update policies are compatible with previous Windows versions. However, the earlier versions can’t support reporting the data used by Intune for the feature update reports.
The Bottom Line:
On the whole, it can be said that Microsoft Intune protects organizational data from mobile devices by providing a unified solution. It can isolate both types of data— organizational & personal on personal devices. Not only devices, but Microsoft Intune can also let you control the access to organization applications from mobile devices. It can create a more mobile workforce without compromising the security of resources. Undoubtedly, we can say that Microsoft Intune is a great tool that can break the walls of organizational premises for liberating the workforce to work from any location at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Intune an MDM?
It is compatible with IOS, Android, Windows, and Macs. As a result, it becomes a versatile solution. People can use this for both MAM & MDM.
What type of software is Intune?
This one is a cloud-based unified endpoint management platform empowering you to manage, assess & protect apps as well as devices from a console.
Is Microsoft Intune a monitoring tool?
You can monitor the health as well as activity of endpoints across your organization more effectively with the help of Microsoft Intune reports.
For instance, you can see reports about device compliance, device health, & device trends.