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Staying Mobile with Intune

Kraft Kennedy

3 min read

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You may not have heard of Microsoft Intune, the cloud-based software distribution tool—or should we call it a remote assistance tool? How about an endpoint protection solution, or maybe even a mobile device manager? Thankfully, it has all of those features baked right in. On paper this sounds very similar to the features offered by System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), so why have it? Well it’s actually part of the SCCM suite and comes bundled with an SCCM license, so its connections to the software are very apparent right off the bat. Here is a breakdown of the features offered by Intune.


Let’s start with its most touted feature, mobile device management (MDM). Security features include the ability to apply security and compliance settings, remotely wipe or lock a device, as well as enable a ‘kiosk’ mode to lock down the device to one particular application. Yet Intune does not stop there; it extends its reach into the mobile application domain as it gives administrators the options to deploy software, apply policies, as well as maintain certain profiles on users’ devices. These features prop Intune as the mobile management arm of SCCM, so expect an overall focus on these. Microsoft is looking to integrate this product into enterprise environments with mobile workforces, meaning that it is designed for users with multiple devices, such as laptops, phones, and tablets. With this in mind, Microsoft has structured the licensing per user and not per device to encourage this on-the-go work style.

The cloud infrastructure behind Intune allows all of this work with minimal administrative intervention. This lack of on-premise infrastructure proves invaluable for many cloud-oriented environments. Being able to deploy software to workstations and mobile devices, as well as offer remote assistance over the cloud, can add a tremendous amount of flexibility to a network.

Yet don’t catch yourself thinking that Intune is for an on-the-go, always on-the-move workforce and that it has no place in a more traditional environment. It has a lot more to offer than just that. Let’s take a look at a few of the features that Intune can bring into a traditional environment.



Three of the main features we see are endpoint protection, remote assistance, and software deployment. Microsoft offers a solid endpoint protection client, which we also see offered in SCCM, for subscribers of Intune. Usually when someone hears the words “endpoint protection,” they quickly think about leaders in the field, such as Symantec, McAfee, and Kaspersky Labs; do not let that deter you from Microsoft’s offering, which is being considered a rising leader in Gartner’s endpoint protection market reports. With such a simple package someone could deploy Microsoft’s Endpoint Protection with a fairly low administrative cost.

Intune also offers a simple and effective form of remote assistance for client workstations that an administrator can engage in through any web browser. This enables remote assistance between technical support and a user, regardless of their locations.

Lastly, one of the most impressive feats of Intune is software deployment through the cloud. In short, an administrator can upload software media to the cloud that can then be downloaded by any user with a client installed. Yet the features are a bit more expansive than that—administrators are able to specify install commands, times windows, target user groups, and uninstalls. Many of the same features available within SCCM can be seen in Intune.

All of these features tie Intune back to its mobile-centric vision while still being flexible enough to work in a traditional sense. Because of this, Intune fits perfectly with traditional environments with slight quirks. For example, a highly decentralized organization would benefit from its easy-to-manage cloud infrastructure, or a non-mobile workforce with a Bring Your Own Device policy. All of these are potential use cases for a tool like this that do not stray too far from the traditional.