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Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is Here

I’m pleased to announce the release of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution comprised of Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and Windows Intune.

In this article, I’ll walk you through each EMM component and illustrate the respective Microsoft capabilities.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

This is the most general type of management where IT can apply policies, configurations, provisioning, and settings to mobile devices enrolled with an on-premise MDM server or cloud-based service.

The Microsoft MDM solution interfaces with the management APIs exposed by the various mobile operating systems.  As with all MDM offerings on the market, this means there are variations in management capabilities across operating systems since each exposes a different set.

Policy settings for enrolled devices include:

  • Requiring passwords and associated configurations and restrictions
  • Enforcing device encryption
  • Allowing cameras, web browsers on iOS and Android
  • Allowing iCloud backup and document sync on iOS
  • Content ratings on iOS
  • Allowing cloud settings and credential sync on Windows 8.1
  • Internet Explorer settings on Windows 8.1
  • Allowing voice and data roaming on iOS
  • Deployment of user and device certificates for managed devices by using the Simple Certificate Enrollment Protocol (SCEP). These certificates can be used to support Wi-Fi and VPN connections.  Supported devices include those running iOS, Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, and Android.  Learn more on TechNet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn261202.aspx
  • Deployment of VPN profiles that provision devices with the settings and certificates that they need to access corporate networks.  Supported devices include those running iOS, Windows 8.1, Windows RT and Windows RT 8.1.  Learn more on TechNet:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn261217.aspx
  • Deployment of Wi-Fi profiles that provision devices with the settings and certificates that they need to access corporate Wi-Fi hotspots.  Supported devices include those running iOS, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1, and Android.  Learn more on TechNet:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn261221.aspx
  • Jailbroken iOS devices and rooted Android devices are detected

A comprehensive matrix of supported policies per device can be found on TechNet:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn376523.aspx

In addition to Remote Wipe which removes everything from a device, we also have Selective Wipe which removes company apps, data and management policies from the mobile device while leaving personal apps and data untouched.  Learn more on TechNet:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj884158.aspx#bkmk_dev

Mobile Application Management (MAM)

A more specific type of management, MAM focuses on delivering native apps from a corporate app catalog to an employee device while giving IT the power to selectively remove downloaded apps and associated data without touching personal apps and data.

Microsoft provides a Company Portal (Self Service Portal) that is downloadable from the Windows Store, Apple App Store, and Google Play.  Windows 8/RT, Windows 8.1/RT/Pro/Enterprise, Windows Phone 8,  Android 4 and higher as well as iOS 6 and higher are all supported.  Users can download corporate apps to their device from the portal.

Company Portal

Corporate apps can also be pushed (user consent may be required) and remotely uninstalled from all devices except Windows Phone 8.  Public apps made available by IT can deep linked to their respective public stores via the portal.  Remote apps can also be made available and accessed across mobile platforms via Remote Desktop Services (RDS) for high-security scenarios.  Administrators can view an inventory of installed corporate apps on the devices while not seeing the personal apps.

iPad Portal

A new Identity and Access feature is Workplace Join which makes your mobile device known to your IT department by creating an object in Active Directory.  Employees can access applications and data everywhere, on any device. Employees will get single sign-on when using browser applications or enterprise applications.

Workplace Join

Single Sign On (SSO) is facilitated via the new Web Application Proxy which securely publishes corporate resources out to mobile devices without the need for VPN.  Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) simplifies access to systems and applications using a claims-based access (CBA) authorization mechanism to maintain application security.  ADFS supports Web single-sign-on (SSO) technologies that help information technology (IT) organizations collaborate across organizational boundaries.  Multifactor authentication boosts the level of secure access to corporate resources.

Mobile Information Management (MIM)

This is the most granular type of management where IT policies are assigned directly to the data to ensure security no matter where it resides, flows to, or which app is using it.

Active Directory Rights Management Services protects and encrypts documents and Exchange email by identifying the rights a user has to a given file and removes the option to perform actions outside those rights.  This data loss prevention (DLP) capability keeps corporate email from being forwarded to external email accounts and data from being uploaded to 3rd party cloud file sharing providers.  Using our rights management technology means your mobile data is secure wherever it goes.

Mobile Content Management (MCM)

Secure distribution and mobile access to documents for employees.

Secure mobile file synchronization is facilitated by Work Folders.  This is a secure share on Windows Server 2012 R2 that is made available to individual mobile devices that are Workplace joined.  In order to say “Goodbye” to Dropbox and “Hello” to corporate file sync, you’ll have to accept some security policies on your device.   Your IT department can encrypt the Work Folders on your device, require a password to sign in, and erase all the files in your Work Folders if you lose your device.

Work Folders

Our Dynamic Access Control technology can be used with the server share to provide automatic document classification and protection based on their content.  Using Work Folders is a great way to make your work files available to all your devices, even when you’re offline.  You can even control if files are synched over metered connections or while roaming.

Takeaways

System Center Configuration Manager is the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for Client Management Tools with the largest global market share.  With the majority of corporations using SCCM to manage their Windows and Mac desktops and laptops plus Windows, Linux and UNIX servers, this is management technology that you probably already own and a skillset your IT staff already has.  Over the years we’ve added support for managing new clients as dictated by their market share and customer requests.  Managing the growing variety of mobile devices roaming on wireless data networks via our Windows Intune cloud gateway allows you to leverage 20 years of SCCM “know-how” instead of purchasing point solutions.  You’ll get the massive scalability you’re looking for as well as the support and sustained engineering you’ve come to count on from Microsoft.

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Mobile Device Management for Windows Phone 8

Mobile Device Management is a critical component of any company’s mobile strategy and Windows Phone 8 can be managed through Microsoft and 3rd party MDM vendor solutions.

With Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) support, Windows Phone 8 can be managed via Exchange Server on-premise and Office 365 in the cloud.  As I’ve discussed in previous articles, EAS provides an enterprise with a baseline level of capabilities to manage BYOD scenarios that need to support a wide range of smartphones.

Microsoft has also recently announced mobile app and device management via the next version of Windows Intune and System Center Configuration Manager 2012 SP1.

I’m also pleased to announce MDM support from leading 3rd party vendors including MobileIron, Symantec, Zenprise, and AirWatch.  Here are a few of their press releases:

As an MDM veteran, I’m thrilled to see comprehensive management support for Windows Phone 8 and look forward to seeing new additions to our list of 3rd party vendor support for our amazing enterprise device.

-Rob

 

 

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Windows Mobile Provisioner

In the Spring of 2006, I created a Mobile Device Management (MDM) package for Microsoft called Windows Mobile Provisioner.  It was used by Microsoft IT (MSIT) to rapidly provision and manage Windows Mobile devices / smartphones for our employees in the years before we developed and shipped System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008.  I drew on my experience in designing, developing, shipping, marketing, and selling the NetPerceptor MDM package for the cloud (Level 3) back in 2003 with my co-founder Darren.  Of course, OMA DM and CSPs made creating an MDM system much easier in 2006.

Windows Mobile Provisioner fully integrated with Active Directory to allow the management of policies, settings, and over-the-air (OTA) software distribution based on Microsoft users and groups.  As you might imagine, there was a Management and Reporting dashboard as well as a mobile client for user self-service.

The first image below shows the client app where a user could rapidly configure Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) from a single screen:

Mobile Provisioner: Exchange Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second image below shows the client app’s ability to configure the data connections for different mobile operators globally:

Mobile Provisioner: Data Connections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last image below shows how the client app allowed users to change the themes of their smartphone:

Mobile Provisioner: Device Themes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, my MDM solution sent health metrics as well as device and app inventory to the server for analysis.  Administrators could push out patches, anti-virus definitions, ROM packages, and other software to selected devices.  Apps could also be remotely uninstalled.  In addition to the features described in the images above, the rich client app that accompanied the MDM agent gave users the ability to view and download apps, ring tones, and other content made available to users and groups via Active Directory security. I certainly hope the MDM solution your company is using “at least” does all the stuff I just mentioned from a long time ago.

It was a great experience being an early pioneer in the Mobile Device Management (MDM) space; and the first to do it in the cloud at the beginning of the 21st century.  Back then, I could count all the MDM competitors on my two hands.  Fast-forward to 2012, I think there’s over 100 different players in this space.  The majority of them are indistinguishable from each other as they all target the identical MDM APIs exposed by iOS and Android.  As usual, differentiation will be invented by marketers.

Good Times,

Rob

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Mobile Device Managment Report from Zenprise

Below is an infographic from Zenprise that displays their view of the world in the mobile device management space based on numbers from their customers in Q1 2012.

The most notable item for me is the blacklisting of the Google Play app store on Android devices.  In my view, no amount of PIN enforcement, device encryption, or VPN usage can protect devices and corporate networks from the potential malware and trojan horses that Android users may unwittingly download from Google Play.  Cloud-based file and data repositories like Dropbox and Evernote are tempting data leakage destinations for users and are therefore finding themselves blacklisted more and more.

Of course, all this flies in the face of a BYOD world where many users would never consent to this level of heavy device management and control over their personal devices.

Zenprise Mobile Device Management Cloud Report - Q1 2012
 
I certainly love seeing that 15% of Zenprise’s customers with iOS devices are distributing content from Microsoft SharePoint.
 
– Rob

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