Cloud Insights from Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Enterprise Client & Mobility
In the last post I discussed how the “Managed Everything” model works for Large Enterprises, and, in this post, I’ll look at how this approach is also ideal for small organizations.
Because of their size, margins, and competition with larger organizations, small enterprises have a lot to gain from cloud-based scale and extensibility. This is why so many successful small enterprises are often early (and successful) adopters of new technologies that empower their business and allow the core workforce to focus on the fundamentals of the business.
Small enterprises rely heavily on BYOD to keep their workforces optimally productive (and therefore competitive), and this means that they need easy to use and powerful management, as well as protection. These management and protection solutions also need to avoid being a major line item on the budget since a small company’s resources need to go a lot of other places besides infrastructure maintenance. The infrastructure expenditures that are made need to not just be easy to use but ready to use quickly (preferably in an hour or less). This is one of the reasons why I believe so strongly that SaaS offerings are the perfect solution for small organizations. There are no up-front infrastructure costs and no heavy setup and configuration. Right now we’re seeing broad adoption of our Intune management service in this segment – with well over 10,000 unique small organizations subscribed and actively using Intune to manage PCs and mobile devices.
In a small enterprise, lost time and money can be disproportionately damaging to the bottom line, and this means that small organizations need their workforce to be able to consistently connect and stay productive no matter where they go, no matter which device they use. These organizations also can’t afford downtime anywhere in their infrastructure – whether that’s the result of a disaster or the time spent updating the software when new device/platform updates are available.
Everything in the last two paragraphs is proactively addressed with the Enterprise Mobility Suite. Any organization currently using Office 365 already has access to many of the functionalities needed for a widespread mobility management solution due to the fact that Intune is built on top of Azure AD (just like O365). To see just how thoroughly you can tie together SCCM, Intune, AD, Azure AD, and Office read all the good news in this post from earlier in the Success with Enterprise Mobility series. Intune can be up and running in just an hour.
This means that small enterprises get the simplicity and efficiency they need by having a single solution for MDM and PC management. It’s a solution that’s powerful, fast, seamless, and thorough.
Whenever I travel to speak at conferences or visit our offices around the world, I always set aside time to meet with customers in that region, and the feedback I get from the small enterprises I meet with is pretty unanimous:
To see for yourself the value I’ve described in this post, there are a couple great “Getting Started” resources you can check out right now to help set up a pilot of your own. This overview is a step-by-step guide to setting up Intune for device management, and this overview helps with the next step of configuring Intune for the needs or your organization, and how to automate device enrollment, identity management, etc. I really encourage everyone to take the time to test drive these tools and evaluate just what you can do with these things at your disposal.
* * *
If you’re a small business, Intune offers a really big value. With Intune you can deploy and manage all of your organization’s personal and corporate devices – and, if you combine it with the SCCM deployment you already own, the value of that investment grows exponentially.
This is something that’s really unique and really exciting about the solutions Microsoft has put into the market. Our customers and partners benefit from layered protection (discussed here), enterprise-grade management, and control over everything going on within those apps and devices.
With this “Managed Everything” approach, enterprises of any size can empower their end-users to use the apps they love, and the IT team can implement the right controls to ensure that the data going to and from those devices is secure and within policy. This is a huge benefit, and, as I’ve said many times before, it’s one more reason it’s a great time to be in IT!
I am considering the Microsoft Cloud but I am on the fence about what it can do for. Right now a lot of our hardware is hosted out of a colocation which has been great for troubleshooting and accessibility. I am curious to see if this is something that would
be smart to consider. We have about 60 users in 3 different locations. I am trying to get a professional opinion on whether itd be an upgrade or somewhat of the same concept. Is the cloud hosting through Microsoft only a hardware host? What other services
are offered along with this? I appreciate all of the help in the process. Thank you!
Daniel - if in your hosted deployment you are running Hyper-V, you can literally move the VMs to Azure and everything will just work. If you are running VMWare or in a physical deployment you will need to do a physical to virtual migration or VMWare to
Hyper-V migration - which are really common.
As no small business I know of uses SCCM - we don't have an existing investment in SCCM.
Thank you Brad! So we are hosting a bit of both. What does the migration process look like? Is it difficult? I know we have VMs hosted at our colocation on our server but we also have a local ADDS at our remote locations. Also how long does the transition
take once its been decided? Thanks for all of the clarity Brad, Im trying to learn as much as I can before we commit to anything. Thanks again!
Regarding the use of SCCM in small businesses --
SCCM is very popular, but a lot of small businesses are choosing to use a cloud-based solution for all of their management. Using the cloud can be a major cost saver for small businesses who don’t want to make the investments in on-prem hardware and software.
This is where Intune plays a huge roll – it provides a powerful, flexible, comprehensive management solution at a cloud-based price point.
Hi Daniel –
That’s a great question and something I’ve written about in some previous posts. I recommend checking out these:
• The “Migration” section of this Hybrid Cloud deployment overview.
• The 5-minute VMware Migration tool.
• Overview of our acquisition of InMage
• The migration scenarios in this overview of our IaaS innovations in the 2012 R2 products.