Author’s Note - Special thanks to Craig Morris at Microsoft who really was the "Usurper of User/Device Affinity" and a key part of our User Centric work the past years. He's now off lending his expertise to our Windows Intune team to achieve the same results for our customers!
One of the key goals we set for ourselves with Configuration Manager 2012 (ConfigMgr) was to really allow an administrator to “think user first” in everything he or she does. In Part 1 of this blog, I’m going to discuss the challenges of thinking user first. In Part 2, I’ll identify how ConfigMgr solves those challenges.
Thinking user first – this means far more than just replacing “machine targeting” with “user targeting.” It means how do I measure compliance on resource delivery to a user across multiple devices? (NOTE: I use “resource” generically here, but in ConfigMgr 2012, the resources we focused on are applications). It also means making sure that all the controls I have honor certain user desires in how resources are delivered to them (yes - those pesky notifications and reboots!).
Why is think user first such a challenge? In working in our more than 100 customer-focused design visits, almost EVERY application request came in as "user X needs app Y", but rarely do the tools allow them to easily deliver on that goal. Why not?
With this in mind, we set off to create a way in ConfigMgr 2012 by which we could leverage the user’s relationship to the device to either automate or restrict the delivery of user-targeted resources. We call this feature User/Device Affinity (yeah - kind of jargony - sorry!). To read more about User/Device Affinity, see my next article: User Centric App Deployment Part 2: User/Device Affinity.
Bill AndersonPrincipal Program Manager LeadSystem Center Configuration Manager