Microsoft Intune Review

Works great with Windows but could be improved from a mobile infrastructure point of view

How has it helped my organization?

This solution is on the cloud. What is required currently by our organization is an internet-facing device. The challenges with on-premise have a lot to do with this pandemic. This is why we've seen Intune with the MDM background grow so fast — because we don't have any on-prem limitations. On the cloud, you can manage everything. You can push policies, maintain patches, and maintain security because everything interacts on the cloud. A VPN is not required. In the legacy method, you need to use a VPN for anything and everything. This increases costs.

What is most valuable?

For Windows services, there are multiple options within Intune to modernize it to be more internet-facing and dynamic. Intune also provides us with a lot of flexibility to manage Windows-specific devices. 

Mobile-wise, I like the MAM feature. It provides us with more control over the application identity levels. When combined with Azure, it provides us with multiple opportunities to design and construct a solution that meets a BYOD or CYOD model.

What needs improvement?

Regarding mobile devices, Intune is good, but there are other services that I would say are ahead of Intune from an administration and reporting point of view. These are a few things that could be improved from a mobile infrastructure point of view.

From a reporting point of view, it could use some work. If I need to push a profile, it's a challenge with Intune because first I have to go ahead, remove a user, then add him back; only then does it allow me to push or sync. If it synchronizes, it exits on a cloud-based synchronization time. With AirWatch, there is a function where you can push a profile directly on a device. 

Overall, Intune has improved from MDM. They have become EMM and now they're moving towards Unified Endpoint Manager. They're just beginning to compete in the market from a mobile point of view, but regarding Windows, they're great. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Intune for more than five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I'd say it's 99% stable. Azure being in the background has impacted it a bit, but overall, it's stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Currently, Intune is on track to exceed SCCM. In the near future, most companies will be using Intune. Currently, roughly 25% to 30% of companies use Intune. The rest of them, 40% to 50%, are still using SCCM and trying to evolve old solutions — this will change. This whole management model will completely change into a hybrid Intune model or a complete Intune model.

How was the initial setup?

The vendor ships the machine directly to you. All you need to do is connect it to the internet. It takes around 30 minutes or 40 minutes depending on the configuration. After that, you're ready to go. Post setup, if you need anything, you can simply go to the built-in Intune company portal and shop from there. This saved us a lot of time.

Still, the initial setup was not straightforward. When we initially started with Windows, there were a lot of open items. There were a lot of things which were not there. Obviously, we couldn't just move a company directly from on-prem to cloud. There is complexity, there are some legacy procedures that we had to follow. At that point in time, Intune was not ready, but currently, there are a lot of options that can fulfill your security requirements, your network requirements, your application requirements, user accessibility requirements, and the user experience. All of these things are pretty much in the place now. To start with, it was not this way. 

When I started using this solution, it took me roughly one year and three months to understand how to build it, to do due diligence, etc. Now, I can migrate an organization within 13 days.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation is a complete team effort. You have to understand a company from a network point of view, a security point of view, a compliance point of view, and a GDPR and HR point of view. These things take time to analyze; it's still maturing but it's a little bit better than what we had before. Now, after I have interacted with an organization, I can get it up and running within 15 or 16 days.

What was our ROI?

I never got a complete picture regarding how much we've saved thanks to this solution. Still, I think it's very significant. We stopped using a lot of services because we didn't need them anymore. We don't need a lot of resources — we don't need to procure them. We don't need a VPN solution, plus, shipping is all taken care of. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I started my journey with AirWatch. It was primarily an MDM solution. According to Gartner, AirWatch and Microsoft are currently neck-and-neck. From an organization requirement point of view, regarding MDM, I'd say AirWatch is a step ahead of Intune.

For the last four years, I've only used Intune. I don't know how AirWatch has improved over the last four years. Still, simple things, like pushing a profile are much easier with AirWatch compared to Intune. From a UI point of view, it's really easy for an admin to go ahead and work using AirWatch. From a deployment point of view, there are multiple options for retaining user data. 

What other advice do I have?

As long as it will not primarily be used for banking or security purposes, I would recommend Intune. If you work in a banking environment and are looking for a high-security solution, then I would recommend VMware, AirWatch, or Jamf. As I said, Intune is still developing. Maybe this will change after another year, but currently, regarding banking and security, AirWatch is a step ahead when it comes to mobile infrastructure policy. 

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give Intune a rating of seven.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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