Microsoft Jumps Into The Mobile Device Management Fray

30 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft Jumps Into The Mobile Device Management Fray.

Microsoft made good on its promise to add mobile device management (MDM) to its Office 365 productivity service, making the feature generally available today to commercial customers. Microsoft offers a wide range of Office 365 subscription plans that target individuals, households, and businesses (and business-like entities) of all sizes.Samsung is planning to pre-install Microsoft services and apps on its portfolio of Android devices and will deliver secured mobile productivity for businesses through a new Microsoft Office 365 and Samsung Knox Business Pack. * In the first half of 2015, Samsung is planning to pre-install Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on select Samsung Android tablets.

Microsoft has added, in English, the ability for large companies to manage Office on the phones of their employees, regardless of whether the handset in use is a personal or corporate device. Customers of all Office 365 commercial plans, including Enterprise, Business, Education, and Government, can receive the built-in MDM features at no additional cost. Organizations with an Office 365 Business, Enterprise, EDU or Government plan will get access to the capabilities, which make it possible for system administrators to control devices that connect to an organization’s sensitive data.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge will also come with 100Gb of additional free cloud storage for two years through Microsoft OneDrive, allowing extra storage space. The first key capability enabled today is conditional access, which can prevent people from accessing sensitive data except on company controlled hardware. Administrators also get the ability to manage security policies like mandating users secure their devices with a PIN and preventing jailbroken devices from accessing company data. Microsoft points out that this is superior to third-party MDM solutions that replace productivity apps with restrictive all-in-one apps for corporate email, calendars, and documents.

These include: Device management: Management of multiple security policies, such as PIN lock and jailbreak detection, to protect corporate email and data from unauthorized users in the event a device is lost or stolen. Samsung KNOX provides a way for customers to easily switch between personal and business profiles on their devices, while helping keep them secure. “Great things happen when you converge services and devices,” says Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development, Microsoft. “Our partnership with Samsung is emblematic of our efforts to bring the best of Microsoft’s productivity services to everyone, on every device, so people can be productive wherever, however and whenever they want.” “Our goal is to meet the ever-evolving needs of both consumers and business customers and give them more power to discover new mobile experiences,” says SangChul Lee, executive vice-president of the Strategic Marketing Office, IT & Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics. “We believe our suite of premium mobile products coupled with Microsoft’s productivity services will offer users the mobility they need in both their personal and business life.” That is sensible, as the software company is, I presume, more focused at the moment on growing its seat-base rather than wringing positive dollar churn from fresh accounts. Why one might choose Office 365 over the competition, or even over Microsoft’s free Office solutions, is a good question, and something I’ll be addressing in the near future. Here’s a video that shows an overview of all the features: It’s all based on Microsoft’s existing Intune and Azure Active Directory products for businesses.

Office 365 is a key product for Microsoft, which is working to convert its single-sale software model into a recurring stream of subscription revenue. If MDM can help Microsoft sell more quickly into the enterprise market, the company could make progress toward beating its currently tepid, expected growth tally for its current fiscal year. Windows Phone, or in this case the OneDrive for Business and the Office Mobile apps for Windows Phone, are not yet supported, while they are on both iOS and Android (for phones).

Connecting those devices to a company network can be a security risk, so offering device management capabilities makes Office 365 even more valuable at a time when Microsoft is facing even greater competition from other productivity suites. Intune, which is part of the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite, offers more device and application management capabilities for PCs, tablets, and phones. We will extend these capabilities to Windows Phone Office apps in the future.” Because Microsoft is a massive corporation it is somewhat understandable to not have every single service perfectly locked in step with each other but for something like this it seems unreasonable. Office 365 for business versions utilize a work account that is akin—and often identical—to an Active Directory domain account as found in corporations with managed computing infrastructures. But there is another distinction: whereas you can (and should) add a custom domain to your business Office 365 account, you cannot do so with consumer Office 365 accounts. (At least not within the Microsoft ecosystem.) OneDrive vs.

Capabilities include the option to restrict actions, such as copy and paste, to applications solely managed by Intune to enhance security of business data. “The pivot of managing Office via Intune is a big (and really proactive) step for the industry,” wrote Microsoft corporate VP Brad Anderson in a blog post. “This enables the workforce to utilize the apps they love, while preventing data leakage — and it empowers IT teams to constantly improve and streamline the services they deliver while maintaining strict security.” Attend Interop Las Vegas, the leading independent technology conference and expo series designed to inspire, inform, and connect the world’s IT community. She most recently reported on financial tech for Insurance & Technology, before which she was a staff writer for InformationWeek and InformationWeek Education. Lync isn’t just a client-side app, however, it’s a cloud-based communications infrastructure with online meetings, IM, audio calls, and video conferencing functionality.

But that standalone software can only be installed on a single PC, and once you’ve used the product key it’s tied to that PC.) Some Office 365 subscriptions let you install Office on up to five PCs and/or Macs, and you can arbitrarily uninstall and reinstall as often as you want. That is, when a new Office version is released for PC or Mac—and both are getting updated this year—you get them automatically, unlike with packaged software where you’d have to pay for the upgrade. Every Office 365 Personal and Home subscriber gets 60 minutes of Skype calling to mobile phones (in 8 countries) and land lines (in over 60 countries). On the business side—in particular those offerings that are aimed at small businesses—Microsoft offers three basic subscription plans and they do a nice job of building on each other, so they’re a bit easier to describe. But because the Office 365 Home account is associated with my personal Microsoft Account, also use the unlimited OneDrive storage that goes along with that.

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