The Basic Guide to Microsoft Intune and Autopilot
Microsoft Intune and Autopilot are two services that integrate and work well together. These tools are primarily unknown or not well understood by most people. This article aims to clarify what each of these tools does and how they work together. Read on to find out more about Microsoft Intune and Autopilot.
What is Microsoft Intune?
Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based service that handles mobile application management (MAM) and mobile device management (MDM). Administrators can use Intune to control how devices are used – including phones, tablets, laptops, and other mobile devices. Windows 10, Android, Apple iOS, and macOS all support Microsoft Intune. It also allows the configuration of policies that will help to manage applications. Examples of these policies are restricting emails enforcing a lock screen password policy on phones, or ensuring all computers utilize BitLocker. In addition, when using Intune on a personal device, Intune can help make sure that an organization’s data stays protected and separate from personal data.
Intune is part of a larger package from Microsoft called Enterprise Mobile and Security (EMS) suite. Intune can natively integrate with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), allowing access control (who and what a user can access). It can also natively integrate with Azure Information Protection, providing data protection as well. Of course, Intune can also integrate with the full suite of Microsoft 365 products. This integration enables every employee to be productive on any device while protecting your organization’s data and information with your personalized policies.
Intune also lets you:
- Set and configure rules and settings for both personal and corporate devices.
- Control the way users access and share information.
- Ensure that devices and apps comply with security requirements.
Complete control may not be desired or necessary for personal devices or with a bring-your-own-device policy. However, it is possible to configure these settings within Microsoft Intune to establish a minimum level of control.
What is Microsoft Autopilot?
Microsoft Autopilot, also known as Windows Autopilot, utilizes Intune and other Microsoft policies to set up and pre-configure new devices. Doing so gets the devices ready for productive use without needing an IT professional to sign into it. Autopilot is used for Windows or HoloLens 2 devices.
Windows Autopilot can also be used to reset, repurpose, and recover devices quickly. Autopilot can do this with no physical infrastructure to manage, as it is entirely cloud-hosted, which keeps the process straightforward. As a result, the program simplifies the Windows device lifecycle for both IT professionals and end-users – from start to finish.
When Windows devices are being initially deployed, Windows Autopilot uses an OEM-optimized version of Windows 10. This version of the OS is preinstalled on the device, so there’s no reason to maintain custom images and drivers for every device model. Rather than re-imaging a device, the existing Windows 10 installation can be changed into a business-ready state that can apply settings and policies, install apps, and change the edition of Windows 10 being used. This process completes without requiring any assistance from IT except for adding the device to the Autopilot registration list.
How do they work together?
After Windows Autopilot has deployed a device, it can be managed with Microsoft Intune. These two programs integrate to provide a seamless experience for onboarding new employees. These programs together not only simplify the process but also save on administrative costs arising from complicated deployment.
What will this cost?
Autopilot and Intune are included in Microsoft 365 Premium, one of Microsoft’s best value subscriptions. Intune may also be licensed as an add-on license for $2 a month. However, Autopilot is only offered as a part of the following subscriptions:
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscription
- Microsoft 365 F3 subscription
- Microsoft 365 Academic A1, A3, or A5 subscription
- Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 or E5 subscription, which includes all Windows 10, Microsoft 365, and EM+S features (Azure AD and Intune).
- Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 or E5 subscription, which includes all needed Azure AD and Intune features.
- Intune for Education subscription, which includes all required Azure AD and Intune features.
- Azure Active Directory Premium P1 or P2and Microsoft Intune subscription (or an alternative MDM service).
Intune and Autopilot increase the licensing costs for Microsoft 365 but provide savings in many ways. First, they reduce the time IT spends on deploying, managing, and retiring devices. Next, they reduce the infrastructure required to maintain the devices. Lastly, they maximize ease of use for all end users while providing a highly secure environment. As you can see, when Intune and Autopilot are used together, they are a highly valuable addition to an organization’s toolbox.