March 8, 2012
WindowsIntuneLogoB2B Technologies, an IT service provider and Microsoft Gold Partner, has embraced Windows Intune to remotely manage and secure customer PCs via the cloud. The move reinforces B2B Technologies’ strategic bet on Microsoft’s cloud computing strategy. But does it signal growing channel momentum for the Windows Intune cloud service?
Earlier this year, B2B Technologies said it was basically betting its business on Microsoft Office 365, which includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and other hosted applications. Microsoft Channel Chief Jon Roskill says those cloud applications are gaining momentum, claiming Microsoft is set to be the world’s largest cloud software company.
What Is Windows Intune?
Microsoft claims Windows Intune, which is hosted in the cloud, can save customers $702 per PC per year by driving down support costs and lifting end-user productivity. The Windows Intune platform, launched in 2011, allows IT administrators and channel partners to remotely manage PCs from a web-based console. It also manages software licensing while layering in PC security services.
In recent weeks, Microsoft has announced several key Windows Intune adopters. Still, Talkin’ Cloud believes Windows Intune has gotten off to a relatively slow start in the IT channel, particularly among managed services providers (MSPs) that prefer cross-platform management tools for Windows, Mac OS X, Apple iOS, Google Android and Linux. (Windows Intune only supports Windows-based PCs.)
So far, only about 2 percent of top MSPs use Windows Intune, according to the fifth-annual MSPmentor 100 survey results, which debuted in February 2012.
Getting the Word Out
Windows Intune is still relatively new, which could explain the low penetration among MSPs. To help increase Windows Intune partner awareness, Microsoft is working closely with TruMethods, a coaching organization within the MSP market.
Meanwhile, B2B Technologies is raising its hand in support of Windows Intune. In a prepared statement, Tonya Smith, director of consulting at B2B Technologies, said:
“B2B is excited about adding Intune as an extension to our Microsoft Cloud Services and our on-premise System Center offerings. As with Office 365 and SCCM (MS System Center Configuration Manager), Intune enables us to assist our clients in choosing, implementing, and utilizing the best solution, cloud or on-premise, for all infrastructure needs.”
For channel partners, keep a particularly close eye on the synergies between Windows Intune and Microsoft System Center. As demand for System Center 2012 potentially grows, it could give Windows Intune a mind share lift as well, Talkin’ Cloud believes.
Additional reporting and insights by Joe Panettieri.
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