Microsoft: Managed Desktop ‘Increases Profit,’ Customers for MSPs
Microsoft says its cloud-hosted Intune endpoint configuration and administration offering now manages 175 million computing devices. Developed originally to manage only Windows devices, the company decided to extend Intune – now a core component of Microsoft 365, to manage Macs, iOS and Android devices – several years ago.
Intune also includes Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager, known by administrators as ConfigMgr for provisioning, securing and management of Windows PCs. Intune’s hockey-stick growth has occurred primarily over the past three-plus years since Microsoft extended it beyond Windows. Brad Anderson, corporate VP overseeing Microsoft 365, launched Intune five years ago, and noted the threshold in a blog.
Anderson has also played a central role in extending the Intune APIs with ecosystem partners such as Citrix, VMware and others. At last month’s Citrix Synergy conference in Atlanta, Anderson revealed the latest plan to broaden the Intune APIs. After joining Citrix CEO David Henshall during the keynote session at the Synergy conference, Anderson sat down with Channel Futures to discuss that relationship, Microsoft’s effort to advance Intune, the forthcoming Windows Virtual Desktop and the Microsoft Managed Desktop service.
Channel Futures: What’s your take on the on where Citrix is taking its Cloud Workspace?
Brad Anderson: Organizations are beginning to understand that the experience they give their users is meaningful. And it’s meaningful in terms of not just productivity, but also in terms of the war on costs. It’s not that they didn’t care about the experience, but security always took precedence over what the experience was for the user. It’s still pretty common for a commercial PC to have a 5-minute boot time because of all the things that IT puts on the device in the name of management and of security. Business leaders are now recognizing the experience that they give their users is one of the biggest things that drives and impacts culture. What I love about the Citrix Workspace is it provides one place, where everything is just right there so users can just get their job done. It’s a simple, elegant, rich workspace that is also secure and it’s what every organization is looking for.
CF: What are the implications of the agreement you announced with Citrix to publish more Intune APIs. What will this enable?
BA: The world of mobile devices and cloud services is fundamentally changing the way that organizations secure data. Organizations have got to move from a perimeter-based security model to what we call an identity-based security model. It’s based on a zero-trust model where the user verifies and you validate that the user is trusted, and that the device is trusted. And then you allow access.
CF: How will these APIs address that?
BA: We really pioneered conditional access in a world of mobile devices and cloud services. Within Microsoft 365, there are different data feeds that we collect, and then we analyze; it gives us a view of trust of the device. One of those data feeds is the configuration and the settings on the device. The new APIs that we are developing will allow other mobile device management (MDM) solutions to be able to give us information around configuration and device compliance and health data that will come into the Intune cloud service. And that will then be used as …