As mentioned in an earlier post, Windows Phone 8 is a great offering for enterprise as it provides end users the familiarity of the Windows 8 desktop, a repository or hub specifically for business applications and adheres to encryption standards required to appease IT departments. Previously, to manage a Windows Phone deployment, IT administrators only had 40 policies provided by Exchange ActiveSync by which to secure and manage devices. That meant administrators would have to access a separate console to manage Microsoft’s mobile offering and thus provided an extra step to be completed to properly onboard a new employee’s hardware or to make changes to existing hardware policies.
With the launch of Windows Intune, a cloud-based management solution, Microsoft developed an offering allowing organizations to manage connected PCs, smartphones and tablets from one centralized console. Policies provided in Windows Intune help organizations secure corporate data, perform hardware inventory, distribute and provide links to approved applications allowing users to install said apps on their phone, retire old hardware and wipe lost or stolen phones.
In application deployment, having the ability to provide users an external link or direct access to the application itself empowers users with the ability to maintain control of their own device without stepping outside the guidelines provisioned by IT. An added benefit, provide in the recent update of Windows Intune, of providing direct access to the application itself mean that the organization can allow its users to side load approved applications without the involvement of certification required by the Windows Phone Store.
Microsoft has provided a detailed whitepaper in terms of setup and deployment of Windows Intune and can be downloaded here.