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Straddle your mobile workforce with Office 365 and EMS

Microsoft | Posted on June 12, 2015 by Mack Ratcliffe

In a world where more than half of information workers use three or more devices to get work done, creating a mobile workforce sounds almost redundant these days. Mobility isn’t an add on – it’s essential.

But even as the expectations and habits of users have rapidly gone mobile in recent years, IT’s ability to deliver on those experiences, securely, hasn’t always kept pace.

With so many users going around IT to get the services they want, the time is now to re-evaluate your mobile device management paradigms. Not only will users benefit, but it gives technologists an opportunity to show leadership in the boardroom, bringing the entire business into a new era of productivity and stream-lined processes.

Office 365 is your mobility entry point

Which is where Office 365 comes into play. A major initiative actively being implemented across the globe, Microsoft’s cloud productivity suite offers IT leaders a chance to re-think, and re-tool their approach to enabling a truly user-centric [link], and productive mobile workforce.

And while Office 365 comes packed with some impressive mobile management tools, you should consider the complexities that will arise as you chart forward, and whether a more premium approach is needed.

Is MDM alone enough?

When you subscribe to Office 365, you have access to Mobile Device Management (MDM) at no additional charge, a development Microsoft just recently announced.

These robust MDM features are actually just a subset of the advanced MDM features in InTune. Previously, customers only had access to “Exchange active sync,” which was basically “MDM-lite.”

For some businesses, this will take you a long way, depending on your size and how far along you are in your BYOD strategy. Having an MDM solution without tightly integrated Identity Management and Information Protection solutions maybe suitable in the short term, but as your organization continues to adopt Cloud and Mobile technologies the latter components will be become critical.

But for other organizations, especially larger ones, MDM alone will not meet your immediate demands, today. At Softchoice, we think it’s in your interest to consider the entire Enterprise Mobility Suite from Microsoft as a way to round out your capabilities and truly address the needs of users in a secure way.

EMS is designed as a powerful solution that empowers you to give users a best in class mobile experience, without dropping the ball on security. EMS comes with InTune and a suite of premium Active Directory and rights management tools, allowing you to go much further than is possible with MDM alone. But there are some features in EMS, which enterprises and its users will appareciate. Such as:

  • Advanced mobile device management: keep employees productive on their favourite devices, and your company data protected
  • Mobile application management: ensure seamless, no hassle access, while keeping corporate and personal apps separate
  • PC management: manage their mobile devices and their PC’s from a single console

(See a full breakdown comparison of MDM and InTune features)

The way forward

The bottom line is that it’s important you not only addresses your security needs, but also those needs of the end-user. With EMS, you can do exactly that.

Consider for example, all the benefits it gives your end users:

  • Self-service capabilities: No need to involve IT. End-users can enrol their own personal or work devices on their own. The user has the ability to reset their own password, quickly access approved apps without involving IT, access your work data from any place/any device/any time, seamless integration across all Microsoft tools… “it just works”.
  • Office Apps: Mobile Office apps (including Outlook) for WindowsPhone, iOS and Android apps have the same look/feel as desktop-based applications, so users can be productive immediately.
  • Personal Data Kept Safe: When a user brings their pricey new iPhone to work, they can rest assured if they leave the company, IT won’t delete their kid’s soccer pics. This “Selective Wipe” is achieved through the use of application containers.

And while the user is happy, IT can also rest assured with advanced EMS security functions, such as conditional access, app container ecosystem, a managed browser and PDF viewer, and single sign on for custom and commercial apps.

Get started  

Softchoice provides a team of Office 365 & EMS experts who assist with all aspects of workforce transformation, from requirements gathering, solution design and architecture, implementation and data migration services, and post-deployment managed services.

If you want more information, download our guide to building a user-centric Office 365, with sections specific to mobility.

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