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First off, Happy New Year. Each new year brings new goals to evolve our IT Infrastructure. And, let’s face it, 2020 threw a wrench in the mix for traditional management of endpoints. With most of the global workforce going remote due to a pandemic, cloud benefits were nothing short of a shooting star in providing user access to data via OneDrive; moving our email to Exchange Online, and embracing collaboration-rich platforms like Microsoft Teams. Looking back on 2020, this surprised me on two fronts: first, a pandemic, and second, a level of cloud embracement I figured we wouldn’t see until at least 2022.

Given all the progress, many organizations are contemplating their next-steps as we start 2021. The doors are now open on a medium-term, and in some cases, long-term, remote workforce. That means thinking long and hard about Active Directory. Is Active Directory still serving us well, and how will we manage our computers?

Great news, there’s a seamless cloud-based approach for smarter results.

Azure AD, Intune, and Autopilot are here to fill the gap.

Active Directory
One might ask, how does that work?  These three technologies all work together to create a modern solution to achieve zero-touch user-initiated computers—meaning IT is no longer responsible for user setup. A laptop can be shipped directly to a user with no IT involvement. They can be outfitted with policies, configurations, the software they need, and access to all by being members of Azure AD groups.

It’s the New World Order.

IT cloud strategy

Here’s how this looks:

  • Azure AD covers user and group management.
  • Intune takes over device configuration, software deployment, update management, and compliance.
  • Autopilot is a provision mechanism used to preregister assets with Intune for an authentic white-glove experience.

The benefits are overwhelming and much more achievable for organizations of all sizes. There’s no longer the burden of managing a solution like System Center Configuration Manager. No-knock; I happen to love it, but it’s a beast in and of itself.

Organizations that were once either loosely or unmanaged can receive device management benefits more intelligently on the cloud. If you’re at an organization of 300 or fewer users, you can get on board with the M365 Business Premium License. It’s a steal given that you get Intune, Azure AD Premium, and Advanced Threat Protection. Organizations over 300 users need M365 F3, E3, or E5 to play ball.

Kyle YencerKyle Yencer MicroAge is the MicroAge vice president of services and connected workforce. Formerly the founder and president at Semaphore Co, a cloud-services organization acquired by MicroAge, Kyle has two decades of experience in IT services and operations and is dedicated to keeping the focus on advancing edge technologies, user experience, and maximizing agility and value.

Level up your cloud strategy.

Unleash your white-glove user experience.

Free your IT team from the burden of unnecessary updates and learn more about shifting to a cloud-based approach with our experts. Contact your MicroAge Account Executive, or connect with a Services expert.

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