If you’re looking to understand more about mobile device management for Office 365, then read on. You may be looking for a MDM solution and trying to decide between Microsoft Intune and the built-in mobile device management for Office 365, and yes there’s a difference. Microsoft Intune is more of a stand-alone or bolt on mobile device management system, versus the built-in mobile device management for Office 365 which is a simplified MDM feature that comes included with your Office 365 subscription.

The mobile device management for Office 365 has several capabilities that may serve your needs as a modern business, allowing you to secure and manage mobile devices within your organisation. Microsoft Intune is a dedicated mobile device management system, however, so you’ll need to evaluate what your needs are in terms of mobile device management and what features you require for your business.

Capabilities of Mobile Device Management for Office 365:

  • Can support many devices including iPhone, iPads (iOS 7.1 or later), Android phones or tablets (Android 4 or later), laptops and PCs (Windows 8.1, and Windows 10), and Windows mobile.
  • Apply settings and restrictions on users’ mobile devices using security policies.
  • Control mobile access to your organisation’s information based on a device’s status.
  • Remotely wipe corporate data from mobile devices.
  • Block/unblock unsupported devices from accessing Exchange email.
  • Set up device policies like password requirements and security settings.
  • Review list of enrolled devices, to see which devices are enrolled, blocked or compliant with security policies.
  • Remove devices so they are no longer managed by mobile device management for Office 365.

Mobile Device Management for Office 365 vs Microsoft Intune

  • MDM for Office 365 comes included in most Office 365 subscriptions whereas Microsoft Intune requires a separate paid subscription or can be purchased with the Enterprise Mobility Suite.
  • Microsoft Intune has a dedicated admin console for managing devices whereas mobile device management for Office 365 is managed through the Security and Compliance Centre for Office 365.
  • MDM for Office 365 allows you to manage iOS, Android and Windows devices whereas Intune can also manage Mac OS X in addition to these.
  • MDM for Office 365 has the primary function of managing access to corporate email and documents on phones or tablets, including setting and managing security policies for mobile devices. Microsoft Intune can do all this, but performs several additional functions as well, such as deploying business apps to all enrolled users or enable secure web browsing. Check here

Why Choose Mobile Device Management for Office 365?

Trying to determine if the mobile device management for Office 365 addresses the needs within your business, or if you need the greater capacity of Microsoft Intune can be tricky. If you’re already using Office 365, of course the former option is infinitely more convenient, as it’s already built in to the system.

You will need to evaluate your needs as a business in terms of mobile device management by considering the following:

How much are you looking to spend?

  • If you’re already subscribed to Office 365, are you willing to pay for an additional subscription to Intune?
  • How much control do you need across all devices?
  • Do users just need to access work documents and email, or will they be performing a greater percentage of work via the mobile device?
  • Will users need access to web browsing?
  • Will you require users to utilise any internal business apps?
  • Do you need to set up mobile app management policies that will be enforced even if devices aren’t enrolled?
  • What devices will you need to manage? iPhones, Android phones, tablets, Mac or PCs?

These questions will help you to narrow down where your needs lie in terms of mobile device management and determine if you’ll want to take the next step towards Microsoft Intune, or stick with the built-in mobile device management for Office 365.

Considering which mobile device management solution should be part of your overall cyber security strategy. If are unsure where to start, take a look at our Cyber Security Guide for Small to Medium Business.