By Ryan Squires Posted March 26, 2019
With a great deal of fanfare from Microsoft® around Azure®, there is no doubt that many IT admins are considering every service that Azure offers. Among those services, one that is drawing a good deal of attention is Intune®. In this blog post, we will discuss what Intune is, its target market, and Intune alternatives.
Intune and Mobile
Intune is Microsoft’s answer to the both the MDM (mobile device management) and MAM (mobile application management) markets. With increasing mobile device usage in IT environments, IT organizations are working hard to find ways to corral them. Intune is one such solution with its intent to provide IT organizations a way to manage mobile devices and mobile applications. Along with it, of course, Microsoft also added in support for Windows® systems. Perhaps surprisingly, Microsoft threw in some basic macOS® management capabilities as well.
Intune and SCCM / ConfigMgr
These abilities have propelled many to perceive Intune as the next generation System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM or ConfigMgr), but perception is not always reality. Historically, SCCM, along with Active Directory®, was aimed at on-prem Windows systems and server implementations. Intune’s target market, on the other hand, is really those that are leveraging Azure® and Office 365® and would like to manage access to these solutions while containing it to compliant devices only. Ultimately, Intune works well for Microsoft-centric organizations and those focused on MDM-related activities. So, while there is some overlap in the ability to manage systems via ConfigMgr, the use cases are much different.
Potential Intune Alternatives
In light of this, it becomes easier to think of Intune alternatives. One set of alternatives is solutions that directly compete with Intune; specifically, the tools that comprise the MDM market, of which there are many competing players. The other way that some are thinking of this problem has to do with concepts that surround Intune like cloud-based device management. Now that we’ve defined the category, what should it do? Well, it should work in cross-platform environments filled with macOS®, Linux®, and Windows® systems. In addition to cross-platform environments, this alternative solution must be able to handle cross-provider environments that utilize AWS®, Digital Ocean, GCE, and others.
Cloud-Based Directory Services
In the latter category lies such a solution. This next-generation cloud identity management platform is reinventing the concept of Active Directory with cross-platform system and user management. It’s replacement for SCCM and potentially Intune. Called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® and it’s providing secure cross-platform system management tools in the form of GPO-like policies. From the centralized directory, IT admins can deploy system policies like automatic OS updates, screen lock timers, and full disk encryption (FDE). Plus, they can do it all remotely. But, system management is not the only focus for JumpCloud. Directory-as-a-Service also has the ability to manage user access to virtually any tool that users may need including web and on-prem applications, file servers in the cloud and on-prem, and networks via RADIUS—all with one set of credentials by way of True Single Sign-On™.
Ready to Learn More?
JumpCloud is an Intune alternative for heterogeneous organizations looking to leverage cross-platform and cross-provider tools. If that sounds like you, sign up for a JumpCloud account today. Our free account enables you to manage up to 10 users free, forever, with the full-featured version of our product. Once you’ve signed up, visit our Knowledge Base to help you get the most of your JumpCloud account. Additionally, if you have questions about the product itself, contact one of our product experts and they will be happy to walk you through your options. Additionally, our YouTube channel does and excellent job of showing how JumpCloud works via whiteboard videos, tutorials, and best practices.