There has never been a better time to invest in mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM). Organizations of all sizes can benefit from MDM policies and protections from the growing prevalence of remote work-related security vulnerabilities.
Unfortunately, choosing the right MDM software can feel like a real crapshoot. With dozens of vendors providing varying levels of functionality, it’s smart to proceed with caution before forking over the company credit card.
Are you considering Microsoft Intune for your mobile device management needs? This article will provide a quick overview of the provider’s pricing options and value promises. It will also share a more versatile alternative to Intune for admins wishing to consolidate their IT stacks. For more comparisons, check out Intune vs. MobileIron, Intune vs. AirWatch, Intune vs. SCCM, and Intune vs. Jamf.
Summary of Microsoft Intune
Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based platform that allows IT managers to control how their end users interact with work-related devices.
As with most MDMs, Intune covers laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The software also allows employees to use their personal devices for work without compromising network and data security. Intune is part of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite, created to help manage the modern workplace where data is kept secure whether on-premise or in the cloud.
You can use Microsoft Intune to:
- Manage devices used to access company network and resources
- Isolate organization data from personal data on devices
- Enforce security and compliance standards
- Control access to on-premises servers
- Track and manage remote devices
Admins typically use Intune in coordination with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to control access to corporate online resources. As expected, it pairs well with the Microsoft 365 suite of products. Intune works on Windows, Android, and macOS devices.
Intune Pricing Options
Pricing for Microsoft Intune starts at $10.60 per user per month. Microsoft Intune has two different packages: Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 and Enterprise Mobility + Security E5. Let’s take a closer look at what each option includes below.
Enterprise Mobility + Security E3
Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 starts at $10.60 per month for every user (billed yearly). Features available include:
- Simplified access management and security
- Conditional access
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Windows Server Client Access License (CAL)
- Integrated on-premises management
- Integrated PC management
If your needs are a little more complex, you may want to consider Microsoft’s E5 package.
Enterprise Mobility + Security E5
Enterprise Mobility + Security E5 starts at $16.40 per month for every user (billed yearly). In addition to the features available in the entry-level package, E5 also offers:
- Risk-based conditional access
- Privileged identity management
- Intelligent data classification and labeling
- Microsoft Cloud App Security
- Microsoft Defender for Identity
It’s worth mentioning Microsoft also offers Intune for Education, targeting learning institutions.
Of course, we encourage admins to take advantage of Microsoft’s generous 90-day free trial period before making a purchase decision. Pro tip: Think about what sort of capabilities you may need across departmental lines 12 to 24 months down the line — not just what you need right now.
Despite being a solid endpoint management solution, Microsoft Intune does have some obvious drawbacks. Below are the most obvious ones we see at the time of writing:
- Intune support doesn’t offer troubleshooting for issues with any email app besides Outlook. Translation: they are old-school, but you already knew that.
- The software solely focuses on securing Microsoft apps, thus locking its users into the Microsoft stack, including Azure AD. Translation: the more Microsoft tools one invests in the less agile they become when new innovations enter the marketplace.
- Intune is specifically designed to work with cloud deployment. That means it isn’t viable for organizations looking for on-prem security solutions.
- Intune also offers content management functionalities within Office 365 apps or SharePoint Online/OneDrive Cloud
What People Are Saying About Intune
Here are what consumers feel about Intune, according to reviews on G2:
Extremely powerful, sometimes hard to get your head around.
“There’s a vast amount of power here to configure your devices, apply conditional access, look after security basics, roll out apps, and generally manage all your devices. We use it for most of its capabilities in some way and it lets you do an awful lot considering it’s built into M365 Business Premium which we have anyway.”
Dev L, Systems Administrator/IT Manager, Mid-Market
Good product, a lot of customization, some weird stuff
“The product is on the market for a long time. In the last three years, it has improved more and more. Now you have the same configuration possibilities as on-premises with AD and SCCM. Some configurations (bitlocker, defender) better.
The OS compatibility is good but could be better. Specifically, the Linux world is a problem. Some configurations have unpredictable behavior. The enrollment process is a nightmare.”
Sandro A, System Administrator, Enterprise
JumpCloud MDM and Endpoint Management Options
While Intune is making steady inroads in the identity and mobile device management market, another endpoint management option disrupting the market is the JumpCloud Directory Platform.
JumpCloud is a cross-platform, cloud-based MDM solution that empowers IT admins to manage work devices, users, and access permissions. But unlike Intune, JumpCloud offers protection across all the three major platforms: Windows, macOS, and Linux.
With JumpCloud, admins can remotely enforce full disk encryption (FDE), disable virtual assistants, and configure system updates all with a few clicks. When a prescribed policy isn’t going to get the job done, JumpCloud also enables IT admins to create and execute their own commands and scripts on all three platforms.
Intune is ideal for devices and environments aligned to Azure and the Microsoft ecosystem. But if you’re looking for a solution that’s next-gen and future-proof, JumpCloud is the optimal choice. JumpCloud offers a freemium version of the software.
The paid version starts at $2 per user per month. There are different pricing options depending on the features you need. Learn more about JumpCloud pricing.
Read an in-depth comparison on JumpCloud vs. Intune.
What People Are Saying About JumpCloud
Here’s what consumers have to say about JumpCloud:
One of the Best Products Out for Easily Integrating LDAP and RADIUS Authentication
“I’m a Huge Fan of the Microsoft 365 Integration for RADIUS. This has been a huge help for meeting compliance requirements without having to deploy on-premise servers. I’m also really impressed with the Two-Factor Authentication capabilities, which enable us to have 2FA for both Users and Administrators when authenticating via RADIUS to our Wireless Networks or when Admins need to administer a Switch, Firewall, etc.”
Andrew M, Trust Solutions Group (TSG) Sales Engineer, Small-Business
Great Solution for Mac Heavy Businesses
“This solution is fantastic for the Mac heavy businesses. There are plenty of policies to be able to secure devices, push out updates, and remotely manage the machines. The touchless deployment for the Mac OS works perfectly for our business needs to let a new hire employee auto-enroll a Mac machine before even accessing any company resource. Payloads are easy to configure and very easy to assign to device groups. Also very glad this supports Linux as well with more configuration policies than other UEM solutions.”
Daniel L., IT Support Engineer, Mid-Market
Try JumpCloud for Free (No Credit Card Required)
Both Intune and JumpCloud offer immense benefits to IT departments. However, as we’ve demonstrated in this comparison, JumpCloud is less expensive and more versatile for those managing heterogeneous environments.
Rather than purchase multiple solutions with Azure AD (e.g., Intune, AD, Azure AD DS, Azure AD Connect, Azure MFA, Azure VPN, and more), why not leverage one cloud-based platform to cover identity and access management and control your systems? As always, signing up for the JumpCloud platform is completely free, and includes 10 users and devices free to get you started. If you have any questions when using our platform, you will also enjoy 10 days of premium, 24×7, in-app chat support.