In Active Directory, Blog

For many IT organizations and managed service providers (MSPs), the Microsoft® naming scheme and overall strategy for combining their on-prem and cloud-oriented solutions is, undoubtedly, confusing. With about a dozen different Active Directory® solutions both on-prem and in the cloud, and now multiple system management solutions, some clarity and understanding is needed. With this post, we’ll take a look at Microsoft’s intentions, and analyze Intune vs SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager, or ConfigMgr for short) to get some answers.

Untangling Microsoft Solutions from Add-Ons

After generating tens of billions in revenue from their OS software business alone, you’re probably well aware that Microsoft’s legacy business has been strong. Microsoft was able to become the most dominant software company in history and arguably one of the most important companies ever in the IT space. With looming threats of the cloud and web applications overtaking the market, plus the rise of Apple® with macOS®, Google with G Suite, and Amazon with AWS®, Microsoft has been making aggressive moves to shift its business to the cloud.

These moves have often been confusing to IT organizations, and complicated their strategies for managing access to IT resources. Case in point: Azure® Active Directory logically would be the on-prem Active Directory replacement, right? Well, it actually isn’t. Azure AD is a complement to Active Directory and is a user management system for Azure. The same is true with Intune and SCCM or ConfigMgr. The on-prem systems management solution for Windows endpoints and servers has been SCCM, and to some degree, Active Directory GPOs. Microsoft introduced Intune as an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution.

Logically, IT organizations would conclude that Intune was the cloud-based replacement to SCCM. However, in general that has been untrue with Microsoft often recommending IT organizations use both. Stick with me here—Intune has been far more focused on being an access management solution to Azure resources and an MDM/MAM platform. ConfigMgr, on the other hand, has been a traditional systems management solution with some MDM capabilities recently added. So, for many Microsoft-centric organizations, it isn’t Intune vs SCCM, but rather Intune and ConfigMgr.

A More Direct Approach

But, for those organizations that aren’t on Azure or Microsoft-centric solutions, are there Intune or SCCM alternatives? Thankfully, the answer is yes. There is a modern approach to cloud identity management that gives IT organizations control over user accounts and their macOS, Windows, and Linux® systems. This approach is far more than cross-platform, providing comprehensive user management to on-prem and cloud resources regardless of location or protocol.

With over 50k organizations already using JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®, it’s quickly taking the identity management market by storm and challenging Microsoft’s stronghold. Unlike Microsoft’s strategy for combining add-on and third-party solutions with a labyrinth of server roles, Directory-as-a-Service is an all-inclusive platform that aims to simplify and streamline user and system management.

For those who are looking to test the platform for themselves, Directory-as-a-Service is completely free for up to 10 users. That way, you can get started exploring the features and functionality, while seeing how the identity management solution would work with your first 10 users on the house. If you’d like to speak with a product specialist, send us a note and we’ll get back to you during our business hours.

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