Microsoft Endpoint Manager overview

Microsoft Endpoint Manager helps deliver the modern workplace and modern management to keep your data secure, in the cloud and on-premises. Endpoint Manager includes the services and tools you use to manage and monitor mobile devices, desktop computers, virtual machines, embedded devices, and servers.

Endpoint Manager combines services you may know and already be using, including Microsoft Intune, Configuration Manager, Desktop Analytics, co-management, and Windows Autopilot. These services are part of the Microsoft 365 stack to help secure access, protect data, and respond and manage risk.

Start by watching the following two-minute video from Brad Anderson, Microsoft corporate vice president for Microsoft 365:

What you get

Endpoint Manager includes the following services:

  • Microsoft Intune: Intune is a 100% cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) provider for your apps and devices. It lets you control features and settings on Android, Android Enterprise, iOS/iPadOS, macOS, and Windows 10 devices. It integrates with other services, including Azure Active Directory (AD), mobile threat defenders, ADMX templates, Win32 and custom LOB apps, and more.

    If you have on-premises infrastructure, such as Exchange or an Active Directory, the Intune connectors are also available:

    • The Intune Connector for Active Directory adds entries to your on-premises Active Directory domain for computers that enroll using Windows Autopilot. For more information, see Deploy hybrid Azure AD-joined devices.
    • The Intune Exchange connector allows (or blocks) device access to your Exchange servers if devices are enrolled in Intune, and compliant with your policies. For more information, see Set up the on-premises Intune Exchange connector.
    • The Intune certificate connector processes certificate requests from devices that use certificates for authentication and S/MIME email encryption. For more information, see Use certificates for authentication.

    As part of Endpoint Manager, use Intune to create and check for compliance, and deploy apps, features, and settings to your devices using the cloud.

    For more information, see What is Microsoft Intune.

  • Configuration Manager: Configuration Manager is an on-premises management solution to manage desktops, servers, and laptops that are on your network or internet-based. You can cloud-enable it to integrate with Intune, Azure Active Directory (AD), Microsoft Defender ATP, and other cloud services. Use Configuration Manager to deploy apps, software updates, and operating systems. You can also monitor compliance, query and act on clients in real time, and much more.

    As part of Endpoint Manager, continue to use Configuration Manager as you always have. If you're ready to move some tasks to the cloud, consider co-management.

    For more information, see What is Configuration Manager?.

  • Co-management: Co-management combines your existing on-premises Configuration Manager investment with the cloud using Intune and other Microsoft 365 cloud services. You choose whether Configuration Manager or Intune is the management authority for the seven different workload groups.

    As part of Endpoint Manager, co-management uses cloud features, including conditional access. You keep some tasks on-premises, while running other tasks in the cloud with Intune.

    For more information, see What is co-management?.

  • Desktop Analytics: Desktop Analytics is a cloud-based service that integrates with Configuration Manager. It provides insight and intelligence for you to make more informed decisions about the update readiness of your Windows clients. The service combines data from your organization with data aggregated from millions of devices connected to the Microsoft cloud. It provides information on security updates, apps, and devices in your organization, and identifies compatibility issues with apps and drivers. Create a pilot for devices most likely to provide the best insights for assets across your organization.

    As part of Endpoint Manager, use the cloud-powered insights of Desktop Analytics to keep Windows 10 devices current.

    For more information, see What is Desktop Analytics?.

  • Windows Autopilot: Windows Autopilot sets up and pre-configures new devices, getting them ready for use. It's designed to simplify the lifecycle of Windows devices, for both IT and end users, from initial deployment through end of life.

    As part of Endpoint Manager, use Autopilot to preconfigure devices, and automatically enroll devices in Intune. You can also integrate Autopilot with Configuration Manager and co-management for more complex device configurations (in preview).

    For more information, see Windows Autopilot overview and Enroll Windows devices in Intune.

  • Azure Active Directory (AD): Azure AD is used by Endpoint Manager for identity of devices, users, groups, and multi-factor authentication (MFA). Azure AD Premium, which may be an additional cost, has additional features to help protect devices, apps, and data, including dynamic groups, auto-enrollment, and conditional access.

    For more information, see add users, set up auto-enrollment, and about conditional access.

  • Endpoint Manager admin center: The admin center is a one-stop web site to create policies and manage your devices. It plugs-in other key device management services, including groups, security, conditional access, and reporting. This admin center also shows devices managed by Configuration Manager and Intune (in preview).

Choose what's right for you

There are a few ways to determine what's right for your organization. Your next steps depend on what your organization does. Consider what you're trying to achieve.

For example:

  • If you constantly provision new devices, then start with Windows Autopilot.
  • If you add rules and control settings for your users, apps, and devices, then start with Intune.
  • If you currently use Configuration Manager to deploy apps, and want to use conditional access based on security requirements, then start with co-management.
  • If you currently use Configuration Manager and are responsible for keeping Windows 10 devices up-to-date, then start with Desktop Analytics.
  • If you're getting started with MDM and MAM, or use ADMX templates to control Office, Microsoft Edge, and Windows settings, then start with Intune.

You can also think of Endpoint Manager in three parts: cloud, on-premises, and cloud + on-premises:

  • Cloud: All data is stored in Azure. And, no more data centers. This approach gives you the mobility benefits of the cloud, and the security benefits of Azure.

  • On-premises: If you have an on-premises infrastructure that includes Configuration Manager, or aren't ready to use the cloud, then you can keep your existing systems.

  • Cloud + on-premises: Many environments are mixed, and use a cloud-attach approach. Meaning they use a combination of cloud and on-premises. For new devices, use the benefits of Intune to access and protect data. If you use Configuration Manager, connect to the cloud for additional functionality and analytics. If you want to move some workloads to the cloud, then co-management is a good option.

What you need to get started

Microsoft Endpoint Manager is a solution platform that unifies several technologies. It's not a new license. The services are licensed according to their individual licenses terms. For more information, see the product licensing terms.

If you currently use Configuration Manager, you also get Microsoft Intune to co-manage your Windows devices. For other platforms, such as iOS/iPadOS and Android, then you'll need a separate Intune license.

In most scenarios, Microsoft 365 may be the best option, as it gives you Endpoint Manager, and Office 365. For more information, see Microsoft 365.

Next steps

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Microsoft Endpoint Manager

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