Bulk device deployment: How UEM can help
Turn the pages to check out how Unified Endpoint Management solutions can help with bulk device deployment.
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Apr 27, 2023
9 min read
“Sophia! How much longer are you gonna take? It’s almost 3. I’m hungry!” Grace from HR could feel the hunger pangs shifting her mood from mildly irritated to downright frustrated by the minute. Sophia, the newest addition to the IT team at Stark Industries and Grace’s older-by-13-minutes twin, grinned as she replied without looking up from the Mac she was working on, “Just a sec Gracey, I’m almost done deploying the devices assigned to me.” Grace pulled a face at the nickname Sophia used for her and mumbled, “Deploying? Haven’t you been at it for the last three days? How slow!” Sophia smirked as she said, “I heard that. And nope, I was provisioning the devices the last two days. Now, I am deploying the apps and stuff. This way, the other Starkies can easily start using their devices as soon as they get them.”
Grace couldn’t help the confusion that slipped into her voice as she asked, “Deploying and provisioning, aren’t they the same thing?” Sophia tapped the ‘enter’ key one last time before shutting down her Mac and then walked towards her sister. Steering her sister towards the cafeteria, Sophia said, ” Deploying and provisioning are two very different things, although many use the terms interchangeably. That, however, is a discussion for some other day.”
Whoa! I know what y’all are thinking. Deploying and provisioning are different? Yup, they are two very different concepts. And although Sophia stepped out to grab her lunch before explaining the difference, we’ll get our answers! So, let’s get down to business, shall we?
Oookay, directly jumping into the difference between deploying and provisioning might be confusing. So, let’s go back two steps and start from the beginning. For starters, deploying and provisioning are two processes that are part of getting devices ready for the nine-to-fivers or the people employed in any organization (corporate or otherwise). So essentially, provisioning and deploying are the groundwork for managing and securing the devices inducted into an organizational setting.
Now, we know how particular corporate organizations and offices are about keeping their data safe and secure. Managing and securing the endpoints that access this sensitive data is one way of protecting corporate data. Well, we’ve all been reading about and witnessing the growing importance of endpoint security in the business world. And this rise in popularity gave birth to the concept of Unified Endpoint Management. Technically, it wasn’t as straightforward as that. The UEM solutions today are the result of multiple iterations and rebuilding over the years. But the point remains that UEM is a comprehensive approach to managing all endpoints in an enterprise environment, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. And deployment and provisioning are two facets of this multi-faceted UEM.
Now that we have a background on the two processes, let’s move on!
So, let us start by using the definitions as a point of difference. Software deployment refers to the process of installing and configuring software or applications on an endpoint device. It involves creating packages of software that the IT guys can then distribute to multiple devices at once and then using automation tools to install and configure those packages on each device. Device deployment, on the other hand, refers to software deployment followed by distributing these endpoints to the users. Fundamentally, the goal of deployment is to ensure that all devices have the same software and configurations, which is essential for security, compliance, and productivity.
Provisioning, on the other hand, refers to the process of setting up an endpoint device for use on a network. It involves configuring settings such as network access, security policies, user profiles, and device restrictions. Provisioning also involves installing and configuring software applications, but its primary focus is on preparing the device for use in the enterprise environment.
In the context of UEM, deployment and provisioning are closely related but serve different purposes. Deployment ensures that software and configurations are consistent across all devices, while provisioning ensures that the admin configures each device properly for use in the enterprise setting.
Moving on, let’s understand the importance of both deployment and provisioning to paint a clearer picture of differentiating the two cornerstones of UEM.
Deployment is crucial to ensure all devices have the same software and configurations. Consistent software and configurations are critical for security, compliance, and productivity. If all the devices have different software or configurations, it can create security vulnerabilities. This, in turn, makes it difficult to manage devices and reduces productivity. With deployment, IT administrators can create software packages that they can distribute to multiple devices at once and then use automation tools to install and configure those packages on each device. This saves time and reduces the risk of errors, which is critical in today’s continuously spinning and complex enterprise environments.
Provisioning is crucial to ensure that the IT guys properly configure each device in the enterprise environment. Provisioning prepares the device for use in the enterprise environment and ensures that it is secure and compliant. Without proper provisioning, devices can create security vulnerabilities and make it difficult to manage the device. With provisioning, IT administrators can ensure that each device is properly configured and secure. And this aids in combatting today’s threat landscape.
That is a great question! Let’s see, shall we? In endpoint security and management using Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solutions, deployment usually follows provisioning. Provisioning involves configuring endpoint devices for use on the organization’s network, setting up network access, security policies, user profiles, and device restrictions.
Once the admin provisions and configures the endpoint, they can then move on to deploying the devices. Deployment involves installing and configuring software or applications on endpoint devices. This ensures that all devices have the same software and configurations, which is critical for security, compliance, and productivity. Once the admin properly provisions the device, deployment can be carried out with confidence that the device is secure and configured correctly. Furthermore, deployment usually ends with the user finally getting their devices in their hands.
Now we are getting somewhere. For a better understanding of deployment and provisioning, let’s spin…
Okay, it’s physically impossible for me to skip out Hexnode when talking about the difference between deployment and provisioning. So, here goes!
Hexnode is a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution that offers a wide range of features for endpoint deployment and provisioning. Chance a glance at ’em…
Well, Hexnode does have an impressive array of feature sets for endpoint deployment and provisioning. No wonder Hexnode helps organizations in equipping their IT teams with the ability to configure, secure and maintain their devices in an air-tight manner, all the while lifting the yoke off of the admins.
So then, what do you think? Are the basics of deployment and provisioning clear? I sure hope so! Whatever the differences, the bottom line is that the two processes work together to ensure that the admins can properly configure, secure, and maintain endpoint devices. With that as a parting thought, I take your leave, bye-bye!
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