Manage Windows mobile devices and laptops with Hexnode MDM
Have a quick glance at some important Windows management features available with Hexnode.
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Mar 18, 2021
14 min read
Windows OS has come a long way in the last three-plus decades (since its debut) through a different set of iterations to become the world’s most popular desktop operating system with a commanding lead. Over the years, Microsoft has constantly been reinventing itself to figure out ways to move the Windows-powered devices from store shelves to every desk. The tech giant, somehow, managed to retain their B2B following all these years, though the fast dynamic Apple has been creeping in (albeit a way behind) as a major opponent. It may well be argued that the progression and evolution of the services Windows offer for businesses has been a strategic centerpiece in this rivalry. Windows has the best support for most industry-specific applications, business-related software and regulatory requirements.
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Not only had Microsoft made Windows secure by default, but they also co-opted a good deal of management technologies for businesses dedicated to making Windows a complete business solution. SCCM is a top-notch management tool that goes along with Windows-based devices to facilitate businesses to administer and secure their device networks. Despite being designed from the ground up with Windows support in mind, this tool provides support for a bunch of other OSs and handling it is a simple affair. And to add, SCCM has adopted a fast-paced aligned upgrade process to keep step with workplace modernization, but does it cater to the management requirements of the new digital enterprise is a really tough question to answer.
Being a 27-year-old tool, SCCM has its own constraints and is not for everyone who’s looking for painless management across a heterogeneous environment with little oversight. Better yet, you can integrate SCCM with UEM and leverage the combination for a cut above management experience. If you’re an SCCM admin looking for a workaround, look no further than this SCCM integration option which involves less of a time commitment, and this post today is to help you easily go through the process. But, before we dive too deep into the topic, here comes a general overview of SCCM for those looking to start from the very beginning.
SCCM is a legacy on-premises software management suite developed by Microsoft to increase IT productivity and efficiency by reducing manual tasks on Windows. SCCM provides an automated administrative system that empowers end users with the right tools at the right time along with comprehensive compliance and asset management, thereby maximizing hardware and software returns on investment.
This classic solution for on-premises infrastructure was initially launched under the name Systems Management Server (SMS) and later renamed as System Center Configuration Manager) also called simply ConfigMgr. For years, SCCM combined with Active Directory and GPO was the traditional way of deploying Windows devices for work purposes. The tool is now part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager and is popularly known as Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (MECM).
SCCM manages devices and servers, either included within your network or internet-based. To cloud-enable this on-premises management tool, it should relate to cloud-based services from Microsoft like Azure AD, Intune MDM and Microsoft Defender ATP.
SCCM can easily tame even the most chaotic desktop environments featuring a set of services for all aspects of device life cycle management. The feature stack includes:
and so on.
Here are the primary capabilities of SCCM that are key to comprehensive desktop management:
The Endpoint Manager was, in fact, Microsoft’s answer to this common query. By introducing this solution platform which unifies several existing technologies like SCCM, Windows Autopilot, Desktop Analytics, Azure AD and so forth with its own Intune MDM, Microsoft proved that the traditional management tools would continue to play a key role in co-managing devices. So, SCCM itself is not dead, and Microsoft is not planning to reduce investments in SCCM; the only change is that it has been renamed MECM. Though Microsoft is now doubling down its effort to attain feature parity for other management tools, SCCM still remains an integral part of endpoint management technologies across organizations. And there are clear advantages to continuing using SCCM.
In general, most organizations tend to go with the SCCM, Microsoft’s own tool to manage Windows PCs. But as now businesses all over the world are enabling their employees to work mobile, and everything is becoming smart and connected, businesses are more tempted towards one central point that can manage everything from traditional PCs and mobile devices to most modern IoT gadgets. On the flip side, with a variety of technologies available, employees also expect to get immediate access to all essential resources without being encumbered by heavy-handed management. So, what is needed now is a consistent support model for all device form factors and that should be simple and responsive not only for IT but also for end users, which means that SCCM alone is not enough. While most mobile OS platforms provide APIs for management, using a completely different on-premises client management system for PCs and laptops alone is not a viable option as well.
PC administrators have traditionally relied on SCCM for device management and security. SCCM is definitely a good tool to handle Windows PCs but is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are many other drivers that constantly tempt organizations to look for an alternative.
SCCM alone is a great start, but it often falls short quickly. However, before blaming it too much on SCCM, let’s look at an alternate solution.
Gone are the days where you have to use multiple tools to manage your device fleet. For not being an outlier when it comes to modern management abilities, the Windows OS has augmented itself to allow cloud-based delivery of device configurations and applications. As users and devices have become mobile, on-premises management is almost a thing of the past, and businesses are strongly embracing the idea that management didn’t necessarily have to on-premises, but cloud-based approaches can save more.
Being a quick way to bridge the gap between device forms, UEM is a widely accepted approach that is available either as cloud or on-premises to get beyond traditional PC management based on SCCM.
|Doesn’t support OS platforms like iOS and Android.||Supports all popular OS platforms but has no support for Windows servers which is available with SCCM.|
|Doesn’t deploy configuration settings to mobile devices.||Supports mobile device configurations.|
|Can deploy Windows OS||Cannot deploy Windows OS but can manage OS updates.|
|On-premises set up.||Available both as cloud and on-premises.|
|Needs constant maintenance as it is a local infrastructure.||No local infrastructure is needed if deployed as the cloud.|
Organizations sticking with Microsoft tools alone apparently over the years might find the choice too difficult to make. But right now, Hexnode provides an option to integrate with SCCM that will help organizations with their move from SCCM to Hexnode and switch management of already existing devices.
See why Hexnode is the right solution for comprehensive Windows device management.Download
Don’t fall for a solution that doesn’t work spectacularly well for your requirements when you have the option to easily sync existing devices with Hexnode and manage them like any other enrolled device. You can integrate SCCM with Hexnode, enroll Windows 10 devices directly into the Hexnode portal using the Hexnode Installer application and manage them alongside your other OS devices managed in Hexnode. SCCM integration for device migration is actually a two-step process:
To deploy the application,
You might have understood now why migrating SCCM devices to UEM is important for centralized management. With such an easy to enable migration process, actually why not is more the question. So, don’t settle for anything less than UEM desktop management when a vendor-agnostic tool like Hexnode picks up where SCCM leaves off.