Built-in Mobile Device Management Is Now Freely Available for Office 365 Commercial Plans

By Jeremy Alt| April 02, 2015

In what is possibly the biggest splash since the Wave 15 roll out in early 2013, Microsoft announced on March 30th that mobile device management (MDM) capabilities are coming to Microsoft Office 365.

Today, more businesses are adopting a bring your own device (BYOD) policy to support their users anywhere, anytime and on any device. With this support comes the necessity to deliver the same experience without having to worry about infrastructure, security, compliance and other factors.

Some have turned to third-party MDM solutions for this support, but with Microsoft’s new rollout it’s possible that you may not need that third-party solution after all. As long as you have an Office 365 commercial plan (including Business, Enterprise, EDU and Government plans), you’ll receive all of these MDM features at no additional cost.

On March 30th Microsoft began rolling out new MDM capabilities that will help you manage access to Office 365 data across devices and operating systems. These features will help you:

Secure corporate resources (conditional access): Set up security policies on devices that connect to Office 365 to ensure that Office 365 corporate email and documents can be accessed only on phones and tablets that are managed by your company.

Manage devices: Set up security policies like device level pin lock and jailbreak detection to help prevent unauthorized use and protect corporate data in the event a device is lost or stolen. You can administer policies within the O365 admin portal and view reports on which devices have been connected or blocked.

Selectively wipe Office 365 data: This is perfect for when an employee leaves your organization and you need to remove corporate data from a device while leaving their personal data intact.

All of these capabilities are powered by Microsoft Intune, which provides mobile device management, mobile application management and PC management capabilities from the cloud. However, any organization can get advanced protection beyond the new MDM O365 rollout with Microsoft Intune.

Microsoft Intune enables you to restrict user actions such as copy/cut/paste when dealing with corporate data and then, for instance only be able to save that data on the corporate OneDrive for Business account. It also allows you to manage devices from the cloud or from your existing System Center Configuration Manager. Lastly, Intune can deploy certificates like VPN and email profiles on your device or to a group of users. You can even provide your users with a secure portal where they can enroll their own devices and install apps.

These features are all very important in separating work life from personal life and preventing users from accidentally intermixing the two on their devices.

Interested in realizing the potential Office 365 and mobile device management can have on your business? Contact BDO Digital and we’ll put together an Office 365 and MDM roadmap that is specifically tailored for your cloud and BYOD business needs.

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