Operating an infrastructure that is integrated end-to-end is the make-or-break feature for any forward-looking (there’s a lot of hyphens in this post…) IT team. IT integration means that data can move within your infrastructure (and amidst your end-users) easily and securely – and that this movement is both efficient and affordable.
The alternative approach (e.g. attempting to personally build the connections that will integrate solutions from a variety of vendors) is fraught with problems. I wrote about this in detail a few weeks ago, and I can’t emphasize enough the importance of avoiding the urge to spend countless hours trying to piece together an infrastructure. I respect that kind of ambition, but I think IT has better ways to spend its time. Besides, going the DIY route on integration is much more expensive – in the long and short term.
This is why the newest functionality between Microsoft Intune, Office 365, and OneDrive for Business is so impressive. Unlike any of the other available third-party MDM solutions, management via Intune is integrated directly into the Office productivity apps your employees know and love. That means there’s no requirement to deploy a secure gateway or other infrastructure to protect corporate content – instead, you can keep your infrastructure secure by setting access policies across corporate e-mail, docs, and calendars. As a result, your end-users can stay productive without exposing the company to unnecessary risk.
On top of this, OneDrive for Business allows end-users to access both personal and business content via a single app. Other MDM solutions require separate apps with separate UI/UX in order to partition personal and business data – but not Microsoft. The integration between OneDrive for Business and Intune will let’s enterprises manage and protect corporate data without infringing upon end-users’ personal data. And, no matter where they go, OneDrive for Business supports offline access while Intune helps protect corporate data. If an end-user loses the device or leaves your organization, you can use Intune to remove Office 365 corporate data while leaving personal data/photos/apps intact.
The way this works is straightforward: The unified OneDrive for Business app has pre-integrated the Intune App SDK. Once the end-user’s device is enrolled for management, you can use Intune to define compliance policies and other requirements, such as PIN/password protection on the app or jailbreak detection. The App SDK ensures OneDrive for Business synchronizes corporate documents only if the device is healthy and compliant with the policies you set in Intune. You can also block that device from accessing corporate data as soon as the device falls out of compliance.
Compared to other competing solutions, the new unified OneDrive for Business offers several huge benefits:
- Rich integration with Office
You can easily save files and attachments to OneDrive for Business from Office 365 Mobile apps, Microsoft Office, and Outlook.com.
- Real-time collaboration
Not only can you easily share documents with people who are inside or outside your organization, you can also work on and collaborate with those people on docs using Microsoft Office.
- Consistency across platforms
OneDrive for Business has a consistent experience to sync and access files all your Android and iOS devices.
- Unlimited storage for Office 365 customers
Moving forward, all Office 365 customers will get unlimited OneDrive for Business storage at no additional cost. We began updating the First Release customers in 2015, aligned with our promise to provide ample notification for significant service changes. In the meantime, you can use your 1 TB of storage today – and there’s even more storage on the way!
To get started with these new features, or to get even more in-depth information, check out these resources:
- Conditional access for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business using Microsoft Intune blog post
- Getting started with Microsoft Intune
- Control access to Exchange and Office 365 with conditional access in Microsoft Intune
- Control apps using mobile application management policies with Microsoft Intune
- Detailed step-by-step instructions for iOS and Android – with video! – courtesy of Simon May