Posted by:Ranjani Rao October 9th, 2012

Love it or hate it. The truth is that Big Data and BYOD are the realities of today. Heterogeneous mobile devices have become a norm in offices and IT teams have to deal with it. Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), one of the early technologies that enabled mobile device management is no longer capable of handling security issues created by the advanced features and capabilities of today’s smartphones and tablets. Microsoft meets this demand head on with an all-inclusive mobile device management solution – Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

Microsoft’s System Center 2012 is a comprehensive management platform that enables you to more easily and efficiently manage IT environments, including traditional data centers, private and public clouds, and client computers and devices.

Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager helps enterprise heads to embrace BYOD wholeheartedly by allowing the use of multiple devices and applications their employees want to use to be productive while maintaining corporate compliance and control. It supports the management of physical, virtual, and mobile clients through a single screen, along with tools and improvements that help IT administrators to work better.

System Center 2012 SP1 uses EAS technology but extends it to much more than email. The unified platform not only manages Windows devices but also iOS and Android. Some capabilities of the configuration manager include:

  • Application delivery: Build policies and relationship rules in the Configuration Manager for the evaluation of user identity, application dependencies, device type, and network connection to deliver an optimum user experience on disparate devices.
  • Desktop Virtualization: Configuration Manager is an important part of Microsoft Desktop Virtualization solutions. It enables asset, usage, and desired configuration management for personal and virtual desktops on a single infrastructure. It also integrates with Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) to deploy and manage virtual and physical applications, and support easy scaling of application deployment throughout the enterprise as fully streamed virtual applications, locally delivered packages, or both.
  • Device Management: The configuration manager supports all EAS aware devices, enabling enterprises to manage the inventory, enforce PIN codes and implement remote wipe from the same unified management infrastructure you use for physical and virtual device management.
  • Security: Configuration Manager works with System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection to offer a complete solution that manages and protects the entire client infrastructure. The client compliance and remediation capabilities of Configuration Manager align with the antimalware and vulnerability protection features of Endpoint Protection, helping you clamp down on infrastructure costs while ensuring the health and safety your client environment.
Though Windows RT does not support domain joining to Active Directory, the devices can be managed directly via System Center SP1. After the 2013 update, Microsoft’s Intune cloud-based management tool will also support direct management of the devices.

Microsoft has also made strong efforts to combat the challenges created by the BYOD trend in their forthcoming products including Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT. It’s the right move at the right time as businesses are looking for enterprise level solutions to support BYOD securely. The fact that this solution comes from Microsoft is the cherry on the cake.

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