Reports on Microsoft’s unveiling of Office for the iPad overshadowed another announcement made by CEO Satya Nadella. At the event in San Francisco, the company introduced the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) — a new service that brings together its existing enterprise management solutions, such as Intune and Azure Active Directory, into a “holistic offering.”
“The EMS is the most comprehensive and complete platform for organizations to embrace these mobility and cloud trends,” says Brad Anderson, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Windows Server & System Center. “Looking across the industry, other offerings feature only disconnected pieces of what is needed. When you examine what Microsoft has built and what we are delivering, EMS is simply the only solution that has combined all of the capabilities needed to fully enable users in this new, mobile, cloud-enabled world.”
According to Anderson, the capabilities packaged in the EMS are a giant step beyond simple MDM. The EMS is a people-first approach to identity, devices, apps and data — and it allows you to actively build upon what you already have in place while proactively empowering your workforce well into the future.
The company already offers similar tools, including Intune and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, which allows companies to manage mobile apps and set configuration and security policies for their devices. EMS will harmonize access, device and security management, letting companies manage all of their devices in the cloud.
The EMS has three key elements:
- Identity and access management delivered by Azure Active Directory Premium
- MDM and MAM delivered by Windows Intune
- Data protection delivered by Azure AD Rights Management Services
In Nadella’s recent blog post, he gave some insights into the direction Microsoft is headed. The overall idea is a cloud for everyone, on every device. “[The Enterprise Mobility Suite], perhaps to me, is the most strategic piece of what infrastructure development we are doing in support of enterprises,” Nadella said.
This is definitely a step in the right direction, as Microsoft loosens the reins a bit, realizing it can’t be solely Windows-focused with enterprise products. The times and technologies are changing and EMS will expand capabilities for enterprise customers who need to manage iPads, iPhones, Android devices, Window devices and more.