Does Intune Really Provide Free Mobile Device Management?

Topics: Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Does Intune Really Provide Free Mobile Device Management?

When it comes to business, most of us consider ourselves pretty rational in making wise purchasing decisions. However, Behavior Economics Researcher, Dan Ariely, says that we often become “predictably irrational” when we believe we’re getting something for free. If we consider something to be free, we’re emotionally triggered to elevate the value of the product and therefore make the purchase, even when we don’t need it or even want it. Ariely’s research further illustrates that many of us will go to great lengths, spending extra money, to get more value from the free product when it doesn’t seem to fit for us.


In the case of Microsoft Intune (Endpoint Manager) as a free Mobile Device Management (MDM)/Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution, many believe they’re getting a great value, but is that really true?


What is Microsoft Intune?

Intune comes built in to Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise e3 and e5 bundles, so many organizations already have it as part of their stack. That’s one of the reasons people consider it to be free. It’s like getting a free smart phone with a two-year carrier contract. We all know the phone isn’t really free since the cost is built into the monthly contract fees, but we’re triggered to respond anyway.


The fact that Intune is built in can be deceiving since the solution is nowhere near as robust as leading MDM/EMM solutions, but customers believe it’s a free solution for their mobile security problems and the C-suite encourages IT teams to endure a proof of concept (POC). Even though this is usually when the solution falls short, many feel they have to make it work since it’s free.


Let’s compare apples to apples so you can see if Microsoft Intune is really as free as it’s hyped to be.


Limited Functionality

The digital workspace is here and to meet digital transformation expectations, you’re going to need a lot more than the basic functionality Intune provides. Intune is merely a proxy for managing content on devices, such as the Outlook app, but not for managing the devices themselves. It’s fine for basic use cases, such as securely managing contacts, email, and calendars, but if you’re looking to push apps, containerize, or manage overseas users, Intune’s not up to the task.


Operational Costs

On paper, Microsoft bundles look impressive. However, organizations can find themselves paying for features and products they may not need or want. That’s the best case scenario. Some organizations realize halfway through the POC that Intune doesn’t fit their mobile device management needs and end up paying extra to re-establish critical use cases that Intune can’t support. Worse still are those who are blindsided when they discover gaps in supporting critical use cases, requiring them to pay even more to bridge those gaps. In most cases, Intune may not deliver the  ROI many are expecting.


User Impact

One of the main features everyone loves about an MDM is how it simplifies deployments and user adoption. However, without a fully automated migration tool, expect more than 50% of users to come to the IT team for help, slowing down productivity, reducing efficiency, and quickly cutting into your budget. With the average support call for Intune enrollment clocking in at 37 minutes, a lot of users choose to “opt-out” of adopting it, making them noncompliant with company policy and leaving you open to more headaches.


Migration Chaos

In addition to not having a fully automated migration tool, Intune migration also requires an extensive re-architecture of your mobile infrastructure to accommodate its multiple non-integrated components. This re-architecture includes consulting services, training, set up, issue remediation, engineer certifications, and help desk support—all at an extra and substantial cost. And, as your business grows, so will the cost to keep this free solution working for you.


Getting Locked In

Committing to a Microsoft bundle means having to accept ever-increasing licensing fees, because with such an investment in your migration, you have no leverage for negotiating a better deal, making the technology platform very sticky. Being locked in not only commits you to Microsoft’s renewal fee structure, but it also makes your company reliant on future shifts in Microsoft’s technology.


You Have a Choice

There are a lot of MDM/EMM solutions that can give you more for your money, deliver greater efficiency on day one, and won’t tie you down. As a single-source provider for software licensing acquisition, Vox Mobile supports all the leading MDM/EMM solutions, helping you identify the best solution for your organization’s mobility management needs, offering substantial licensing discounts, and managing your EMM for the long term.


Vox Mobile can help you choose a solution that fits how you want to do business, not the other way around. We help you manage the full weight of your mobile infrastructure support needs so you can reduce the demand on your IT resources, expand your support capabilities, and lower mobility costs. Investing in a reliable MDM/EMM isn’t free, but it can be easy.


Make an Informed Choice with Vox Mobile.