Microsoft AutoPilot Helps IT Cruise

By Daniel Okine, Senior Director of Product Management, Adaptiva

As we enter 2018, many businesses are in the midst of their Windows 10 migration, complete with the Fall Creators Update. Those that haven’t tackled the project will be there soon. Given this, it will soon be time to turn to the Windows AutoPilot release and how it can help your organization save time, money, and resources while maintaining stringent endpoint security.

In a nutshell, AutoPilot is a new feature that lets organizations register devices directly from the OEM and assign them to end users without requiring IT departments to configure or reimage machines. While this may sound like a “nice to have” convenience on the surface, it’s actually a pretty big deal, particularly for companies that need to manage endpoints for remote workers.

Consider for a minute the process of onboarding a new team member, anxiously awaiting his/her company-issued laptop. No one wants to spend hours downloading software, configuring a system, or waiting for IT. Now think about if that employee is in Iowa and the home office is in Chicago. The benefits of AutoPilot are instantly apparent as the prospect of heading in to see IT is not only not fun, it’s also not realistic. Employees, remote or not, want their machines to be ready and work flawlessly as soon as they come out of the box, and with a few very simple operations, AutoPilot accomplishes this. Thriving companies know this initial end-user experience should not be discounted — it can make a big impact on how employees view the way their companies function. You want them to have a positive impression right out of the gate.

For IT, the benefits are far more tangible, making a day-to-day impact on their work lives. Not only do IT team members save time in terms of configuration, but they can also manage the endpoint without a VPN connection. Perhaps more importantly, they can quickly and easily reset the device in a single keystroke if needed. In an instant, systems can be rolled back to their original configuration, eliminating user customizations so that a machine that’s been turned in can be readily provisioned for another employee. And AutoPilot does this while maintaining the Azure Active Directory state and the MDM enrollment state so that the machine itself doesn’t have to be re-enrolled. Sounds a bit like magic, doesn’t it? And these are just a couple of common use cases.

It’s worth pointing out that organizations save money overall by enabling IT to focus on other priorities — and by having devices shipped directly to end users, effectively eliminating a middleman of sorts. When you break down all of the hard and soft costs associated with IT professionals provisioning each device for every user in their respective organizations to ensure security protocols are adequately followed, this adds up to significant savings. And getting the configuration process right is absolutely essential as companies move away from on-premise infrastructure. AutoPilot makes it almost a no-brainer.

AutoPilot Requirements

AutoPilot requires very little to save your organization hours upon hours of IT time and money. You basically have to have an MDM solution in place — whether it’s Intune or something else that supports AutoPilot — and an internet connection, on-premise or not. The devices themselves also must be running Windows 10 (Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education) version 1703 or later.

IT administrators need the unique hardware identification to import into Windows Store for Business (and rights to Windows Store for Business) as well as sufficient rights to the Azure portal and Azure AD Premium P1 or P2. That’s it.

Ushering in the New Phase of Modern Management

While every company needs the right tools to do the right jobs, AutoPilot conquers most enterprises’ reimaging needs. What it doesn’t now, it will soon enough. AutoPilot will become an increasingly valuable tool, not only as companies employ or contract with remote workers but also as companies shift to modern management, moving on-premise infrastructure to the cloud so that organizations can focus on running their businesses.

This shift is paramount to the enterprise of the future because it takes the pressure off of IT to quickly and effectively scale infrastructure. Look for AutoPilot to make this process simpler across the board as companies make the biggest moves yet toward modern management.

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Daniel Okine, senior director of product management, is responsible for setting product vision and roadmap at Adaptiva, using data from market trends and opportunities, competitive landscape, and customer needs to develop a global strategy for the company’s endpoint management platform and products. Daniel drives the technical priorities and programs at Adaptiva in collaboration with key stakeholders in engineering and marketing. For more information on Adaptiva, the market leader in modern endpoint management and security, please visit www.adaptiva.com, and follow the company at LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Inventors of the world’s first smart-scaling systems management technology for enterprise IT professionals. www.adaptiva.com