Microsoft Launches Enterprise Mobility Suite

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At a media event in San Francisco today, Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella announced the launch of the company’s new Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). The company says this bundle of services will make it easier for IT organizations in large businesses to manage all of the devices their employees carry with them, whether they are Windows devices, Android phone or tablets, iPads or iPhones.

Brad Anderson, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Windows Server & System Center, argues that “the EMS is the most comprehensive and complete platform for organizations to embrace these mobility and cloud trends.” Nadella echoed this sentiment in his presentation today, where he noted that “the Enterprise Mobility Suite may be the most strategic piece of infrastructure development we are doing for enterprises today.”

The company already offers similar tools, including Intune and the aptly named System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, which allows companies to manage mobile apps and set configuration and security policies for their devices. This new suite bundles all of these capabilities together and allows companies to manage all of their devices from the cloud. It will bring together access management, device management and security management.

The suite has three key elements:

  1. Identity and access management delivered by Azure Active Directory Premium
  2. Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management delivered by Windows Intune
  3. Data protection delivered by Azure AD Rights Management Services

ms-ceo-nadella-sf-2014-03-27-254.jpg-550x0Azure Active Directory Premium will be generally available in April and will make it easier for IT teams to handle passwords and offer pre-configured single sign-in to hundreds of SaaS applications. Indeed, as Nadella also noted, the Suite “can also extend your enterprise identity to other apps and services like Salesforce.com, Box and Google Docs. Now, the same cloud that helps people get more done with less work will help IT do the same.”

IT managers, Nadella noted during the event, have to be both empowering to their users and able to protect the corporate assets. This new suite, he stressed, will allow IT to ensure that corporate assets are well-protected, while employees can still install any application on their devices.

Microsoft will charge enterprises on a per-user basis (not on a per-device basis) and will be available via its Enterprise Volume Licensing channels starting May 1.