Tech Tidbit – Two ways to sanely maintain remote endpoints

Tech Tidbit – Two ways to sanely maintain remote endpoints

The reality of many K-12 school districts is that you either have handed out or are handing out laptops to teachers and critical staff to get through this quarantine.   All those great tools you had been using: WSUS, SCCM, and KACE are now functionally useless for those remote users.

Here are two suggestions moving forward to sanely maintain remote endpoints:

  • Use Microsoft Intune.   Microsoft Intune is the web Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution from Microsoft.  It is a rapidly evolving platform.   While it isn't the same thing as Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (aka SCCM), it has a lot of the core functionality you probably need.   Intune hasn't gotten much traction with the schools we work with.  However, Microsoft made a strategic change in the licensing of Intune.  Traditional SCCM licenses that you would use internally now are also Intune licenses.  (Check with Microsoft for full details).   SCCM can run in hybrid mode so a device can be co-managed.  In district SCCM rules and Microsoft Group Policy apply.  Out of district Microsoft Intune policies apply.  You can read more about Microsoft Intune here.

 

  • If your numbers are small such as for core administrators, you should check out Ninite.com.  It takes a minute to install and there are no questions so you could walk anyone through it.   It effortlessly shows all the third-party software that is out of date.  It takes a minute to update the machines.  No reboots are required.  Combine Ninite with normal Windows Update to keep the machines in a very current state.  Ninite is mindless to use and maintain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two strategies allow you to keep the remote worker machines as safe and current as if they were still sitting in the school district.  Intune in a hybrid configuration with SCCM makes it so you will be able to manage a device wherever it ends up without a huge amount of day to day work.

If you want to talk more, give us a call.