Intune's Administration Overview lets you check your account status — including the number of seats in use, and how much cloud storage you've used for application packages.
The Groups view is a useful tool for drilling down into the users and devices you're managing. You have the option of drilling down into specific groups of users (for example by site, or by department), or by groups of devices.
Managing updates can be tricky, so Intune gives you the option of showing just the critical updates available to your users, along with information on where they've been deployed — and more importantly, where they need to be deployed.
Intune's mobile device management uses on-premises Exchange servers to push policies to devices. You can check the connection status (and the names of the Exchange servers used by Intune) and download the Exchange connector from the Administration view.
Many of Intune 3.0's management features are designed to work with groups of PCs, but it's still possible to drill down into a single device to check its current status — from anti-malware to uninstalled updates, and even software licence compliance.
Intune gathers a surprising amount of information about the devices it manages — even phones. You can see when policies were updated, and even document a phone's IMEI and OS version.
Drilling down into a PC's properties, you can see a list of available updates. Filters let you tune the view, for example showing a list of updates that are awaiting approval.
Intune is designed for networks that use Exchange for email access. You can use the policy tools in Intune to control access to mail servers — locking down access to corporate resources unless devices accept your policies.
To manage mobile devices with Intune you'll need to download and install the Exchange Connector. You'll also need to create the appropriate user accounts to run the services and the PowerShell cmdlets needed to set up the connection between Intune and your Exchange servers.
After logging into Intune, you're taken straight to a system overview, where you can see the most urgent alerts — and quickly act on them.
Malware alerts let you see what malware has been detected on your network, and what's needed to clean it up. You can use the information to determine the source of an infection, or to decide if you need additional security tools and policies.
Intune 3.0 lets you have multiple administration accounts, so you can also filter the alerts you see. Are you managing security? Then ensure that malware and security alerts have priority. If it's hardware you're looking after, then you can prioritise hardware alerts.
Intune treats mobile devices as first-class citizens, with a similar set of views to desktop and laptop PCs. You can quickly see issues, and whether you've made any exceptions to policies — granting email access to non-compliant devices, for example.
You can filter the devices list to see specific devices in use on your network, with the option of getting further information about non-compliant phones and tablets.
Intune 3.0's policy editor is easy to use, with default settings so you can quickly roll out a policy before applying your own customisations.
Intune users get access to a custom portal. You can use this to provide IT support desk contact details (especially important if you're a managed service provider), as well as delivering software to mobile devices.
Users connecting to the portal get a Metro look-and-feel download site, with a clear layout and large, descriptive buttons, and apps appropriate to their role and group. Mobile devices and PCs will get different views.
The Intune user portal gives users a single place to manage their registered devices, as well as find and download applications. Built using Metro design principles, you can customise colours and basic layout, as well as adding contact information.
Intune gathers a lot of information from managed devices — information that often needs to be delivered to other administrators and to management. The built-in report generation tools give you a list of common reports, focusing on updates, inventory and licence management.
Intune installs an agent on user devices, so you can use it to generate a software inventory that can be compared with your licensing data. This allows you to see whether your organisation is compliant, or (as is often the case) if you're over-licensed and can make savings.
Intune reports are interactive documents that let you analyse results and performance. You can search for specific information, or reorder the results.
Intune will deliver updates for Microsoft and for third-party applications, using the Windows Software Update Services tools. You can choose the update types that need to be approved, and those that can be delivered automatically, without administrator intervention.
The Update tab in the Intune console lets you quickly see what updates need to be approved, and what need to be installed on user devices.
As well as sorting devices by location or type, you can use Active Directory groups to apply role-based rules. That way you can put in place policies for engineers, for marketing and for executives, and have them automatically applied as new users are added to each group.
The mobile version of the user portal is very similar to the PC version, but you can't use it to manage your devices. It still gives you quick access to IT support, as well as supporting installation of enterprise applications.
Installing software on mobile devices is as easy as clicking a link. Applications will need to have appropriate certificates and profiles before they can be installed.