Microsoft has announced this week that Mobile Device Management (MDM) capabilities will be coming to all their Office 365 commercial plans – for no extra cost.
The new MDM features are focused around the Office apps for Android and iOS and will include setting security polices to allow only compliant devices to connect, Device Management to force pin lock requirements and jailbreak detection as well as selective wipe to remove just Office 365 data without remove a user personal information. In addition to the above healthy package other extended features are also available if you subscribe to Microsoft Intune (part of the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite). These extended features include restricting clipboard features such as copy and paste and saving documents to other applications. Microsoft is boasting its new mobile management suite is the only one that can fully manage its mobile Office apps.
With Office mobile apps being a natural consideration for organisations currently using Office on laptops and desktops – this play from Microsoft to both add additional control to organisations to protect their data ‘on the go’ and to make the service so reliant on their own Office 365 subscription is a smart one.
Managed Service Providers get to add their value here too, as Office 365 accounts can be fully or partially managed by a provider, whilst also offering local and around-the-clock support on both technical issues and emergency tasks such as wiping a lost phone.
It will be interesting to see how this develops with the imminent release of Windows 10 on both phones and small tablets – and where Microsoft will draw the line, if at all, on mobile and non-mobile devices and what is supported.