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June was a busy month for Microsoft, with three new updates to Microsoft Enterprise, Mobility & Security. Intended to improve and enhance the service delivered by the software giant, these exciting new additions are discussed in plenty of detail below.
Changes to phased deployment
The focus of improvement for Microsoft in June was a medium known as ‘phased deployments’. Allowing for controlled, automated roll-outs of software across multiple collections, the idea behind these is to decrease overheads, minimise the number of collections and deployment required to mitigate risk, and distribute the network load.
The extension of the company’s deployment model was primarily intended to make an automated deployment system for Windows and Office upgrades more achievable, with three improvements to functionality introduced over the course of the month.
• Phased deployment status: As part of the new features added to phased deployments, a native monitoring experience has been implemented. Accessed via the ‘Deployments’ node in ‘Monitoring’, this allows users to select a phased deployment and then check its status.
• Phased deployment of applications: Another addition to Microsoft’s EM+S offerings is the ability to create phased deployments for various applications in your environment. Prior to this, phased deployments were available for task sequences only.
• Gradual rollout during phased deployments: Last but not least, Microsoft have made it so that rollouts happen more gradually. This not only mitigates the risk of deployment issues, but decreases the load on the network.
A number of additional features have also been implemented as part of this release, including:
• Management insights for proactive maintenance: These will work to highlight potential configuration issues.
• Mobile apps for co-managed devices: Thanks to the latest updates, it is now possible to manage mobile apps via Microsoft Intune, whilst continuing to use Configuration Manager as a primary deployment tool.
• Support for new Windows app package formats: In addition, Configuration Manager will support the deployment of both the Windows 10 app package and app bundle formats.
• New boundary group options for optimised P2P behaviours: Boundary groups will also now offer further settings, to provide greater control over content distribution in your environment.
• Third party software updates support for custom catalogues: Another newly introduced feature will allow users to manage customer third party software update catalogues through their Configuration Manager consoles.
Which of these innovative new additions are you most excited to see?
If you'd like more information on Microsoft EM+S, take a look at our FREE eBook - How to Protect Identity, Devices and Content in the Cloud
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