* * *The Enterprise Mobility Suite and Office 365 were built from the ground-up as cloud SaaS services. Even though that last sentence only has 16 words, there is a ton of detail behind it. For example: When we put together the foundations of EMS and O365, we didn’t take existing architecture, move it to the cloud, and call it a service. We looked at each of these products from the point-of-view that the world was changing and that the greatest value would be delivered from the cloud and by making these tools cloud-consumable. With this view of the future in mind, we made the decision to spend the extra time building an architecture that would enable the agility and continuous delivery of innovation that the cloud could provide – and which end-users would demand. Getting specific: our architecture-centric approach meant that we would not attempt to host the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) architecture as a cloud service. SCCM was built in the client-server era (and it will, of course, continue to deliver incredible value for customers for many years to come), and it was architected to be engineered, built, deployed, and updated in a specific way. We will continue to invest heavily in SCCM – with much of these investments coming in the form on connecting SCCM to the cloud (Intune) to deliver more value faster. The update cycle of an on-prem vs. a cloud-based product is a critical distinction when it comes to architecture. With SCCM, historically you would get an update every 12-18 months, and when you get that update you have to update your entire SCCM infrastructure. Contrast this with a cloud-based service like Microsoft Intune. A cloud service is built of many micro-services that interoperate to deliver end-to-end scenarios, and each of these micro-services can be updated independently of the other ones. When we built Intune, we did it with the point of view that the pace of innovation, as well as the sheer number of devices and operating systems that we would need to track/support/enable, would continue to accelerate and that we would need to have an architecture that could sustain the continuous delivery of new innovations and upgrades. Now, by operating SCCM and Intune together, you have the industry’s premiere PC management solution interoperating with the industry’s best mobile device management solution. This combination provides exactly what you need to enable your users to be productive on all the devices they love. A little over a year ago, my team and I were seriously considering a plan to acquire one of the existing EMM providers. During my time at Microsoft, I have led more than a dozen acquisitions, and I know that the impact of acquiring the right company with the right architecture and the right people can be huge. As we researched a possible acquisition, our greatest area of focus was on architecture. What we discovered really surprised us: The “leaders” of the EMM market at that time had all built their solutions based on the architecture of the last decade rather than the architecture of the next decade. When we discovered this, it made our decision very easy: We weren’t going to shackle ourselves to the past; we were going to build something for the future. Looking back on our research, and looking at what we’ve built today, I believe that EMS and O365 are the absolute best Enterprise Mobility solution on the market – and they both have the right architecture!
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