I am on the hunt for a mobile device management solution (MDM) that can manage Windows 10 devices for free or for a low cost with little or no minimums.
If I can find this type of MDM solution, then I will use it to improve our ability to support client hardware for our small businesses customers.
The basic features that I’m most interested are pretty simplistic:
- Profiles – manage Windows Updates settings you force auto installation of updates
- Applications – inventory including version and the ability to remotely install an MSI (because I want to be able to remotely install teamviewer)
- Updates – ability to view which OS updates have been installed
- Antivirus – ability to view antivirus status
- Encryption – ability to view encryption status
- Organizational Groups – ability to establish a hierarchy for managing multiple customers
Nice to have would be:
- Profiles – ability to push Custom XML settings (to configure any available CSP)
- Scripting – ability to run a powershell script
- Encryption – ability to enforce encryption and harvest keys
Today, I signed up for a free trial of Scalefusion. Scalefusion has a low per device fee ($2 – $4 per device per month), no minimums, and allows for a 14 day free trial.
I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of the UI. I’d rather see all of my device details on the main screen and a listing of installed apps. I don’t want to be too much of a princess about it so I’ll say that the UI is sufficient enough that it wouldn’t stop me from using this MDM especially since the developers just added an amazing new feature, the ability to deploy Custom XML.
The most basic information that you would need to know about a device that you are managing is available in this system (e.g.- Antivirus Status, Firewall Status, OS Build Version, Drive Space, RAM, BIOS version). I would have loved to be able to see which Win-32 applications are installed too, but you win some you lose some, right?
Can it do what I need it to do?
Here are the results for each task that I attempted:
Policies – Scalefusion now supports Custom XML policies so you can literally apply any Microsoft CSP that you need to. I’ve been concerned that I need to manage WiFi, Windows Updates, Firewall, and Defender and no other products seem to be able to do that.
Applications – This tool can only deploy MSIX and APPX so special packaging will be required. I don’t see this as a showstopper though I would love to see this added in the future.
Updates – Given my previous statements about Customer XML, it’s no surprise that I was able to push the settings that I needed to configure updates.
Antivirus – I was able to see the antivirus status but I can’t see the definitions status for Defender so that is the only thing missing that is a bit of a gap for AV.
Encryption – I could see the encryption status. I could force encryption, but I could not escrow the key into Scalefusion. I can escrow the key into O365, but a lot of small business customers are using G-suite instead of O365 so we would not be able to escrow Bitlocker keys for the most part.
Scripting – There was no scripting option so I would have to find another way to do troubleshooting (for example – renaming the software distribution folder) but again if this means that we don’t have to manage an agent then I’m still happy without this particular feature.
Organizational Groups – There is a way to establish an organizational hierarchy which would conceivably allow management of multiple organizations within the same environment.
If I haven’t made it clear yet in my previous statements, I absolutely love the fact that this solution includes Custom XML and the 0 minimums for enrollment. There is a strong possibility that this will be my choice of MDM for Windows 10.
Has anyone else tried this tool yet? Let me know what you think about it…