Over the weekend, we achieved a significant milestone that I wanted to share with this community because you made it happen: Microsoft endpoint management (as I like to refer to System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune working together) is now managing more than 175 million Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.
175 million is an incredibly big number. The chart below provides a view of how fast this ramp has happened. I am not aware of any commercial cloud service that has ramped up this quickly. The only commercial customer cloud service that I believe is bigger than System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) and Intune together is Office 365.
To put a number like 175 million in perspective: your odds of winning the Powerball Lottery are about 175 million to one. When it comes to the lotto, anyone holding a ticket is on the wrong side of that math problem—the odds are just stacked completely against you. But with ConfigMgr, the value of that 175 million is flipped—now you are the beneficiary of that giant number because all the insight we gather from so many endpoints is constantly being used to improve the features and functionality of your product.
Let me provide a little more insight into the data
For the majority of the time being measured in the graph, ConfigMgr has dominated the growth and usage. If you looked at the mix of ConfigMgr-managed devices vs. Intune-managed devices a year ago, the mix would have been three to one. Over the last couple of months, however, that mix has flipped. In the last month, for example, for every ConfigMgr managed device that has hit the server, three Intune-managed devices have come in. Don’t get me wrong, we are definitely not forcing anyone to move from ConfigMgr to Intune, but what I’ve noticed from our customers is a shift towards full-cloud solutions with Intune—and this is represented in the data where we see Intune managing millions of Windows 10 devices. The reasoning behind this is simple: the market has concluded that Microsoft has built the best management tools for Windows.
What 175 million means for you
This milestone isn’t just about a big number; it’s about the way it impacts how you use the technology.
Right now, there’s a lot of talk in our community about “modern management” and how it impacts the work you’re doing now and how you’ll plan for the future of work. “Modern management” is not a product but a perspective about how to manage and secure devices, and this discussion sometimes leads to the conclusion that Intune is modern and ConfigMgr is not modern. In terms of how my team builds and operates these tools, as well as how we invest in and prioritize them, nothing could be further from the truth. “Modern management” is a way to go about managing your endpoints—a great example of this is the perspective that using Windows Autopilot for PC provisioning is a modern approach, whereas traditional imaging is not.
In my mind, the most significant element that makes a management tool “modern” is that insights and intelligence from the cloud are used to automate and improve that tool in ways that were not possible in the past.
For any organization to provide insights/intelligence that you can confidently rely on to automate and amplify your efforts, that provider first has to be operating a data set that is both rich and broad. Having something like this to learn from is not just important—it’s mandatory. These 175 million endpoints provide by far the largest and broadest data set available—and then add to this what we learn from over 800 million PCs in active use, over 180 million monthly active users of Office 365, and the 640 billion monthly authentications through Azure Active Directory. Once again, the math tells a compelling story.
This big number is also a safety net for the community of people responsible for endpoint management in companies all over the world. When it comes to managing Windows devices, for example, the things we learn from running a global service allows us to anticipate the emerging needs of a specific industry, or it shows us places where we can continue to refine useful features. The depth of these types of insights simply wouldn’t be possible if we were managing a global network of devices that was dramatically smaller. It takes tens of millions of Windows 10 endpoints to get the breadth necessary to provide the holistic insights you need, as the breadth of the PC ecosystem is enormous—an incredible diversity of hardware, drivers, peripherals, agents, apps, etc.
The things learned from this type of scale is at the core of every modern management ideal: ConfigMgr and Intune are constantly refined and improved by what is learned here, and the security and management of each endpoint improves accordingly.
A couple of examples of how this benefits you
- Automate compatibility testing—For nearly every IT team, the single largest cost and expenditure of time during an upgrade to a new version of Windows is compatibility testing. When we release Desktop Analytics soon, we will be able to automate your compatibility testing because of what we learn from the data sets noted above.
- Zero Trust environments—The ongoing movement of data and apps to the cloud, as well as the constant use/growth of mobile devices, means that it is more important than ever to ensure only trusted users using trusted devices access your company’s apps/data. This is another area in which the size of our data sets can help you in ways that were not possible in the past—for example, human hands and human minds can no longer keep up with the speed and sophistication of many attacks. But now there’s intelligent assistance from the cloud.
There is so much more coming! We are learning and iterating quickly. Microsoft Ignite in November is going to be a really fun week as we will roll out a number of new modern management scenarios based on our learning from this incredible scale. If you have not registered—do it today!
Thank you for your willingness to partner with us, and for your trust in us and the tools we’re building. My team and I cannot express enough how sincerely we appreciate working with you. We are honored to partner with you as you work to deploy and manage your modern workplace.