David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

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  • Does Windows Intune require an underlying operating system to load Windows 7 Enterprise Edition?

    I just saw this question being asked, so thought I would should with everyone: Question: “If I have a paid subscription to Windows Intune, do I need an existing Operating System to install the Windows 7 Enterprise license included with the subscription?” Answer: Yes – from the FAQ: What are the Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade rights included with Windows Intune? All of your managed PCs covered by Windows Intune may be upgraded to Windows 7 Enterprise as long as the qualifying OS is one of the following business editions of Windows: Business, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise. The machines must also meet the Windows 7 system requirements. This list can be found at http://windows.microsoft.com/systemrequirements . In addition to Windows 7 upgrade rights, Windows Intune customers will also have rights to upgrade to future versions of Windows, as well as downgrade rights to older versions. As long as your subscription is active, you will have access to the best version of Windows for your business to standardize...
  • Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 and manage the PC’s–Windows Intune did this for eLitigation Solutions and reduced IT spend by 30%

    Hi, I’ve just seen the case study on eLitigation solutions and how they did this and reduced costs by 30% in the process.  The case study can be found here .  Electronic Discovery Firm Reduces IT Costs by 30 Percent with Cloud-Based PC Management To meet its various business requirements, eLitigation Solutions needed a stable, well-monitored, and regularly updated PC environment, but the company also wanted to simplify and reduce the cost of managing its PCs. In 2011, eLitigation began using Windows Intune to manage, monitor, and update its PCs. Now the company has standardized its PC environment, enhanced security, and reduced PC costs by 30 percent. This was the problem: Most eLitigation employee PCs were still running the Windows XP operating system and the company wanted to upgrade its PCs to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. But at the same time, eLitigation needed to simplify and reduce the cost of managing its PC environment. The Solution: The company worked with InfinIT Consulting, a...
  • Windows Intune feedback and support tools and useful blogs

    I’ve been reading and responding to the posts on the Windows Intune forums site and realised that I should share with everyone the support and feedback tools available for us.  These enable conversations with the support teams and input into the people making decisions about updates and major releases for Windows Intune.  The following sites are available: Support Forum Support for Windows Intune Microsoft Online Services support The forum has responses from the community as well as great Microsoft support people. This site provides resources to enable you to access support by phone and e-mail on technical, non-technical issues, Windows and MDOP This site provides the details for phone and support page access to help with the Microsoft Online Services Customer Portal (MOCP)   Feedback Windows Intune feedback This site provides free-form feedback to the Microsoft team, so not support issues, but product hits, misses and desires   I hope this helps you get more out of Windows Intune as well as...
  • Microsoft Windows Intune V2: Quickstart Administration book released

    Well, nearly 12 months after I started the project my book is now available to buy.  This book is relevant to the latest shipping version of Windows Intune 2.0. Chapters Overview of Cloud Computing Introduction to PC management concepts Overview of Windows Intune features Signing up for Windows Intune and installing the client software Configuring Windows Intune Configuring Management Policy Software Deployment Tracking and reporting Monitoring and responding to Windows Intune alerts Resolve problems using Microsoft DaRT Deploying Windows 7 Enterprise Edition Integration with existing Microsoft Products Purchasing the book Book and / or e-Book from publisher – Packt Publishing Book from Amazon –    Chapters in detail Chapter 1, Overview of Cloud Computing explores the new cloud computing and cloud-based services world that we are moving rapidly towards and includes Windows Intune. Before we can embark on this journey it is important that we understand the benefits and pitfalls that cloud services...
  • Windows Intune Silent Application Deployment hints

    Windows Intune requires application deployment to be a silent (as in no user interaction) process.  Sometimes working out how to do this can be quite hard.  Richard at Windows Intunepedia has shared some information on this that I thought I would also share: Steps to Deploy Adobe Reader X with Windows Intune How to deploy Java 7 Runtime Environment (JRE) with Windows Intune You might also want to look at http://silentinstall.org/ which can help wrapper other installers to ensure they are silent.   ttfn David
  • Windows Intune and firewalls / proxies

    We had this question circulate around at work, so I wanted to share.  Window Intune needs access to the internet.  This means that the services need unhindered access to the internet.  While for most of us, once we are connected, we are connected, some firewall / proxy devices require extra information to be entered into a browser and this is something that Windows Intune cannot deal with. Luckily, Richard at Windows Intunepedia has written about this and quite some time ago .  The key elements are: Ports 80,443 will be needed for outgoing communications and the firewall / proxy must be as follows: If the client computers exist behind an authenticating proxy server, you must configure the proxy server as follows: 1. Confirm that the proxy server supports HTTP and HTTPS. 2. Enable either Non-auth or Negotiate (Kerberos) authentication methods on the proxy. If your proxy server is using the Negotiate (Kerberos) authentication method then you must configure it to allow authentication using computer...
  • Windows Intune learning path–free training for Microsoft Partners

    Eric Ligman tweeted about the new partner learning paths, so I zipped over there to see these excellent items for Windows Intune . I’ve already done some of these, but it is a great way to get up to speed on Windows Intune and how to sell it.   ttfn David
  • Useful Windows Intune Documentation–What’s New Factsheet, Best Practices, Trial Guide and FAQ

    I saw this over e-mail at work today and thought I would share with you: - Factsheet (What’s new?) - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh452635.aspx - Best Practices (Deploying Software and Third Party Updates with Windows Intune)  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh441740.aspx - Trial Guide (View the complete Windows Intune Getting Started Guide) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh441719.aspx - FAQ (Windows Intune: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ))  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windowsintune/faq/default.aspx   ttfn David
  • Windows Intune Case Study - Ontario Systems, helping to prove Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard certification PC update reporting

    Ontario Systems is a larger Windows Intune reference with 350 employee PC’s to manage. They needed a better way to manage mobile computers and Windows Intune was the answer to their problems as it enabled them to manage these computers providing they were connected to the Internet and verify this management to enable PCI certification. The two most notable benefits (besides saving money) were: More control, better insight. With the ability to monitor PCs, distribute software and updates, and perform remote tasks from a single console, Ontario Systems has more control and better insight into its PC environment. The IT department will save up to an hour each time it delivers the software updates that employees need to work productively and securely. “Being able to use Windows Intune to issue a security update or remotely initiate a malware scan without interrupting our employees’ workday saves time for the IT staff and helps avoid hours of PC down time,” says Hughes. Better security compliance. By using Windows...
  • Windows Intune Case Study - Sora Technologies

    Another case study of an IT partner using Windows Intune to manage themselves and their customers.  I liked this comment: If we had started with Windows Intune, we would have saved approximately $80,000,” says Adams. “Going forward, we expect to save 10% in labour costs because we don’t have to manage servers or write code, which would take one full-time equivalent. We can take care of our customers using fewer resources, which increases our profit margins.” You can find out more at Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - Sora Technologies . Other notable benefits include: I mproved endpoint protection. When Sora deployed Windows Intune, it saw an immediate improvement in endpoint protection. “Windows Intune beat all the endpoint security tools we’ve used, hands down,” says Adams. “We saw an increase of 50 percent in the number of viruses that the service caught, compared to our previous solution.” Better customer service. Sora provides its customers with monthly reporting and updates on hardware life cycles...
  • Comparing a Word document on Office Web Apps on SkyDrive or Office 365 to Google Apps

    Hi, I’ve been asked this before, so I thought I would share this today.  I don’t use Google Apps, so I don’t have personal experience of the services, however I work with companies who employee’s choose to use the services – often because they can’t access the corporate environment from home or have file size limits that stop them.  Anyway, I do use Word, Excel and PowerPoint and I use quite a lot of the features in my documents (e.g. the book and reports in Word, my personal finance spread sheet in Excel and numerous presentations in PowerPoint).  I’m fussy, I like my documents to render the same, no matter what device I’m accessing them from and especially when I’m presenting.  I’ve always seen the differences when they are shared with products other than Office and have been known to spend a couple of hours fixing them up once they come out of the “other” services.  People ask me why I stick to Microsoft, this is one of the reasons. Today I saw this - http://bit.ly/tSedOC – it has a...
  • How to wake a computer to perform a antimalware scan, particularly useful for Windows Intune

    While having the book reviewed one feature that was asked for, but is not possible with Windows Intune, was the ability to make Windows Intune wake a computer at night and carry out an anti-virus scan. This blog post is referred to in the book when setting the Anti-Malware policy. To solve this, there are two issues to tackle: Wake up the computer Start a scan The answer appears to be that to wake the computer we need to use a task in Task Scheduler and then we need to start a scan. One very important thought here is that we need to ensure the power settings on the computer will put it back to sleep though! The command line required is “ %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware>MpCmdRun.exe -scan -scantype 0 ” While working on this, I also wanted something that could be deployed by Windows Intune. In the end I have written a small piece of software that can create a task that wakes the computer and will start a scan. If you do not want a scan to start, change the program to execute to...
  • Got the notice that my Windows Intune account will be upgraded to V2

    Hi, even though the Windows Intune V2 service has been out for a little while, my existing V1 accounts have not yet been upgraded.  Today I got this e-mail telling me that it was now scheduled to happen in 4 days time. When I clicked on the link, I was taken to the alert that looks like this in the console: It talks about the “Account Details page” to find out more information.  I know Windows Intune quite well and I was not sure what the Account Details page was.  However, if we go to the Administration workspace and look at the Administration Overview then at the top of the page we see… “Planned account migration date: 12/16/2011” – OK, so it is in US date format, but at least it is coming this week!! I just wanted to share that the updates are coming and where to get the date from.   Thanks David
  • Microsoft Cloud Services Get Major Service Updates, New Customers: New features in Microsoft Office 365 and updates to sharing in Microsoft SkyDrive make it easier for people to work together.

    I saw this and just had to blog it.. The graphic on the left has amazing information – 41 of Interband Top 100 run on Microsoft’s cloud productivity services. 90% of Office 365 customers (not the seats, but the customer count) are SMEs with less than 50 employees.  You can guess the big customers from the stats. The PR can be found at Microsoft Cloud Services Get Major Service Updates, New Customers: New features in Microsoft Office 365 and updates to sharing in Microsoft SkyDrive make it easier for people to work together. One last thing I like, since I’ve been hearing people say “SharePoint is hard for file sharing” – SkyDrive works with Office 365 too.  This is simple, drag and drop and works natively with Office! Snippets from the PR statement: Small Businesses and Big Brands Bet on Office 365 More and more large global companies are choosing Office 365 to enable their employees and customers to work together in the cloud. In fact, more than 40 per cent of the global Interbrand list of the 100 top...
  • Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - SkyWire

    I saw this case study and wanted to share as it has some fantastic good news in it, highlighting how Windows Intune is helping this customer.  The highlights for me were: Reduced IT Costs SkyWire Media avoided the cost of third-party products that it would need to perform desktop management tasks by using Windows Intune. “I looked at antivirus and malware [malicious software] servers for [U.S.]$8,000 each,” says Malloy. “When you add $2,000 for the software and another $70,000 for a full-time administrator, we were looking at $80,000. Windows Intune saved us from those expenses.” With Windows Intune, SkyWire can retire on-premises solutions. “The software distribution feature now available in Windows Intune will save us an estimated $10,000 in software costs because we can retire the third-party tools that we were using for this purpose,” says Castleberry. Simplified PC Management Now that SkyWire Media has standardized the desktops on Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows Intune has delivered all required updates...
  • Return on Investment (ROI) calculator for Windows Intune

    I’ve just come across this tool for Windows Intune.  As with any “benefits” calculator, the results simply reflect the quality of the data you put in – garbage in, garbage out. Since my computers managed by Windows Intune are already on Windows 7, have anti-malware loaded and other benefits, the results came out lower compared to those on Windows XP.  If you don’t have Windows 7, for example, the benefits are much higher. The calculator can be found at http://windowsintuneroi.valueprism.com/ and the excel version can be found at here .  The Excel version suggested that if I had 100 Windows XP computers the benefits would be as follows:   I hope this is useful   David
  • Windows Cloud Essentials Pack–Microsoft Partners can get Windows Intune internal use for free (and Office 365)

    I’m really proud to have passed an exam towards my The Cloud Accelerate program as you can see from my certificate on the left. I have started with the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack and I’m now moving up towards cloud accelerate! One of the reasons I like the Essentials Pack is the benefits it provides in terms of software, marketing and simple business tools and there is no fee or sales requirement in the first year! From the web site above, the benefits are: Software Benefits Microsoft Technology License Grant Microsoft Office 365 250 licenses Windows Intune Subscription for 25 PCs Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 250 licenses Windows Azure platform 750 hours of extra-small-compute instance, 25 hours of small-compute instance, 20 gigabytes of storage, and 250,000 storage transactions Microsoft SQL Azure Web Edition database: 1 gigabyte Windows Azure AppFabric: 100,000 access control transactions and 2 service bus connections Data transfer: 25 gigabytes in and 25 gigabytes out Marketing Benefits Listing...
  • Windows Intune IDC report–A Blueprint for Success for Microsoft Partners–the ups and downs

    I’ve found another document from the March timeframe from IDC (sponsored by Microsoft) about Windows Intune.  This one talks about how to be successful with Windows Intune.  It can be found here . One area worth exploring in the document is the section entitled “Opportunity Areas for Existing PC Management Practices”. One partner is quoted as saying "I think we could cover more customers than we could today. I don't think we have realized how big the potential is. It could help us win new deals and bigger deals." It does not pull punches either and discusses some areas that partners have been talking to me about.. New Budget Line Item for the Customer The largest change is that for the most part, other third-party, on-premise PC management tools are purchased by partners, and the partners must cover the expense of the tools with their PC management revenue. In contrast, with Windows Intune, the customer signs up for the service with Microsoft, and Microsoft bills the customer directly....
  • How Windows Intune can lower costs and raise productivity

    Hi, Just a quick post to share this document from IDC (sponsored by Microsoft) on Windows Intune from March 2011.  It can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/cloud/docs/IntuneWP.pdf . It shows how companies can benefit from savings of $702 per year through IT staff savings, user productivity and removal of other tools. ttfn David
  • Using Windows Intune with Autotask and ConnectWise

    Having spoken to several partners yesterday at the SMB MVT Tour I mentioned MS CRM’s integration with Windows Intune, but I thought it was worth sharing information on integration with Autotask and ConnectWise. Training and whitepapers can be found here: ConnectWise Windows Intune and Professional Services Automation: ConnectWise Learn about the integration between Windows Intune and business operation system ConnectWise, which offers customer relationship management, service request tracking, sales force automation, and more. (Online, 1 hour) Whitepaper - https://partner.microsoft.com/40165832 Autotask Windows Intune PSA Tools: Autotask This professional services automation (PSA) presentation showcases how to connect Windows Intune and Autotask to help manage customer relationships in a single system. Covers customer relationship management, service requests, contracts, billing management, and reporting. (Online, 1 hour) Whitepaper - https://partner.microsoft.com/40165830 Thanks David
  • Free internal use Windows Intune, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online licenses for Microsoft Partners through Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate

    While asking at Microsoft of any information they wanted me to share about Windows Intune Olivia asked me to share this.  I think this is so key, I will share this on the blog too.  Something to remember is that you can join Windows Intune ticketing up to Dynamics CRM Online for a more joined up helpdesk experience. Cloud Essentials is a free programme for all MOSPA-registered partners, without sales or reference obligations. Partners just need to sign up at www.microsoftcloudpartner.com and they can then sign in at this portal to receive the following benefits: Internal user rights for: • 250 licences of Office 365 • 25 subscriptions for Windows Intune • 250 licences for Dynamics CRM Online • Marketing resources • Demo showcase • Profitability Modeller • Online technical communities for Cloud • Listing as Cloud Essentials partner on Microsoft PinPoint online marketplace For partners who are actively selling Cloud, they could become Cloud Accelerate partners after completing three deals (with 150 aggregated...
  • Manage customers with #Windows #Intune and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (Updated)

    As a Microsoft partner (or customer), you can connect Windows Intune to MS-CRM to enable management ticketing from MS-CRM for client computers managed through Windows Intune. The details of how to configure this can be found at https://partner.microsoft.com/india/40169122 and it states “This document shows how Managed Services Providers (MSPs) can use Windows Intune™ in conjunction with Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Online to create and manage customer contracts, establish and automate internal business processes, and create cases based on email messages sent by alerts that track against a customer’s contract.” It also states that: As organizations build their Windows Intune MSP capabilities, they can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to: Track customer accounts. Create and manage contracts and service-level agreements (SLAs) with customers. Create and track cases against customer SLAs. Assign customer cases to Windows Intune technicians. Create workflows and dialogs that enforce standardized...
  • Log files on each PC with Windows Intune

    Windows Intune is a cloud based management service with alerts and information stored in the Microsoft cloud, however sometimes it is very useful to see what is going on, on the actual PC. There are various log files that can be found on the client PC should you wish to explore. These are found at %ProgramFiles%\microsoft\onlinemanagement\logs . We can see several files in here, of which the following are particularly interesting if we want to go diving into the product: Enrollment – This file details the process of a computer enroling with Windows Intune. If the computer fails to appear in the Windows Intune list of computers, this is the log to watch. If enrollment to Windows Intune for the computer was successful we should see the following in the log file: 2011-10-05 09:00:46:615 12260 2d7c Enroll ********* 2011-10-05 09:00:46:615 12260 2d7c Enroll ** END ** Enroll: StartUpdateAgentService: Online Management Updates Service started, or already running 2011-10-05 09:00:46:615 12260 2d7c Enroll ******...
  • Important Notice from Windows Intune about upgrades–you need to uninstall the beta!

    Hi, I just got this alert from Windows Intune which tells me that the beta service will end soon and that I need to uninstall the beta software and if I have a full account, install the new software (or old software to then be upgraded) Important Notice Account:  David Overton Associates Source:    Path:        Type:  Important Notice Description We are pleased to announce that the new features and enhancements that were offered in the Windows Intune July 2011 beta are now commercially available! If you have a paid Windows Intune subscription, your service will be upgraded over the next few weeks, so that you can take advantage of these new features. You do not need to take any action. Your subscription and deployed Windows Intune clients will be automatically upgraded. Two weeks prior to your upgrade date, you will see an alert displayed in the Windows Intune administrator console that indicates the exact date and time when your subscription will be upgraded. If you participated...
  • Office 365 integration module beta for Windows SBS 2011 Essentials

    Hi, I just saw this on the wires and wanted to share it, although please note that this build is for evaluation purposes only. You should not install this in a production environment. Microsoft does not license you for, nor support installing in these environments. You can download the preview package from by navigating to it in the download section of the connect site or by using this link . Please refer to Release Documentation for installation and uninstallation instructions. Feedback is very important to Microsoft. In order for Microsoft to gather feedback on any issues encountered while using this build, please submit all bug reports for this release using the bug reporting form on MS Connect , via the http://connect.microsoft.com/SBS web site. It goes without saying that in order to participate in the Beta Program you need to be signed up on the connect site. Thanks David Technorati Tags: SBS 2011 , Office 365 , Cloud , Microsoft , SBSC

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