Imaging and provisioning is easier with Windows 10. Here’s the story.

Replacing one laptop or tablet is easy enough, right? Sadly, as you might know all too well, it can turn into a multiday process that stunts productivity and extends downtime.

In the past, replacing a laptop meant IT had to physically touch it to upload the latest image. This traditional method of provisioning and imaging just takes too long and is too labor intensive.

Now imagine replacing 1,000 laptops with 1,000 tablets — how do you deploy and manage those, and how can they be better imaged?

I sat down with Microsoft engineers recently to see how Windows 10 improves on the provisioning and imaging process for all devices. Here’s what they showed me about how Windows 10 makes deploying, repairing, and updating devices much easier for any organization.

The old way of imaging and provisioning

An image is like a recipe – it holds everything, including the operating system, settings, applications, restrictions, and user information. All that information is baked into this snapshot and manually loaded onto laptops and phones, whether you’re deploying a few dozen or a few thousand devices.

That can be tedious enough, but when devices break and upgrades are needed, IT is in for a bigger headache. Any tweak to an image must be done manually, and that’s neither a quick process nor an agile one. It often leads to downtime for the employee.

Windows 10 is leading a shift in this process toward more efficient methods. What does this mean for your organization?

Windows 10 brings the “zero touch” goal within reach

Windows 10 was built from the ground up to be mobile and cloud friendly. In fact, Windows 10 was designed to be managed through mobile device management (MDM), similar to how tablets and phones have been traditionally managed.

As a result,  adoption of Windows 10 may shift an organization’s perspective on device management. Instead of separate systems to manage smartphones, tablets, and laptops, Windows 10’s provisioning and imaging capabilities can manage all of these devices using the cloud.

Since this operating system was built with mobility and cloud access in mind, the result is a hands-off method of imaging devices.

A Windows 10 device, when paired with Enterprise Mobility Suite and Intune, can be automatically configured remotely. Users can download these provisioning packages from an intranet or email, or install them through traditional ways like removable storage. Devices can also automatically download them from the cloud once a user signs on.

In other words, phones, laptops, and tablets can be sent directly to end users, and the image will be immediately pushed down from the cloud. That “zero touch” approach simplifies device management and updates. Other MDM solutions can be integrated with Windows 10 as well, as their solutions are fine-tuned to work with Microsoft’s newest OS. These provisioning packages can be downloaded to multiple devices at once, saving IT time and resources.

Choose the right MDM for you

Windows 10 is the last OS you’ll ever need, Microsoft says. As such, Windows 10 is designed to integrate closely with modern MDM APIs and make deployment and management of all your devices easier through a more streamlined process for provisioning and imaging. This means no-touch configuration and management.

Still, IT departments should conduct their due diligence to determine which MDM is the best fit for their organization. Working with a partner that can detail the many flavors and features of available MDM solutions might be beneficial and eliminate other IT frustrations.

Contact your SHI Account Executive to get in touch with a Microsoft expert and learn more about the capabilities of Windows 10.

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