Provision new homeworking devices remotely with Autopilot

As a response to Covid-19, we’ve seen a number of organisations looking to procure machines for end-users who may not have a business-ready device at home. Although we’d recommend a Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) solution, I thought it might be useful for those considering this option to see how we manage this using Microsoft Intune and Windows Autopilot.

Customers can source new devices and have them shipped directly to the user’s home, automatically provisioning the right settings, apps and resource access upon power-on and login. This process is driven through the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center.

We’re all looking for a hands-off approach during the current situation. Windows Autopilot saves you the effort of maintaining custom images and drivers for every model of device being used.  Effectively, this can be used to transform existing Windows 10 installations to a “business-ready” state; applying settings and policies, installing applications and managing the devices – all from the cloud!

Given the current situation, Microsoft recommends using the user-driven Autopilot mode with automatic Intune enrolment,  after Azure AD has been joined.  If you have a different architecture check here for other supported capabilities and scenarios.

We’ve also seen customers with existing Windows 7 and 8.1 machines currently managed by Configuration Manager, who were able to use Windows Autopilot to deploy the latest version of Windows 10 to existing devices and manage them from the cloud.  This may be a good option to consider as you get all devices on a level, prior to long-term remote management. Once deployed, the apps end-users need for work can be automatically installed and their work profile is synchronised, so they can resume working right away. Check out this video from Microsoft, for a quick demonstration of the process.

W hope you found this useful.  We’ve tried to include links to the Microsoft resources and guides, wherever possible for further reference.  If you do have any other questions feel free to get in touch.

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