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    What are the Different Types of Windows Enrollment

    Time and again, we tend to start anything regarding Windows with the fact that it is second only to Android in the global OS market share. So here we are, and the share was around 27.39%1 as of February 2024. The stats are even more dominant for desktops/laptops, with Windows commanding almost 72% of the global market.

    The use of Windows desktops and laptops across workplaces will never cease, even if other OSes catch up. In modern workplaces, ensuring consistent security and manageability across a diverse fleet of Windows devices is crucial. A Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution offers a powerful way to achieve this goal, streamlining device provisioning and enforcing organizational policies. However, it all begins with Windows enrollment. It is essentially the entry point for Windows devices into your UEM gate. 

    Windows device Enrollment
    Enrolling Windows Devices

    This blog highlights the different ways to enroll Windows devices using a UEM solution.

    Understanding UEM and its Role in Enrollment

    UEM solutions are the epicenter of managing and securing endpoints, including Windows laptops, desktops, and tablets. They allow IT administrators to remotely configure devices, deploy applications, enforce security policies, and wipe data if necessary. Enrollment serves as the initial step, integrating a device into the UEM ecosystem and granting it access to organizational resources.

    Here’s how UEM enrollment benefits your organization:

    Simplified Provisioning: UEM enrollment streamlines the process of setting up new devices, reducing the burden on IT and ensuring a consistent configuration out of the box.

    Enhanced Security: UEM solutions enforce essential security policies like strong passwords, encryption, and application restrictions, protecting sensitive data.

    Centralized Management: The UEM console provides a single pane of glass to manage all enrolled devices, enabling efficient policy application and configuration changes.

    Improved Compliance: UEM helps enforce industry regulations and internal compliance standards, mitigating security risks and maintaining data protection.

    Types of Windows Enrollment with UEM

    Windows device management starts with enrollment, and here are the primary types of enrolling Windows devices into a UEM solution.


    1. Windows Autopilot

    Some call it zero-touch, and some OOB (out of the box). Microsoft says it’s Windows Autopilot. This innovative method offers a completely touchless experience for setting up new devices. Ideal for large deployments, Windows Autopilot automates the entire process, from initial configuration to enrollment with your UEM solution. 

    Here’s how it works:

    Pre-configuration: IT admins pre-configure Autopilot profiles in the UEM console, specifying settings like language, time zone, Wi-Fi details, and UEM server information. 

    Device Startup: When users power on the Windows device (new or repurposed), it automatically connects to the internet and fetches the pre-configured Autopilot profile.

    Enrollment and Configuration: The device downloads and applies the settings, enrolls with the UEM server, and installs any pre-assigned applications, all without user intervention.

    Admins can configure enrollment based on existing Microsoft Entra IDs or can set up new IDs for the same to join devices into Entra (Entra ID Join). To combine the benefits of Entra ID Join with the OOB experience of Autopilot, there’s the enrollment option of Hybrid Entra ID Join. 

    2. URL/Browser-based Enrollment

    URL or browser-based enrollment is perhaps the simplest way to enroll Windows devices, allowing users to self-enroll their devices into the UEM solution. 

    Here’s the typical workflow:

    User Initiates Enrollment: Users access a web portal or download an enrollment app provided by the UEM solution.

    Credentials and Device Information: Users enter their credentials and provide basic device information.

    UEM Server Connection: The UEM server validates the user and device and establishes a secure connection by sending an enrollment code. 

    Policy Application: Once the user enters the enrollment code, the UEM server pushes down security policies and settings to the device.

    While browser-based enrollment supports both company-owned and employee-owned devices (BYOD), it is particularly conducive for BYOD environments

    3. Agent-based Enrollment

    This approach uses pre-staged configuration profiles to automate enrollment on corporate-owned devices

    Here’s a breakdown of the process:

    IT Prepares Configuration Profile: IT admins create a configuration profile within the UEM console, specifying enrollment details, security policies, and application assignments.

    Device Setup: During initial device setup, IT admins apply the configuration profile using a USB drive or other deployment tools (like scripting).

    Automatic Connection and Enrollment: Upon connecting to the internet, the device automatically retrieves the configuration profile, enrolls with the UEM server, and applies the predefined settings.

    Within Agent-based enrollment, admins can opt for Provisional Package-based enrollment with additional configurations like sequencing of EXE files. 

    Read More: Supercharged Scalefusion Deployer for Windows

    Simplify Windows Enrollment with Scalefusion UEM


    It is amazing to have great features onboard, but without a streamlined enrollment experience, managing Windows devices can be a tangle. A UEM solution like Scalefusion offers all the methods of Windows enrollment highlighted above. It allows organizations and IT admins the flexibility to enroll Windows devices as per business requirements and work-user scenarios.

    Contact our Windows experts and find out everything you need to know about Windows enrollment. Get going with a 14-day free trial by signing up today!

    References:
    1. StatCounter

    FAQs

    1. Which Windows enrollment method is suitable for different business environments and device types?

    The suitable Windows enrollment method varies based on business needs and device types in Mobile Device Management (MDM). Using Entra ID Join or Bulk Enrollment is ideal for corporate-owned devices, ensuring seamless integration with cloud services. For bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenarios, Entra ID Register is preferred, offering flexibility while maintaining security protocols.

    2. What are the benefits of using Windows Autopilot for device deployment and enrollment?

    Windows Autopilot simplifies device deployment and enrollment by automating setup processes. Its benefits include reducing IT overhead, ensuring consistent configurations, and enhancing user experience with self-service provisioning. This method streamlines device onboarding, leveraging cloud technologies for efficient management and updates.

    3. Can Windows enrollment methods support remote device management and deployment?

    Yes, Windows enrollment methods support remote device management and deployment through MDM solutions like Microsoft Intune. IT administrators can remotely configure, monitor, and secure Windows devices across various locations, improving efficiency and reducing physical IT intervention.

    4. How secure are Windows enrollment methods, and what security features do they offer?

    Windows enrollment methods prioritize security with features like Entra ID integration, encryption, and compliance policies. Entra ID Join enhances identity management, while BitLocker encryption safeguards data. Windows Hello adds biometric authentication for enhanced security, ensuring devices remain protected against threats.

    5. Can Windows enrollment methods support custom configurations and policies?

    Windows enrollment methods fully support custom configurations and policies via MDM platforms. IT teams can deploy tailored settings, applications, and security policies based on business requirements. This flexibility allows organizations to enforce compliance, manage updates, and optimize device performance according to specific needs and guidelines.

    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.

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