In this article, we will explore the challenges in managing Windows devices for businesses that use Google Workspace and how Scalefusion MDM helps in resolving these.
Identity and access management solutions are critical for businesses to successfully manage their digital assets. While the importance of IAM tools is well-known, equally common is the dilemma that enterprise CIOs face in choosing the right cloud identity and access management solution. The size of your organization and the number of digital devices in operation are good starting points to determine which IAM solution is the right fit. Charting the overall requirements of your organization’s digital infrastructure, now and in the future, is imperative.
We have observed a steady rise in the number of businesses (with an estimated 6 million customers) especially small to mid-sized, choosing Google Workspace as their preferred solution for identity and access management. Google Workspace is absolutely delightful since it is designed keeping in mind the needs of SMBs and is as straightforward as it could get. Apart from offering multiple tools that serve the prime motive of facilitating productivity and collaboration, the familiarity, ease of use, and low total cost of ownership make it an attractive proposition for SMBs.
Google Workspace + Windows Devices
When these businesses deploy devices running on the most popular computer OS in the world – Microsoft Windows device management becomes a new challenge. Since it is designed for devices that run on Chrome OS, MacOS, or Linux, Windows devices are not the obvious choice for pairing with Google Workspace. However, that doesn’t deter devices from choosing Windows devices for their business, and device management becomes tedious and often costly.
Some of the key challenges that IT teams managing the Google Workspace (G Suite) device management and Windows devices combination includes:
- To ensure that Windows devices run smoothly with Google Workspace, the deployment is complex. Windows devices are tightly integrated with Azure AD. Hence, the integration with Google Workspace is tough requires higher IT expertise, and is also time-consuming.
- Several different Windows devices may have hardware and software limitations that impact their compatibility with Google Workspace device management, which can impact the overall user experience and can be detrimental to organizational productivity.
As a result, most organizations either choose to opt for the complex process (which can also be patchy). Spending limited budgets for a hybrid approach with two different IAMs and two different MDMs is not the right business strategy, which often deters organizations from refraining to choose any MDM at all, which can be counterintuitive for their organization’s security and productivity.
Scalefusion Windows Device Management to the rescue!
Scalefusion MDM is a one-stop shop for businesses that want to successfully manage their Windows workstations while using Google Workspace. Scalefusion MDM brings forth a powerful set of features to enroll, monitor, and manage Windows workstations remotely, without having to migrate to Azure MDM. Organizations no longer need to migrate to Azure AD premium versions including P1, P2, E3, or E4, and continue to use Google Workspace while ensuring that their Windows devices are optimally managed via Scalefusion MDM.
Here’s how Scalefusion MDM helps manage Windows workstations with Google Workspace:
1. Device Enrollment
Windows devices can be enrolled on Scalefusion MDM using various enrollment methods that do not require Azure Active Directory. IT admins can create device-specific policies and invite users to enroll devices in device management by following a quick set of instructions. Alternatively, Windows workstations can also be enrolled using the Scalefusion Windows MDM agent, especially for devices running on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
To drive bulk enrollment of factory reset or fresh-out-of-the-box Windows 10 and above devices, IT administrators can opt for the provisioning packages.
Google Workspace admin can also access the Scalefusion account using Google Workspace ( formerly G Suite) based SSO, enabling them to import users from the Google Workspace.
Here’s a helpful guide to exploring the enrollment process for Windows devices on Scalefusion MDM.
2. Application Management
Scalefusion MDM provisions application management on Windows devices without Azure AD. IT admins can push and install applications on their Windows workstations without the Windows Business Store. IT teams can now upload a Universal Windows App (UWP), MSI apps, Win32 Apps (exe) as well as O365 apps on the Scalefusion dashboard and install them on remotely operating Windows devices.
Using Powershell Scripts available for Windows devices, IT teams can also install the GCPW application on managed Windows devices. Google Credential Provider for Windows ® (GCPW) enables users to sign in to Windows® devices with their Google Workspace account. GCPW provides users with a single sign-on experience to Google services and all the security features available with their Google Account.
3. OS updates and Patch Management
One of the most critical aspects of endpoint management is to ensure that the devices run on the latest version of the OS to ensure optimal performance and security. With Scalefusion MDM, IT admins can manage Windows updates remotely and also push the latest OS patches available for addressing vulnerabilities.
Read More: Windows Patch Management: A Step-wise Guide
4. Enhanced security and encryption keys
Scalefusion MDM unlocks a wide range of security features that IT teams can leverage to secure their Windows workstations. One of the most important features includes BitLocker – Microsoft’s built-in full-volume encryption feature that is designed to protect data by providing encryption for the hard disk volumes. BitLocker integrates with the OS and helps in addressing the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen or inappropriately decommissioned desktops. While for devices with Azure AD, BitLocker can be enforced and automated via Scalefusion MDM, for the enterprises choosing Google Workspace, BitLocker can still be used to configure BitLocker settings. IT teams can seamlessly create and apply BitLocker settings to the Windows 10 managed endpoint and encrypt the Windows operating system drive.
Similarly, IT teams can leverage features such as Windows Information Protection (WIP) and Certificate Management without having Azure AD as their chosen IAM provider.
Windows devices and Azure AD are classic examples of things that are better together, like a PBJ (peanut butter and jelly sandwich), but it doesn’t mean that’s the only sandwich or IAM businesses need to use. Google Workspace and Windows devices can work in perfect synchrony when managed using an all-in-one Windows MDM Solution such as Scalefusion. In 2023 when budgets take precedence over everything else, Google Workspace (G Suite) is one of the most cost-efficient IAM solutions that businesses are tilting towards (if not migrated already). Scalefusion helps power through mobility management for these businesses with ease.
You can evaluate your mobility management needs and find the right fit by getting in touch with our MDM experts. Set up a free demo here.