Solving the Windows Device Management Challenge for Google Workspace Users

  • February 15, 2023

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. And while the importance of IAM tools is well-known, equally common is the dilemma that enterprise CIOs face in choosing the right 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.

Challenges in managing Windows devices for businesses that use Google Workspace

We have observed a steady rise in the number of businesses (with an estimated 6 million customers¹) 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 makes 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 Google Workspace is designed for use on 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 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 and 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, 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 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 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. 

IT admins 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 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 device 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 OS updates remotely for Windows workstations 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 computers. 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 devices 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.

Closing lines…

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 MDM such as Scalefusion. In 2023 when budgets take precedence over everything else, Google Workspace 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.


  1. Cnbc

Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints

Renuka Shahane is a Sr. Content Writer at Scalefusion. An engineering graduate, an Apple junkie and an avid reader, she has a 5+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for technology and web based startups.
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