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Case Study

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Empowering Employees to Safely Work from Anywhere with Mobile Devices optimally managed with Microsoft Endpoint Manager & further M365 Cloud Services

Empowering Employees to Safely Work from Anywhere with Optimally Managed Mobile Devices

Schleuniger AG already used Microsoft Configuration Manager to administer its on-premises Windows 10 devices. Still, the number of remote workstations and the volume of data transfers to company distribution points had grown. With the support of SoftwareONE, Schleuniger AG introduced the Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Using Microsoft Endpoint Manager enabled Schleuniger AG to keep its existing configuration manager and to pair it with cloud functions such as Azure AD, Single Sign-On, Microsoft Intune, and Windows Autopilot. All mobile devices can now be managed more easily and securely regardless of location. This means more flexibility and user-friendliness and, for the IT department, a significant reduction in IT costs and resources used for device management to help improve ROI.

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Daniel Isler

“Through the interaction of various on-premises and Microsoft Cloud Services, we now can manage our many decentralized clients. With SoftwareONE, we have a trustworthy and long-standing partner who can implement a solution exactly according to our wishes. Together, we will monitor the further development of the cloud services and integrate them in a meaningful way so that we can quickly eliminate any remaining technological limitations.“

Team Lead GBS Infrastructure, Schleuniger AG

The Project

  • Customer: Schleuniger AG

  • Industry: Manufacturing; Engineering

  • Solution: Implementation of Microsoft Endpoint Manager including further M365 Cloud Services, e.g. Windows Autopilot, Microsoft Intune

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About the Customer

Schleuniger AG is a global technology company and a leading provider of solutions for the wire processing and testing industry. Schleuniger serves suppliers to the automotive, entertainment, information, and communications industries. The comprehensive solution portfolio includes semi and fully automatic machines for demanding production applications, including customer-specific process and test automation solutions. In addition, the company offers peripheral and testing equipment, tools, and software for the networking of data over the entire process chain and service products for the whole spectrum of cable processing and testing.

Schleuniger has development and production sites in Switzerland, Germany, China, and the USA and numerous sales and service companies in EMEA, NAFTA, and APAC, as well as over 40 distributors worldwide. Around 1,000 employees and 50 trainees work for the company across three continents.

The Challenge

For several years, Schleuniger AG has been using Microsoft's Endpoint Configuration Manager to deploy, manage, and secure its on-premises Windows 10 devices. For the software distribution, however, each company location required a software distribution point. As the amount of data increased, this method limited efficiency and user-friendliness while increasing costs. With a high number of employees in the field and more users working from home due to COVID-19 restrictions, Schleuniger wanted location-independent device management. So, the company decided to take advantage of Microsoft's cloud technology to users a modern, flexible, and user-friendly workplace. At the same time, the change would relieve the IT department from constantly increasing administrative efforts.

Future device installations, software distribution, anti-malware, and update management would be possible regardless of employee location. In addition, the new solution specified that employees would no longer need to be present at respective company locations to receive their configured devices. The initial registration of a new user in the company network could also be made externally.

The Solution

Schleuniger AG engaged SoftwareONE to provide the appropriate professional support for its cloud transformation. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with more than 30 years of experience, SoftwareONE successfully advised the company and supported its technical implementation.

To meet its objectives, Schleuniger decided to implement Microsoft’s Endpoint Manager – a hybrid solution that makes it possible to manage the on-premises structure of Windows 10 devices. Cloud technology provides a simple, secure, and location-independent solution to configure Windows 10 devices without interrupting on-site processes. With Endpoint Manager as an integrated platform, the Windows environment is co-managed using Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune. Registration takes place via Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and a Single Sign-On (SSO).

In addition, a VPN connection to the corporate network is no longer required, as the clients communicate directly via the cloud service provided by Microsoft Intune. This means the Cloud Management Gateway (AzureVM and Azure Storage Account) can be accessed from anywhere. Clients can thus be managed at any time and from anywhere. Finally, outsourcing update management to the cloud ensures that all apps are always up to date. Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) policies control and secure the approval of mobile devices and applications.

To ensure that the initial configuration of the mobile devices is not tied to a company location, the company uses Windows Autopilot, another cloud-based application that conveniently and quickly provides employees with a ready-to-use work device. With Windows 10 pre-installed, the device can be personalized by the end-user with a few clicks directly in the cloud and used immediately. Long trips to the company site are no longer necessary. The devices have already been included in the Windows Autopilot before delivery and can be sent directly from the device manufacturer to the relevant new employees. By eliminating the initial configuration, the company's internal IT department is significantly relieved, saving resources and concentrating on its core tasks.

Since Schleuniger still requires classic domain access despite the cloud connection, an offline domain join was provided using the Azure AD Connector. The Azure AD Connector handles all operations related to synchronizing user profiles between the on-premises and Azure Active Directory.

The Result

  • Maximizing ROI: To optimally provision and manage endpoints across the enterprise, Schleuniger AG can successfully use proven Configuration Manager processes with Microsoft’s Endpoint Manager. Processes can extend modern cloud functions, e.g., from Azure AD, Single Sign-On, Microsoft Intune, and Windows Autopilot, thus building on the previous investment in Enterprise Mobility Management.
  • Reduced IT Expenses for the Provisioning and Management of Mobile Devices: With the integrated use of various cloud services, Schleuniger's IT team can distribute software, manage configurations, and administer software updates and anti-malware for mobile devices regardless of location, making it much faster and easier. IT can provide its services directly via the cloud connection securely, quickly, and reliably. The solution is available to all users, regardless of location, in the home office, the field, or a company location. The elimination of the initial configuration of new devices at the respective location by switching to Windows Autopilot also significantly reduces the burden on the department's resources.
  • Increasing the Positive User-Experience for Employees: Schleuniger offers its employees a modern, flexible, & user-friendly workplace. By registering with Azure Active Directory, they can easily and securely access enterprise applications and resources from anywhere, anytime, via either Offline Domain or Single Sign-On. Schleuniger can conveniently and securely provide ready-to-use devices to new employees at their desired location using Windows Autopilot.
  • Improved Security: Cloud-based unified updates, malware detection, and software distribution ensure delivery of the latest versions of apps and programs, providing a smooth and secure experience for Schleuniger’s workforce. MAM and MDM policies control the approval of mobile devices and applications, ensuring their safe use and protection of corporate data.
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