• Part II of III: MobileIron and Microsoft Intune

Part II of III: MobileIron and Microsoft Intune

April 24, 2017

This three-part video blog series is my perspective on Microsoft’s strategy, the evolution of Microsoft Intune, and the critical role MobileIron plays in a Microsoft shop. My opinions are based on publicly available and third-party data plus my analysis of Microsoft’s actions. Part I of this series gives an overview of Microsoft’s strategy, and Part III provides a detailed technical comparison of MobileIron and Microsoft Intune.




Security is the central value proposition of MobileIron. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive, government-grade, best-of-breed security platform to enable business transformation. We believe that technology choice is essential for the modern enterprise. Our customers should be able to choose the devices, operating systems, apps, identity providers, and cloud services they want, with MobileIron providing a consistent security approach end-to-end.

If you are evaluating MobileIron vs. Microsoft Intune, I recommend that you first ask for references and then test the products head-to-head, even though the Microsoft sales team may not want you to do this. EMM is strategic. A wrong decision can be very costly. Testing up-front can save a lot of pain later.

Microsoft has four very specific sales tactics when selling Intune against MobileIron:

  • Intune is free” … but free security is rarely great security, and weak security is very expensive.
  • No one else can secure Office 365” … this is false because Microsoft has now opened their Microsoft Graph APIs to MobileIron. We and other EMMs will be able to use the proprietary controls Microsoft had only exposed to Intune in the past.
  • MobileIron is going out of business” … this is false (and seems a bit desperate) because MobileIron is a successful, growing, and financially sound public company.
  • Trust us – Intune will get better next year” … but mobile moves fast and security can’t wait.

The decision playbook is simple:

  • Talk to references: Don’t trust PowerPoints and promises. Because Intune is bundled into the broader Microsoft suite, many enterprises may have Intune licenses without Intune deployments. Ask to speak to a customer who has enrolled thousands of devices in Intune and is using it for apps.
  • Test the products: EMM platforms are very deep functionally, and testing will clarify the capability and stability differences between MobileIron and Intune.
  • Understand the strategy: Why doesn’t Intune have Common Criteria or FedRAMP certification? Why did it take Microsoft over 600 more days than MobileIron to support the Android enterprise (aka Android for Work) security framework? Why does Intune have far fewer technology integrations with third-party vendors than MobileIron? I believe that Intune has a very different strategy than MobileIron. MobileIron is 100% focused on EMM and all our resources go into building a platform aligned with our customers’ requirements. Intune, on the other hand, suffers from fundamental conflicts of interest in supporting non-Microsoft technologies. 

I also believe the value of Intune is shifting. Most market-leading EMM products, like MobileIron, are more mature than Intune. As Intune’s role evolves to policy middleware for Azure services, I believe that the main value Intune will provide is as an API through Microsoft Graph for Azure controls using the customer’s EMM of choice.

Please read Part III of this series, “MobileIron and Microsoft Intune: March 2017 Comparison,” for a more detailed technical comparison of the two products.

Any information concerning products and services other than MobileIron’s comes from public and third-party sources. Although we believe it to be accurate, we have not independently verified it and we cannot guarantee its accuracy.

Ojas Rege

Ojas Rege, Chief Strategy Officer

About the author

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Ojas Rege's perspective on enterprise mobility has been covered by Bloomberg, CIO Magazine, Financial Times, Forbes, and Reuters. He coined the term “Mobile First” on TechCrunch in 2007, one week after the launch of the first iPhone, to represent a new model of personal and business computing. He is co-inventor on six mobility patents, including the enterprise app store and BYOD privacy. Ojas is also a Fellow of the Ponemon Institute for information security policy. Ojas has a BS/MS in Computer Engineering from M.I.T. and an MBA from Stanford. Ojas is also Board Chair for Pact, a non-profit in Oakland, California that provides adoption services for children of color and their parents.

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