Renew existing workplaces with new (mobile) devices a lot of hassle? In the past, but thanks to Windows AutoPilot, a child – or rather the end user – can do the laundry. Here’s what you need to know about microsoft’s new service.

Rolling out new workplaces can have quite a few feet in the earth. Especially if there are employees within an organization who work in other locations or even in other countries. Something that is rule rather than exception today.

You need to let them come to the office to replace their workplace, and the new devices must first be delivered to the office to be prepared before the end user can get started with it. Cumbersome, and no longer necessary.

How Windows AutoPilot works

Windows AutoPilot allows users to install a new Windows 10 device completely without the guidance of the IT department. As a result, the device can be sent directly from the vendor to the end user itself. The end user then arranges his enrollment in microsoft’s workplace management environment.

AutoPilot works with intune cloud management tool (or other MDM solutions) to automatically install settings, drivers, policies, and software. The user only needs to turn on his new device, log in to the corporate network, and then automatically prepare all applications (such as Office 365).

The difference

Before autopilot’s arrival, the roll-out of workplaces usually meant that new devices were delivered to the office, unpacked and provided with an image. For each new (type) device, the IT department had to create such a new image. A time consuming and expensive process.

AutoPilot does not need to flash an image or configure equipment manually. In principle, the IT department does not have to touch a physical device, but does retain control. The end user in turn almost has a BYOD experience, but with a business device.

Security guaranteed

Windows AutoPilot was introduced simultaneously with the April 2018 update of Windows 10 pro. With this collection of (security) technologies, IT can therefore automatically implement all security rules, as well as other policies. From which data you may share through which channels to which a password must be provided. But anyone who needs access to which applications and software should be given can be remotely arranged.

By also working with HP Sure Recover (pdf), you are sure that the security of the devices is optimally guaranteed. WITH HP Sure Recover, you can quickly and easily put an imageback on your PC. Useful if, for example, software-based malware needs to be removed. As with Windows AutoPilot, IT does not need to physically control the device to restore the image with HP Sure Recover.

Easy configuration

The first step to roll out new workplaces with AutoPilot is the registration of devices. This can be done in two ways.

  1. After purchase, you can ask the vendor (via the reseller) for a file with device IDs. You need to upload them to the Autopilot Deployment Services and link it to your organization. In principle, you only have to do this once. You can also ask your reseller with Microsoft Cloud Service Provider status to do this with this file for you.
  2. You can ask the vendor (through the reseller) to link device IDs directly to your Azure AD environment when purchasing the PCs. To do this, you officially consent via a URL to be sent out by the vendor. For more information about this consent, see here.

The second step is to set up a Windows Autopilot profile. In that profile, which you assign to the appropriate devices, you can determine which steps in the configuration are skipped. This allows you to prevent an end user from being confronted with privacy settings. Also steps like setting up Assistant Cortana, OEM registration and the choice between a personal or business device can be skip.

The last step is to transfer the new device to the employee. This can be done in the office, but just as well by having the device sent directly from the factory to the employee’s home. It switches on and connects it to the Internet. AutoPilot then starts a personalized installation (including your company name and logo), based on the profile assigned to the device.

When the user logs in with their account information, all settings and apps are automatically loaded. Within a few clicks, he can get started – without the intervention of the IT department. This video shows how simple that works in practice.

Learn more about what comes to mind when your desktops are replaced by laptops? Download the free white paper ‘Switching to mobile work at once? That’s how you do it.”