(Stephen Parker, Head of Cloud Strategy)
Of all the services that Microsoft is working on for inclusion under their Microsoft Online Services banner, Windows InTune is IMHO one of the most interesting, especially for the army of small business specialist.
At it’s simplest InTune is a subset of Microsoft System Centre tools that are hosted by Microsoft and charged for on a seat/month basis (USD11 at time of writing). Included in the monthly fee is the upgrade rights for Windows 7 Enterprise.
This creates the opportunity for small business specialists to update their clients to WIndows 7, enhance their managed service offer and at the same time reduce the cost of delivery, especially to the smaller end of their client portfolio. Bottom line – better customer service, higher partner margin.
Microsoft have been running a limited pilot since April 2010 with positive feedback, however this has now closed to new participants. There will be an updated beta and again IMHO it would be well worth registering to be notified about ongoing updates to the InTune program.