At Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, I saw quite a few sessions on managing mobile device application deployment with Intune.
Intune is a terrific product. It allows admins to control the devices in their environment. Additionally, the Intune Company Portal allows the users to go and self-service for apps. The users must go to the Company Portal for their mobile apps, then to the Application Catalog or Software Center for apps on their Windows devices. Then they must go to yet another portal for network access, etc. Some customers have 10 or more portals for requests!
It becomes so frustrating for end users that they give up and just call the Service Desk.
1E’s Shopping solves this problem and gives you one portal for every request in your environment. Shopping is a great tool to automate your requests with quite a few uses – self-service end-user scheduling of operating system migrations, software, network access, and really anything – furniture, printers, telephones, etc.
This article is going to focus on mobile device app requests.
Shopping allows the Admin to configure apps from each of the app stores (iTunes, Google Play, and the Windows Phone Store) to enable your end users to shop for these apps and have them install on the device.
To create the applications for mobile devices, simply right-click on the Applications Node in the Shopping Console.
Select New Mobile Application
Click Next when the wizard opens
Name your application so that the end users will know which one to select for their mobile devices. Click Next. You could change the icon here also. This is very helpful on the mobile devices since the screen real estate is limited.
On this screen, you will put in the link to each store’s download for the application you are creating. You can use the browse button also, but it is more difficult to search using the browse button. It is easier to use a search engine to look for the app in the specific store and copy the URL in the form. You can also only configure one or two of the apps (i.e., if you only manage iOS devices just set the iOS line. If you want iOS and Windows Phone – set the top and bottom lines only.) Click Next.
You will be able to assign user categories just as you would for other Shopping Applications. Click Next.
Click Finish and you are done.
Mobile Applications are merely deep links to the specific app store for the platform. They do not have an approval workflow in Shopping as they are open to all devices. This is a straightforward way to move all of your end user’s requests to a single location.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Shopping Demos
- Shopping Documentation