Managed Google Play and Microsoft Intune both provide valuable device and app management capabilities, and integration between the two enables IT administrators to manage enterprise endpoints more easily.
Managed Google Play, which is part of the Android Enterprise suite of applications, is a tool that admins can use to manage and deploy apps to Android devices in their organization. Microsoft Intune is Microsoft's unified endpoint management platform, which admins can use to manage Windows, Android, iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Linux and ChromeOS devices.
Using Managed Google Play and Microsoft Intune to manage devices can be beneficial for many IT teams. Organizations that have a mixed-device environment of Android and non-Android endpoints can integrate the two services for a comprehensive mobile device management (MDM) option.
Why should organizations integrate Managed Google Play with Microsoft Intune?
An organization might choose to use both Managed Google Play and Microsoft Intune for several reasons. Managed Google Play primarily focuses on Android devices, while Microsoft Intune is a more comprehensive platform that covers a broader range of device types. Using both platforms enables organizations to closely manage all their device platforms.
Microsoft Intune provides more complete management and security features for Windows-based devices. If an organization relies heavily on Windows devices, using Intune alongside Managed Google Play ensures granular control over those endpoints. If an organization uses Microsoft 365 extensively for productivity tools and services, Intune can provide a seamless management experience within the Microsoft ecosystem.
Similarly, Managed Google Play is designed for managing Android apps, so it's an ideal choice for organizations that are heavily invested in Android app deployment. Using both platforms, IT can take advantage of the specialized features of Managed Google Play for Android app management while using Microsoft Intune for other device management tasks.
Intune also offers robust security and compliance features. Using both platforms means admins can tailor their device management strategy to meet their organization's compliance requirements more effectively.
Microsoft Intune's conditional access policies enable organizations to control access to corporate resources based on device compliance. For example, admins can ensure that a device can only access corporate resources from trusted locations, such as the corporate LAN or VPN. By using Intune alongside Managed Google Play, IT can enforce conditional access policies for non-Android devices while still managing Android devices through Managed Google Play.
Additionally, some IT teams might like having the flexibility to choose the best tool for specific tasks. For example, it's possible to use Managed Google Play for app distribution and updates on Android devices and Intune for device configuration and security policies on Windows devices. In scenarios where an organization is transitioning from one device ecosystem to another, using both Managed Google Play and Microsoft Intune can also help smooth the transition period.
8 important features of Managed Google Play with Microsoft Intune
Managing devices with multiple MDM tools provides flexibility, but it can be more complex. Careful planning and coordination are necessary to ensure a cohesive and effective management strategy. Using both Managed Google Play and Microsoft Intune should align with an organization's specific device landscape and management requirements.
Features that are available when connecting Managed Google Play and Microsoft Intune include the following:
- App deployment. Admins can use Microsoft Intune to deploy apps from Managed Google Play to Android devices, making it easier to manage and distribute Android apps within their organization.
- Device enrollment. Intune can enroll Android devices as Android Enterprise devices, providing enhanced enterprise mobility management (EMM) capabilities compared to traditional device management methods.
- Security policies. It's possible to enforce security policies and configuration settings on Android devices via Microsoft Intune. Admins can automatically configure passcode policies, encryption requirements, network settings and more on the devices.
- Device inventory. Intune provides visibility into the inventory of Android devices, including hardware and software information. Admins can track device compliance and generate reports for auditing purposes.
- Remote wipe and lock. If a device is lost or stolen, IT can remotely wipe or lock the device using Intune, ensuring that sensitive data remains secure.
- App configuration. It's possible to create and deploy app configuration policies for Android apps from Managed Google Play through Intune, enabling IT to customize app settings for specific use cases.
- Data protection. Intune lets IT apply app protection policies to Android apps, helping to safeguard corporate data on these devices. Admins can also control actions like data sharing and prevent data leakage.
- Compliance monitoring. Intune checks the compliance status of Android devices and can take actions based on the compliance policies that admins have defined. This helps ensure that devices meet the organization's security and management requirements.
How to integrate Microsoft Intune with Managed Google Play
Connecting Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play accounts to support Android enrollment involves a series of steps. For the most up-to-date information on their integration and feature set, check the official documentation and release notes for both services.
Admins should also confirm that they have an active subscription to both Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play, with administrative permissions and access.
First, add the Google Play admin account to the Intune tenant. Log into Intune, navigate to Devices and select Android. Next, click on Android enrollment and select Managed Google Play.
Select the I Agree checkbox under "I grant Microsoft permission to send both user and device information to Google."
Select Launch Google to connect now, which opens the Managed Google Play website. Sign in with the Google account that will be used for all Android Enterprise devices and app management. Next, enter the organization name and confirm Microsoft Intune as the EMM provider.
A completed setup status will appear when the services have been connected.