shopping cart
(ex. GST & Delivery)
  • Home
  • Windows Modern Deployment with Autopilot and Intune

What is Windows Autopilot?

In very simple terms Windows Autopilot lets you register your device with Microsoft so that on first log on your device can be provisioned into your Azure AD domain and have Microsoft Intune deployed for ongoing cloud management. It is Microsoft's version of Zero Touch Enrolment and depending on your use case will mean no more custom images and driver packs for each new device.

What is Microsoft Intune?

AutoPilot automates Intune deployment so it is important to understand Intune. Intune is Microsoft's  cloud-based device manager and helps with compliance, mobile provisioning, and security.

Intune enrolls devices into your IT ecosystem, configures those devices, deploys mandatory apps, reports, and even helps with the removal of data from devices post-use. Most importantly as it is cloud based it lets you manage your device wherever it is. No more needing to be on the work network to see the device.

Pros of Autopilot?

  • IT Admin no longer has to maintain images and drivers
  • Don’t have to touch the devices (Near Zero Touch)
  • Remote management for off site end users
  • Simple process for End-Users - just log in

Cons of Autopilot?

  • First log in can take longer if you have a lot of packages
  • You'll have to repackage your software for Intune
  • Autopilot is still evolving so things can go wrong
  • Because of bloatware you still often have to reimage devices

What you need?

  • Your devices need to ship with Windows Pro or Pro Academic versions pre installed - Win Home Editions can not be provisioned with Autopilot
  • Azure Active Directory P1 or P2 plan
  • Microsoft 365 Business, Microsoft 365 F1, Microsoft 365 E3 or E5, Enterprise Mobility & Security E3 or E5, or any other license that provides AAD/MDM services
  • Modern Device Management environment that has enabled Windows Autopilot registration
  • Devices with a clean, ready to provision image

Ready to Provision Images

Probably the thing that confuses our customers most when talking about Autopilot is the need for a ready to provision image. Most manufacturers ship their devices with "value added software" more commonly known as bloatware. The issue being when you try to deploy, for example, your own company's anti virus software via Intune and there is a trial version of McAfee already installed - things break. The solution is to reimage devices with a vanilla windows image with just drivers installed known as a "ready to provision" image. The good news is as Autopilot becomes more mainstream, manufacturers will start shipping more and more with Ready to Provision images out of the box.

Can I use a fat image with Autopilot?

Yes and sometimes it is recommended if you have a very large image with a lot of software. You can use a fat image with everything preinstalled and then use Autopilot/Intune to manage the device ongoing. This helps speed up the end user experience on first logon. 

What is Full Provisioning?

If a device is registered for Windows Autopilot on first login the device will go off to the internet and download your provisioning packages and provision the device. If you have a lot of provisioning packages this can lead to quite a long first set up for end users and also eat up your internet bandwidth if you have a lot of devices logging in for the first time at the same time. We can help by pre downloading the provision packages before we ship the devices, greatly improving first login for the users. We call this Full Provisioning.

Can I still use my SCCM set up?

Yes Intune, Autopilot and SCCM can work together with co-management. This can give you the best of both worlds and help you transition faster to cloud managed devices.  If you want some more information about this set up click here.

How we can help?

We've deployed thousands of devices already for our customer using Windows Autopilot. We can register your devices for Autopilot in your domain before shipping free of charge. We can also assist in making sure units have Ready to Provision images, deploy fat images, and/or fully provision the devices before shipping. We do this in our own configuration centre to ensure quality control and help iron out any quirks that you might find with your Autopilot deployments.

Want to know how to set it up?

We're here to help but if you want to do some more investigation on your own. There are heaps of useful articles online and videos on Autopilot setup. If you want a deployment guide click here.