BARCELONA: Microsoft is to roll out mobile device management (MDM) capabilities in Office 365 next year, making it easier for organisations to manage corporate data across a range of mobile devices, including those running Apple iOS and Android as well as Windows.
Microsoft unveiled the updates coming to its Office 365 cloud-delivered productivity suite in 2015 at its TechEd Europe conference.
These will enable customers to apply security policies against devices that connect to Office 365 to ensure that email and documents can be accessed only by approved devices, plus the ability to remotely wipe Office 365 data if necessary.
Julia White, Microsoft general manager for Office 365, said that the updates will enable customers to offer "conditional access" to Office documents and email, such as ensuring that any device used by employees has not been jailbroken or rooted, which could potentially pose a security risk.
Administrators will be able to set policies directly from the Office 365 administration portal, and enforce the use of a Pin to secure access to the device. Any wipe of Office 365 content will not affect the user's personal data, White added.
These MDM features coming to Office 365 are actually powered by Microsoft's Intune cloud-based management service and are a subset of Intune's capabilities, the firm disclosed.
Intune itself is also getting some upgrades that will enable customers to benefit from additional security features if they also subscribe to Intune.
These will include data leak prevention measures that enable policies to be applied against managed applications, preventing users from copying and pasting data from an Office 365 app to another, for example, or copying files from Office 365 to elsewhere on the device.
While these capabilities are built in to Office 365, Microsoft will also enable this to be extended to other applications using Intune app wrapper functionality, White said.
White also confirmed that Microsoft is working on an Android version of the Office for iPad suite of mobile productivity tools that the firm announced for Apple's tablet platform earlier this year.
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