Knowing the difference between SCCM, MECM, and Microsoft Intune can be confusing. In this article we explain the difference between them.
SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager), MECM (Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager), and Microsoft Intune are all tools provided by Microsoft for managing devices and applications across an organization.
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Description of SCCM, MECM, and Intune
- SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager): SCCM is a part of Microsoft’s System Center suite of management tools. It’s primarily used for managing large groups of Windows computers but also supports managing Unix and Linux systems. SCCM provides remote control, patch management, software distribution, operating system deployment, network access protection, and hardware and software inventory.
- MECM (Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager): MECM is essentially the new name for SCCM. In 2019, Microsoft rebranded SCCM to MECM to reflect its focus on broader device management and to align with the suite of tools known as Microsoft Endpoint Manager. MECM still provides the same capabilities as SCCM, but the rebranding signifies a shift towards a more integrated and cloud-centric management solution.
- Intune: Microsoft Intune is a service based in the cloud that prioritizes mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM). As a component of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) suite, it enables businesses to regulate the usage of their organization’s devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and to establish particular policies for mobile apps.
It allows companies to control how their work-related data is accessed and shared on company-owned and personal mobile devices. Intune is part of the Microsoft Endpoint Manager suite, along with MECM.
To make it more confusing, Configuration Manager (MECM), InTune, Endpoint Analytics, and Autopilot are all considered to be labeled under the branding of Microsoft Intune, according to the documentation on Microsoft’s website.
Historical Evolution From SCCM to Intune
The journey of Microsoft’s device management tool has been an interesting one. Launched initially as System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), it was rebranded as Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (MECM) in 2019. Now Microsoft Intune, these changes were more than just a new name – it signified a shift in Microsoft’s approach to device management, with a greater emphasis on cloud integration and a broader range of devices.
Cloud Integration and Management
One of the fundamental changes with the introduction of MECM and Intune was a stronger focus on cloud management. While SCCM was primarily designed for managing on-premises devices, MECM and Intune are designed to manage devices on-premise and in the cloud. This change toward cloud-centric management allows for greater flexibility and scalability.
Unified Endpoint Management
Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) is a strategy that aims to simplify device and application management by bringing them under a single management platform. MECM and Intune are critical components of Microsoft’s UEM strategy, providing a unified solution for managing all devices and applications. In contrast, SCCM was primarily used for on-premise enterprise Windows environments.
The Role of Autopilot and Endpoint Analytics
Features like Autopilot and Endpoint Analytics enhance the capabilities of MECM and Intune. Autopilot simplifies the deployment and setup of new devices, while Endpoint Analytics provides insights into device performance and user experience. These features are part of Microsoft’s broader vision for proactive and data-driven device management.
Transitioning Between Names
For organizations using SCCM for a long time, transitioning to the new name (MECM or Intune) can be confusing. However, it’s important to note that the tool’s functionality remains unchanged. The rebranding is more about aligning with Microsoft’s vision for device management than any significant changes to the tool. So if you hear someone talking about SCCM, MECM, or Microsoft Intune, assume they are talking about the same thing.
Intune Common Misconceptions
One common misconception is that MECM and Intune are entirely new products. In reality, they are new iterations of SCCM, reflecting Microsoft’s evolving approach to device management. Another misconception is that SCCM is no longer supported. While Microsoft encourages customers to transition to MECM or Intune, SCCM is still supported and receiving updates.
Despite the confusion around the names, SCCM, MECM, and Intune are essentially the same tool, evolved to meet the changing needs of device management, especially with the popularity of cloud and multi-device environments.
Whether you’re managing traditional PCs or a mix of modern devices, Microsoft’s device management tools offer a comprehensive and flexible solution.
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