Desktop Analytics, Azure Active Directory User Group Discovery, Maintenance Options & more – check out our favorite new features from Update 1906 for System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)
System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is a game-changer for productivity and efficiency for your IT staff. As a product in the Microsoft System Center suite of management solutions, SCCM helps organizations manage devices and users both on-premises and in the cloud. It reduces manual overhead tasks that IT teams normally must do, therefore letting them focus more on high-value projects. The great thing about SCCM is that it works alongside your existing Microsoft technologies. It can integrate with Intune, Exchange Server, Remote Desktop, Windows Deployment Services, and many more solutions. With the latest update, SCCM can also integrate with Desktop Analytics, which increases your opportunities with this tool even further. The update also enables some other new features that make things easier for IT with multiple new capabilities and features.
Our Top 3 Favorite Features in SCCM
1) Desktop Analytics
Many customers face challenges with getting and staying current with Windows 10 – that’s where Desktop Analytics integrated with Configuration Manager can be a huge help. Desktop Analytics provides insight and intelligence for you to make more informed decisions about the update readiness of your Windows clients. It combines data from your organization with data aggregated from millions of devices connected to Microsoft cloud services. The primary challenge for many organizations is testing applications. This process is typically manual and extremely time-consuming for IT administrators and application owners to continually analyze existing applications.
SCCM and Desktop Analytics can be used to:
- Create an inventory of apps running in your organization.
- Assess app compatibility with the latest Windows 10 feature updates.
- Identify compatibility issues and receive mitigation suggestions based on cloud-enabled data insights.
- Create pilot groups that represent the entire application and driver estate across a minimal set of devices.
- Deploy Windows 10 to pilot and production-managed devices using Configuration Manager.
- Minimize deployment risks by monitoring the health state of your devices during and after the deployment.
- Ensure your devices are still supported with security and feature updates status.
2) Azure Active Directory User Group Discovery
You can now discover user groups and members of those groups from Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). What does this mean? After the update, when the site finds users in Azure AD groups that it hasn't previously discovered, it adds them as new user resources in Configuration Manager. A user group resource record is created when the group is a security group. This is a great new feature because…
This is also a pre-release feature, meaning it is in the current branch for early testing in a production environment. While these features are fully supported, it’s still in active development, so they might receive changes until they move out of the pre-release category. Find out how to enable this feature here.
3) SCCM Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) Maintenance Options
With the new update, there are now additional options for WSUS maintenance tasks that Configuration Manager can run to keep up with healthy software update points. WSUS maintenance occurs after every synchronization. Configuration Manager can now:
- Remove obsolete updates from the WSUS database.
- Add non-clustered indexes to the WSUS database to improve WSUS cleanup performance.
Aside from our three favorite features, there are a ton of capabilities that this SCCM update enables, including:
- Readiness insights for desktop apps
- Add joins, additional operators and aggregators in CMPivot
- Delivery Optimization download data in client data sources dashboard
- Use your distribution point as an in-network cache server for Delivery Optimization
- Support for Windows Virtual Desktop
- Improvements to co-management auto-enrollment
- Multiple pilot groups for co-management workloads
- Application groups
Find the full list of SCCM new features and further information. If you have further questions, concerns or need more details about this update, contact us and a member of our team would be happy to help.
Interlink even has a Managed Service option for SCCM, that way your organization can gain predictability with regards to IT spend for SCCM, peace of mind regarding the SCCM environment, and mutual interest from each party regarding up-time and mitigating system issues.
If your organization does not currently have SCCM but is interested, reach out and Interlink can help you discover how it would work and benefit your business.