What is Windows Autopilot?

Windows Autopilot or Azure Autopilot is a zero-touch Windows deployment program that streamlines bulk provisioning of Windows 10 devices in organizations. With a combination of a mobile device management (MDM) solution and Azure Active Directory (AD) organization can ensure the devices are usage ready with zero admin intervention. With the help of MDM solutions that support Windows Autopilot, organizations can ensure the employees can start using the device immediately upon activation by ensuring all the required apps, configurations and documents are available on these devices.

Why do we need Windows Azure Autopilot?

IT admins understand how difficult it is to deploy and provision Windows 10 devices required by the organization's workforce. Manually deploying Windows 10 devices involves, activating the device, configuring device activation settings, creating user accounts, and deploying the necessary apps, profiles and configuration.

With the help of Microsoft Autopilot, organizations can automate the entire device activation and user assignment process with a one-time setup. Also, by integrating the Windows Azure Autopilot portal with an MDM solution, admins can ensure the apps and documents are also distributed to enrolled devices in bulk.

This ensures the devices can be shipped directly to the employee without requiring any admin intervention.

How to enroll devices using Microsoft Autopilot

As mentioned earlier, to leverage the various benefits offered by Windows Azure Autopilot, it is recommended to integrate it with a MDM solution that supports Windows Autopilot. ManageEngine's mobile device management solution, Mobile Device Manager Plus, provides extensive support to Windows Autopilot's automation capabilities. To enroll devices into Mobile Device Manager Plus using Microsoft Windows Autopilot, ensure the following pre-requisites are met:

Pre-requisites for enrolling devices using Windows Autopilot

Once the pre-requisites are met, the next step is to configure the device activation settings and enrolling the required devices

  • On the Windows Business Store, navigate to Manage -> Devices and select Autopilot deployment
  • Create a new Windows Autopilot deployment profile and by default users are allowed to skip the following steps while activating the device>
    • Cortana, OneDrive and OEM registration setup
    • Work or school setup
    • Sign-in experience with company brand
  • Additionally, the following settings can be configured:

    • Skip Privacy Settings
    • Disable local admin account creation on the device
    • Skip End User License Agreement (EULA)

    configure Windows Autopilot with MDM

  • Obtain the device details from your resellers, upload the CSV file containing the details and associate the Autopilot deployment profile.
  • The device will be enrolled and available on the Mobile Device Manager Plus server for user assignment

Refer this document for detailed steps on how to perform device enrollment using Windows Azure Autopilot.

Benefits of using Azure Autopilot

Using Windows Azure Autopilot provides organizations the following benefits:

  • Aids large scale enterprise device deployment: With Azure Autopilot, organizations can deploy hundreds of devices with minimal admin interaction, thereby reducing the time spent on configuring and provisioning devices
  • Automated user assignment: Employees can automatically register the devices enrolled using Windows Autopilot with their respective Azure accounts. Thus, significantly reducing the time spent on distributing the apps and content on devices.
  • Eliminate the need for OS imaging and deployment: With Microsoft Autopilot, you can ensure the devices are provisioned with the required apps, content and configurations isntead of using the time-consuming OS imaging process.
  • Customizable branding: Organizations can optionally re-brand the login screen with the organization's logo, a banner and custom texts, while configuring Windows Autopilot