What is Windows Autopilot?

Windows Autopilot is a zero-touch Windows deployment program that streamlines the bulk setup and configuration of new Windows 10 devices in organizations, to ensure they're ready to access corporate data. It simplifies the entire device lifecycle management in an organization right from initial deployment to device retirement.

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?

One of the major challenges IT admins face is deploying and provisioning the Windows 10 devices required by the organization's workforce. Windows Autopilot helps organizations simplify Windows 10 device management with:

  • A One-time setup: Admins no longer need to manually deploy Windows 10 devices which involves activating the device, configuring device activation settings, creating user accounts, and deploying the necessary apps, profiles and configuration. Windows Autopilot enables organizations can automate the entire device activation and user assignment process with a one-time setup
  • Automated deployment of corporate resources: 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.

Windows Autopilot requirements

Ensure the following Windows Autopilot requirements are met to enroll devices using Microsoft:

Microsoft Azure Autopilot

Microsoft Azure, formerly known as Windows Azure, is a comprehensive public cloud computing platform introduced by Microsoft. It provides an extensive range of capabilities such as computing, networking, analytics, etc. One noteworthy feature of Windows Azure is that it integrates with various MDM solutions that support Windows Autopilot to simplify the management and deployment of mobile devices in the organization.

How to enroll devices using Windows Autopilot

Leverage the various benefits offered by Windows Azure Autopilot by integrating it with an 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 automate enrollment of Windows 10 devices using Windows Autopilot, follow the steps given below:

Step 1: On the Windows Business Store, navigate to Manage -> Devices and select Autopilot deployment

Step 2: 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

 

Step 3: Obtain the device details from your resellers, upload the CSV file containing the details and associate the Autopilot deployment profile.

Step 4: 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

Windows Azure Autopilot or Microsoft Azure deployment 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