Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite Lifts Productivity for Woodside Bible Church


Woodside Bible Church is a megachurch headquartered in Michigan with 10,000 weekend members across 13 campuses. After migrating to Office 365 for email and business productivity last year, Woodside realized it needed a centralized solution to manage employee-owned devices. The company looked to Agile IT and the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite to deliver a comprehensive mobile management solution.

Overcoming Constraints With Mobile Productivity and Security

With 170 users working from home, off-site and across campuses, IT Director Brad Ervin faced serious challenges with mobile productivity. Laptops, iPads and mobile phones consisted of half the organization’s devices, but there was no way to manage these devices remotely. As a result, employees could only access critical business applications from a network computer.

Security presented another challenge for Woodside. Administrators needed a way to separate what employees could and couldn’t do within business applications on their personal devices.

Woodside sought a secure yet user-friendly one-stop-shop for mobile device management. After weighing other platforms such as Cisco Meraki, Brad realized the Enterprise Mobility Suite best aligned with the company’s long-term cloud vision.

“As we grow, it’s just more practical to be in the cloud,” Brad said. “EMS integrates with Office 365 and is easier to configure. With the nonprofit pricing that Microsoft offers, the decision was a no-brainer.”

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite

To meet the organization’s compliance requirements and reduce risk, Brad and the IT team chose the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (AD Premium) for its mobile management solution.

Microsoft EMS offers a complete solution to mobile device management for both company- and employee-owned devices. It consists of a few key components:

  • Unified Identity (Azure AD Premium): Synchronize on-premises Active Directory with cloud-based Active Directory to create a single identity and eliminate the need for multiple passwords.
  • Managed Apps & Devices (Intune): Intune enables mobile device and application management.
  • Data Protection (Azure Rights Management): Control who can see, open, read and edit documents on a granular level by assigning rights and permissions.

Woodside had partnered with Agile IT for a successful Office 365 migration only a year earlier, so working with the cloud experts seemed like the obvious choice.

“Working with Agile IT, the response time and quality of work have been excellent,” Brad said. “I’ve had zero problems, which I can’t say about everybody.”

Through deploying EMS with Agile IT, Woodside was able to:

  • Protect data across SharePoint, Exchange and Office Documents
  • Enable secure external access to corporate business systems
  • Allow users to reset their own password for Office 365 services
  • Build proof of concept and assist with the deployment of Windows Intune
  • Improve application speed, performance and security
  • Reduce costs associated with hosting critical business apps onsite (including refresh cycles every 4 years)

Reducing the IT Workload With AD Premium Self-Service Password Reset 

By allowing users to reset expiring or forgotten Active Directory passwords securely from any browser, Woodside reduced support requests and enabled users to be productive, faster.

Now, employees have the option of self-service password reset to help manage their own devices without the need for Woodside’s IT resources.

To enable self-service password reset, Agile IT worked with Woodside to:

  • Add two-way sync to Active Directory using Azure AD Sync
  • Configure a Password Reset Policy
  • Configure User Registration Portal Policies
  • Configure User Password Reset Portal
  • Provide training for managing and reporting on self-service password reset

“There were many steps involved in the process, but Agile IT made it easy,” Brad said. “Every step of the way, we always knew what was going on.”

The ROI of the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite

Since transitioning to Microsoft EMS, the most notable benefit has been the device management itself, Brad said. But that doesn’t stop at mobile. The management capabilities also extend to desktop, including the ability to do desktop self-service, reset passwords and manage accounts from the cloud via Intune.

Only one month in, Brad has already seen huge savings in time and resources from using EMS. EMS saved Woodside from putting servers on every campus, replacing expensive infrastructure, responding to support requests and hosting critical business applications onsite.

“Over time, the savings from EMS will only continue to grow,” Brad said.

Give EMS a Free Test Run

Want to evaluate how EMS works in your workstation before diving in? AgileEMS is a production setup configured in your environment that provides the full EMS experience to admins and end users. You’ll simply need 3 workstations, 2 non-PC devices and an existing Office 365 deployment to get started. For more information on AgileEMS, contact Agile IT today.

“There were many steps involved in the process, but Agile IT made it easy. Every step of the way, we always knew what was going on.”

Brad Ervin
IT Director