Software deployment is an essential yet sometimes complex process for IT administrators, aiming to ensure applications are installed, updated, and managed efficiently across a network. Simplifying this procedure, especially with varied file formats like MSI and EXE, becomes crucial to save time and reduce potential headaches. Two software deployment tools, Microsoft’s Intune and NinjaOne, provide options to manage this but offer different user experiences. Florian Warncke, a data security officer and IT consultant, finds merit in both platforms. Intune shines with its robustness and integration with Azure AD, while NinjaOne offers a notably simpler and more direct route, particularly for deploying EXE files.
The key to a seamless IT operation lies in choosing a tool that not only simplifies the deployment process but also ensures that software versions are uniform, secure, and up to date across all devices within a network. Both Intune and NinjaOne stand out as viable options, each presenting its own set of advantages and challenges. The choice ultimately pivots on specific needs and use cases, providing IT administrators with pathways that align with their operational requirements.
The Intune journey
Intune, lauded for its power and seamless integration with Azure AD, presents its own set of challenges and steps when it comes to software deployment. Florian shares his process:
- Employing the Intune Prep Tool: Conversion of classic apps into the .intunewin format is a necessity. This entails utilizing the Intune prep tool.
- Windows & .NET Framework Dependency: Execution must be performed from Windows, necessitating .NET Framework 4.7.2 and above.
- Downloading the EXE File: This step is straightforward but crucial.
- Creating the App Package: Depending on the complexity of the app, you may need to run additional scripts to add app-specific parameters.
- Uploading the App into Intune: The app is then introduced to the Intune environment.
- Incorporating App Information: The information about the app must be manually inserted into Intune to add it to the library.
- Reiteration for Updates: If a new version of your app is introduced, you’re back to square one, retracing all steps to install the update.
NinjaOne: A streamlined alternative
Transitioning to NinjaOne, Florian noticed a marked difference in the software deployment journey. NinjaOne introduces its centralized software repository as a beacon of streamlined operations. With a straightforward interface and supportive framework, users can smoothly upload applications in both MSI and EXE formats, without the hoop-jumping evident in Intune.
- Support for Multiple Formats: Directly upload MSI and EXE formats without the need for conversion tools.
- Efficient Package Management: Packages allow direct parameter insertion and can support up to five auxiliary files, facilitating easier management.
- Pre and Postscripts: Enhanced flexibility with the capability to execute scripts before and after the main installation process.
- Easy monitoring of software compliance: Add alerts to your policy to verify successful installations.
- Ease of deployment: Deploy at scale or on-demand with one-click remote access, all at a cost-effective price per endpoint.
A noteworthy aspect is that the update process is seamlessly integrated into NinjaOne’s platform, thereby eliminating the need to revisit the entire deployment pathway for every subsequent update. Florian now leans towards NinjaOne for its efficacy in software deployment, particularly when dealing with EXE files.
“Intune is powerful and very useful for its integration with Azure AD but now I prefer NinjaOne for software deployment, especially deployment of EXE files.”
Florian Warncke, Information Security Officer, Creditplus Bank
Learn how to streamline your software deployment process and optimize efficiency.
Simplicity meets efficacy
In contrasting NinjaOne and Intune, it is evident that while both possess their individual strengths and weaknesses, the user’s specific needs and expectations are paramount. For IT administrators seeking a methodical, albeit somewhat lengthy, process and who are content with Windows and Azure AD integrations, Intune offers a stable platform.
Conversely, for those who value a straightforward and efficient approach, especially when deploying EXE files, NinjaOne stands out as a preferred choice. Essentially, it’s a choice between a comprehensive yet potentially intricate system (Intune) and a swift, streamlined one (NinjaOne).
It comes down to the quintessential debate: robust and potentially arduous versus efficient and streamlined. As we traverse through evolving digital landscapes, optimizing time and resources becomes crucial, and perhaps, simplicity may indeed be the ultimate sophistication in the world of software deployment. Learn how to gain the best of both worlds by combining Intune and NinjaOne for a fully optimized endpoint management experience.