Migrate to Android Enterprise Administration using Intune from Device Administration

Android Enterprise Administration Migration

In this article, I would be explaining how to manage Android Devices using Intune, before that I will explain a little about Android Device Administration and Android Enterprise. Let’s check out the Android Enterprise Administration migration process using Intune.

My name is Anand, I been working mostly on MS technologies like O365 ( EXO, EOP), Intune, Azure AD, Windows 10, and I love exploring technologies, this is my first post in the HTMD community!

Android Device Administration

Device Administration came into the picture since Android 2.2 and later considered a legacy management approach since Android’s managed device (device owner) and work profile (profile owner) modes were introduced in Android 5.0. Because device admin isn’t well suited to support today’s enterprise requirements, Some drawbacks about device administration

  • Difficult, error-prone enrolment.
  • Limited, inconsistent control.
  • A poor app management experience.
  • Permissions – management and abuse.

Android Enterprise

Android Enterprise is a Google-led initiative to enable the use of Android devices and apps in the workplace. The program offers APIs and other tools for developers to integrate support for Android into their enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions. Some benefits of Enterprise administration

  • Consistent, reliable management
  • Flexible, simple & safe application management
  • Zero-day support for new features and functionality
  • Secure by default
  • A solid foundation on which to build

Android Enterprise (AE) offers a few things:

  • A reliable EMM experience, knowing when a configuration is pushed, all AE devices will support and execute the relevant requests.
  • A containerized work/life separation primarily aimed at BYOD referred to as a work profile.
  • A fully locked-down, managed mode for complete corporate ownership with no personal space, referred to as fully managed (previously work-managed).
  • A single-use mode (Android Kiosk, but on a fully managed device) for Kiosk-like applications, referred to as dedicated (previously COSU – Corporately Owned, Single Use).
  • A combined, COPE mode bringing together fully managed and work profile to provide a fully managed device with personal space (fully managed devices with work profiles).
  • Out of the box, zero-touch enrolment for Android 8.0 and above (or 7.0 for Pixel).
  • managed Google Play portal offering an application store for work devices containing only explicitly approved applications.
  • Silent application installation without the need for a user-provided Google account on the device.
  • Managed configs, a way of deploying corporate settings to managed applications (think Exchange profiles, but configurable in Gmail directly. See below).
  • Mandatory device encryption.
  • OEMConfig, a means for OEMs to provide additional APIs over and above Android Enterprise easily managed directly through an EMM
The Picture Above Explains the Break Down of Management Scenarios for Android Enterprises - Android Enterprise Administration using Intune
The Picture Above Explains the Break Down of Management Scenarios for Android Enterprises
Schematically Diagram for Android Enterprise (Thanks to Joy for this diagram –Understanding Android Management with Intune | Android Enterprise a Post by Joy )

Employee-owned devices (BYOD)

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune
Intune Android Enterprise

BYOD devices can be set up with a work profile—a feature built into Android 5.1+ that allows work apps and data to be stored in a separate, self-contained space within a device. An employee can continue to use their device as normal, all their personal apps and data remain on the device’s primary profile ( Personal Profile )

In this case, the employee’s organization has full management control over a device’s work profile but has no visibility or access to a device’s personal profile. This distinct separation gives enterprises control over corporate data and security without compromising employee privacy.

Company-owned devices for Workers

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune
Intune Android Enterprise

Left one fully managed device, and Right one is a fully managed device with a work profile. In both cases, the enterprise has full management control over the entire device.

There are two deployment options available for these types of company-owned devices: fully managed (Android 5.0+) and fully managed with a work profile (Android 8.0+).

Fully managed deployments are for company-owned devices that are used exclusively for work purposes. Organizations can enforce the full range of management policies on the entire device, including device-level policies that are unavailable to work profiles.

Fully managed devices with work profiles are for company-owned devices that are used for both work and personal purposes. The organization still manages the entire device. However, the separation of work data and apps into a work profile allows organizations to enforce two separate sets of policies. For example:

  • A stronger set of policies for the work profile that applies to all work apps and data.
  • A more lightweight set of policies for the personal profile that applies to the user’s personal apps and data.

Company-owned devices for dedicated use

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune - Migration Process
Intune Android Enterprise – Migration Process

The left one is employee-facing scenarios, and the Right one is customer-facing scenarios. Dedicated devices (formerly called corporate-owned single-use, or COSU) are a subset of company-owned devices that serve a specific purpose.

Dedicated devices/Kiosks are typically locked to a single app or set of apps. Android 6.0+ offers granular control over a device’s lock screen, status bar, keyboard, and other key features, to prevent users from enabling other apps or performing other actions on dedicated devices.

Why we must move from Device Administration to Android Enterprise

In many cases, enterprises had demanded more security for android devices and those are not achieved by Device Administration Some of these are:

  • Separation of work data from personal data in mixed-use or BYOD deployments.
  • Distribution of business applications and management of their data through Google Play and managing the Google Accounts needed for this.
  • Locking devices into a kiosk to tailor them for specific application uses.
  • Certificate management to allow for access to PKI secured resources.
  • Establishment of per-app and per-profile VPNs to support remote enterprise applications while protecting privacy.

Deprecated policies of Device Administration

With the release of Android 9.0, the following policies are marked as deprecated when invoked by a device admin, but the APIs otherwise continue to function.

  • USES_POLICY_DISABLE_CAMERA
  • USES_POLICY_DISABLE_KEYGUARD_FEATURES
  • USES_POLICY_EXPIRE_PASSWORD
  • USES_POLICY_LIMIT_PASSWORD

Starting with the release of Android 10.0, the above-mentioned policies will throw a Security Exception when invoked by a device admin on apps targeting API level 29. Some applications use the device admin for consumer device administration, e.g. locking and wiping a lost device. The following policies will continue to be available to enable this:

  • USES_POLICY_WIPE_DATA
  • USES_POLICY_FORCE_LOCK
  • USES_POLICY_RESET_PASSWORD

How to Migrate Android Devices from Device Administration to Android Enterprise Administration (Intune)

Consider if the current environment is configured for device administration only and we need to move to Enterprise administration, Unfortunately, this process cannot be fully automated. Current Android managed devices needs to be re-enrolled before you can manage them via Android Enterprise

These are some of the use cases which can be taken under consideration if there is a migration plan date is set and compliance policy is set for Enterprise administration

and a compliance policy is set for Enterprise administration

Device enrollment statusRecommended action
Existing device is enrolled in device administration mode and upgradeable to Android Q or 10Before upgrading the device to Android Q, migrate from device administration mode to Android Enterprise.
Existing device is enrolled in device administration mode. The device can’t upgrade to Android Q or 10Device can remain in device administration mode. However, plan to move the device to Android Enterprise on device refresh.
Existing device is enrolled in device administration mode and is upgraded to Android Q or 10Migrate from device administration mode to Android Enterprise before Google deprecates the APIs. A warning message for these devices appears in the Endpoint Management console of Intune
New device delivered with Android Q or 10 and enrolled in device administration mode.Migrate from device administration mode to Android Enterprise before Google deprecates the APIs. A warning message for these devices appears in the Endpoint Management console of Intune
New device delivered with or upgradeable to Android Q or 10. The device isn’t enrolled.Use Android Enterprise for any new devices.
New or existing device on Android Q gets enrolled in device administration mode after Google deprecates the APIs.To avoid the impacts of deprecated Google APIs, it is recommended migrating to Android Enterprise before Google deprecates the APIs. After that date, enrollments of these devices will fail.
New or existing devices enrolled in MAMNo action needed. The deprecated Google APIs have no impact on devices in MAM

Prerequisites for Intune

  • Users must have Android device administrator enrolled devices with Android Company Portal version 5.0.4720.0 or later.
  • Set up Android work profile management by connecting your Intune tenant account to your Android Enterprise account.
  • Set Android Enterprise work profile enrollment for the group of users who are moving to the Android work profile.
  • Consider increasing your user device limits. When unenrolling devices from device administrator management, device records might not be immediately removed. To provide cushion during this period, you might need to increase device limit capacity so that the users can enroll in work profile management.
    • Configure Azure Active Directory device settings for the Maximum number of devices per user.
    • Adjust the Intune device limit restrictions by setting the Device limit.

Different Migration Strategies

Bulk / Cut Over migration: Migrate all existing devices to Enterprise Administration

Create a Compliance Policy in Intune which will make all the devices under device administration will be mark as complaint

Step1:

In the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center, select Devices and select Compliance policies to create a new policy. On the Create a policy page, set Platform to Android device administrator and tap on create

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune - Migration Process
Android Enterprise Administration using Intune – Migration Process

Step 2:

Provide a Name for the Policy and tap on Create and in the Compliance settings page, in the Device Health section, set Block devices managed with device administrator to Yes > Next.

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune - Migration Process
Android Enterprise Administration using Intune – Migration Process

Step 3:

Create a custom notification email for non-complaint devices by selecting send emails to end-user. Select the message template (I had explained how to create a message template in below) and tap next and provide the scope tags if there or assign this to the Respective Group, Users or devices according to the deployment plan

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune - Migration Process
Android Enterprise Administration using Intune – Migration Process

In the email, you can include the URL below in your messages to users. The URL will launch the Android Company Portal to the Update device settings page. This page starts their flow to move to work profile management.

How to create Custom Notification Template

Step 1:

Navigate to  Device and compliance and select Notifications

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune - Migration Process
Android Enterprise Administration using Intune – Migration Process

Step 2:

Tap on Create Notification Provide a Name for the template subject and message and tap next to Review & Create

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune - Migration Process
Android Enterprise Administration using Intune – Migration Process

You can use this Notification Template to send email to end users

In this migration all the users will be migrated to Android Enterprise from Device Administration

Staged migration to Android Enterprise Administration using Intune

Enroll all Android Q or 10 devices to Enterprise administration keeping other devices in Device administration and later when devices are getting upgraded those will get enrolled to Enterprise administration

Step 1: Create a Pilot security group for testing the policies and profiles

The Android Enterprise Profiles / Policies are different from the current Device Admin (legacy) profiles. We need to create completely new policy sets for android enterprises and the policies and profiles need to be tested with the pilot users as this will give more control and won’t create any conflict

The Security group can be created according to the infrastructure if its Hybrid the create a security group on premises and if its only cloud creates the security group in Azure AD

Step 2: Configure the Profiles, Apps and Conditional Access

Second step is to create the new Profiles, Publish the Play Store Managed Apps, App Protection policies and Conditional Access policies in Intune and assigned the pilot group for these policies

Step 3: Configuring the Microsoft Intune Enrollment restrictions to restrict devices to enroll only with Enterprise administration

Create a device enrollment restriction for Android Enterprise users in enrollment restriction page

Step 1:

Navigate to Intune Portal > Select Enrollment Restrictions page > click on Create Restriction to create a new restriction > Device Type Restriction this will take you to create a new restriction

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune - Migration Process
Android Enterprise Administration using Intune – Migration Process

Step 2:

Provide a name for the profile > in Platform Settings you need to block Android Device Administrator > change from Allow to Block

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune - Migration Process
Android Enterprise Administration using Intune – Migration Process

Step 3:

Provide the Pilot Assignment Group in assignments > Review + Create to complete the creation of restriction. 

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune - Migration Process
Android Enterprise Administration using Intune – Migration Process

Additional Tips

The Device Restriction will have priority one, you can create Multiple restriction group as per the requirements to allow and block the Platforms.

Android Enterprise Administration using Intune - Migration Process
Android Enterprise Administration using Intune – Migration Process

If we turn this around (block Android, Allow Android work profile), this would mean that every new Android device that enrolls with Microsoft Intune will automatically be enrolled with an Android Enterprise work profile. Because it’s recommended to test the new Android Enterprise configuration first for a selected group of test users, you can leave this as it is for now.

  • Users who are member of the Pilot / Test group and enroll their Android device with Microsoft Intune get an Android Enterprise work profile pushed.
  • Users who are NOT member of the Pilot / Test group will still get the old Device Admin profiles
  • Users in the Pilot / Test group that already have their Android devices enrolled with Microsoft Intune with the Device Admin profiles first needs to un-enroll and re-enroll to get the Android Enterprise work profile.

Conclusion

When Android Enterprise test phase is successful you change the All Users Restrictions profile to block Android and Allow Android work profile. You can also delete the Restriction profile created in Step 3 and the Security group created in Step 1.

After that, every new Android device that enrolls or re-enrolls with Microsoft Intune will then get the Android work profile pushed.

Flow chart to decide which AE Method fits for your organization

Resources

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