Autopilot Setup with a hardware reseller can be difficult if they are not a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). At the very least, the reseller should be able to know the following variables for the device registration of a new computer utilizing the Autopilot service in Intune.
However, the reality is your computer hardware vendor (reseller) should be able to perform these steps of inputting your new computer identification settings on your behalf. Skip down to the section below that discusses how to improve the Autopilot setup with a hardware reseller. This information is gold for all those MSPs and customers who buy a ton of new computers but would like to optimize the workflow with Autopilot.
Don’t know Intune?
Read further for more details on what Autopilot is and how Autopilot Setup with a hardware reseller can be more friction-less of a process. Not familiar with Intune Admin Center? Check out our Intune guide.
Windows Autopilot enables you to:
Join devices to Azure Active Directory or Traditional AD (via Hybrid Azure AD Join).
Auto-enroll devices into Mobile Device Management. This will allow them access to Microsoft Intune. Requires at least a Business Premium subscription
Prohibit the ability for end user to setup a local Administrator account on the device.
Setup in Intune and automatically assign devices to configuration groups based on a device’s profile.
Customize the Out of Box Experience. Think Christmas and your parents popped in the batteries for that toy you wanted. It’s ready to go! Similar but more detailed experience when opening your new laptop at an organization for the first time. The IT got their hands on it first and ran the Out of Box Experience (OOBE)
Windows Autopilot setup can be found under the Intune portal.
But wait… How do I improve the Autopilot Setup with a hardware reseller?!?!
Unfortunately, there’s some details about hardware resellers who have not been in the Autopilot loop and simply send you a new computer. Sending a new computer without tagging (register) that computer hardware device for Autopilot setup prior to its arrival at the client’s site does not help our cause. This is just a poor workflow between the reseller of the computer and the customer. For a computer customer or MSPs, they can register new or existing devices using the serial number and hardware hash via Intune. This means your hardware reseller must relay that information to your team. This is not an ideal setup.
This article describes how a cloud service provider (CSP) partner (direct bill, indirect provider, or indirect reseller) or an OEM can get customer authorization to register Windows Autopilot devices on the customer’s behalf.
Any Microsoft Cloud Solutions Partner can register on behalf of their customer. There are many different types of partner options at Microsoft but to Autopilot, it does not care. The partners can include:
Service Providers – IT folks
Resellers – CDW all the way to the little guy
Harvest Hardware ID and Serial ID from computer manufacturer and register device in their CSP account with the client.
Note: It’s easier to do this with Microsoft Surface and HP than Dell. Dell requires the box to be opened to harvest the information. This will change soon.
Retailers – Best Buy, mom and pop
Are you registered already? Good. Step 2 requires you become a Cloud Solutions Provider. To clarify, a Microsoft partner must add Cloud Solution Provider to their Microsoft Partner account for them to proceed with adding client devices so the computer can be managed by the Autopilot process. You can utilize the Partner Center to add devices to Windows Autopilot for any customer that you have a relationship with. Head into the the partner page, select the Cloud Solutions Partner then Customers. Find the customer, and click “Devices”
How a reseller or distributor adds a customer in the Microsoft Admin Center
They create their own partner portal partner. Customers should show up within 24 hours of creating the account.
Send the Indirect Reseller Relationship Request to the partner. https://partner.microsoft.com/commerce/indirectresellers/relationshiprequest/d4c77776-8b4c-4ceb-81da-566aba9c59c5
Click on dashboard, indirect providers, invite customers
Once the email, the customer will click the link with the email.
The customer will have “cloud reseller” listed as the relationship with your company.
When you click “Add devices” you can select a CSV file that is similar to the one that is used with Intune, just with two additional columns. Here’s an example:
Device serial number,Windows product ID,Hardware hash,Manufacturer name,Device model
This particular one lacks a hardware hash but contains a serial # and the Windows product ID value. You can do this many ways
Notice in this case that there isn’t a hardware hash, just the serial number and the Windows product ID value. There are a variety of valid combinations, from the Partner Center API documentation:
Specifying the serial number is the way to go. This is mainly so the IT person is always able to figure out which device is which. As a Cloud Solution Partner (reseller), you can choose which combination of fields you want.
Autopilot Setup with a hardware reseller Summary
We never got into the actual device configuration page for Autopilot in Intune. It’s pretty cool. I really want to focus on receiving the new computer hardware and how that devices is added for Autopilot setup from the reseller because there’s very limited information out the on the web for this.