Pulse FAQ

General questions

Why would I use Pulse over an on-premises ConfigMgr setup?

Pulse provides an online managed ConfigMgr service. There are multiple scenarios where Pulse may provide a better solution to a traditional on-premises ConfigMgr installation. These stem from internal resource shortages to keep ConfigMgr up-to-date, to supporting multiple domain infrastructures and multiple site and internet facing devices.

Can I just use Microsoft Intune to manage my Windows 10 estate?

Potentially yes. PowerON are an Elite EMS (Enterprise Mobility Suite) partner of Microsoft and have visibility of Microsoft Intune developments prior to general release and interface with both the ConfigMgr and Intune Microsoft product teams. The team would be more than happy to discuss  specific requirements to see if just Intune will meet organisational needs. Intune has made significant progress over the years, however some of our enterprise customers require additional capability around deployment and application management, and can then be explored as appropriate.

Does Pulse work with Microsoft Intune and Autopilot?

Yes. Co-Management can be enabled to vary workloads between Intune and Pulse. AutoPilot can be setup to bootstrap the device into Pulse by installing the Pulse Agent as a required app.

How do you get around not having on-premises ConfigMg distribution points?

Pulse leverages BranchCache and other bandwidth optimisation technology as part of the service. Essentially every Pulse device on a subnet acts like a distribution point and allows branch and peer cache sharing of information. This is designed to reduce any internet traffic bottlenecks and optimise software distribution and OSD experiences.

Do I still need a VPN for Pulse to work?

Pulse does not require a VPN to manage the device. Pulse provides IT the ability to manage, patch and secure devices as long as they are internet connected, without the reliance on end-user driven VPN solutions.

Can Pulse help accelerate my Windows 10 Project?

Yes absolutely. Instead of traditional infrastructure build you simply onboard to Pulse. Within the service we have example task sequences to accelerate the build of your Windows 10 image, and we also have the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) guidelines as policies in Pulse for you to use as appropriate to accelerate the hardening of your Windows 10 build and management policies.

How can I compare Pulse with an on-premises option?

At PowerON we can help you with a free cost-benefit analysis comparison. We take true costs of hardware, software, support, maintenance with internal and external resource costs to compare options based on your existing environment and resources. From here you can make an informed decision if Pulse can optimise your business based not only on features and benefits, but pounds and pence.

How does Pulse compare to Microsoft's Modern Management approach?

It’s not about comparing one against another as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (and therefore Pulse) is actually part of Microsoft’s Modern Management approach. What is important is about how you use it. Modern Management is about management anywhere, not just confined to within your LAN (Which Pulse enables) and adopting modern cloud technology such as Azure AD for identity, AutoPilot for provisioning rather than imaging building, which again, Pulse absolutely supports and helps you on your journey to Modern Management.

How to I PXE build using Pulse?

When you have a working Task Sequence, a PXE Proxy can be deployed to a device in your environment that allows devices attempting to PXE boot (Press F12 for example) to be redirected over SSL to our deployment systems.

Subscription questions

Can I add additional devices at a later stage?

Yes. You can add additional devices at any time. The new devices will be added to your subscription on a quarterly basis and then co-termed to the annual renewal date.

Is support included in the subscription?

Yes. Support is included in the cost of the subscription. Additional onsite or remote training packages are also available if required.For further details see our Support SLA in our Terms & Conditions.

Can I purchase for multiple years?

Yes. We have options for 3 & 5 year upfront subscriptions, please contact us for further information.

Is Pulse an annual subscription or perpetual license?

Pulse is a per device, annual subscription licence. Device count can be easily increased and decreased by a true-up or true-down which is co-termed at the annual renewal.

Is there a minimum number of devices?

Yes. The minimum online subscription purchase count is 50 devices for Pulse.

How do you count the number of devices?

Device count is based on the total number of devices with an operational Pulse client installed.

Is there a cost-penalty for adding additional devices later?

No. Pulse is designed to be a flexible subscription that is easily managed. Additional devices are added at quarterly true-up points. Pricing for these additional devices is co-termed to the annual subscription renewal date with no penalty charges.

Can I reduce the number of devices managed on my subscription?

Yes. At the annual renewal the number of devices can be reduced, with the new annual subscription set at the new lower device count.

Technical questions

Where can I get the agent installer from?

When you sign into the Pulse portal there is a download icon in the bottom left corner, download the installer from there.

Where can I get the agent installer from?

When you sign into the Pulse portal there is a download icon in the bottom left corner, download the installer from there.

What applications can I deploy?

If it runs on windows then you can deploy it. MSI and EXE setup files are the preferred, but Pulse can also be used to wrap scripts/command lines around files or installs as well as tasks such as copy a single file if needed.

Can the installer be deployed silently?

Absolutely. There’s a set of silent command lines that can be used to allow you to deploy the Pulse agent via your favourite deployment mechanism such as Intune, Logon Script or other similar systems.

Do I need any on-premises server infrastructure?

No. This is a fully cloud hosted solution so zero on-premises infrastructure is required. No distribution points are required and we leverage branch cache and other technologies to minimise internet-facing bandwidth and downloads of images and application files.

What operating systems can I manage?

Pulse can manage Windows 7 through to 10, Windows 2012 R2 through to 2016.

What other technical benefits are there to Pulse?

As part of the managed platform, we ensure the system is running smoothly, updated when appropriate to ensure support for Windows 10. Alongside the platform maintenance, we also regularly update the Windows 10 OS base files meaning you can utilise a deployment base that is maintained and up-to-date. Complex areas such as Service Rings and Automatic Deployment Rules for patches are also technically assessed for you to ensure the most optimal configuration is applied.

Can I connect my current ConfigMgr to Pulse?

No. Pulse is it’s own hosted ConfigMgr current branch solution so no on-premises ConfigMgr is needed. You can however use your current ConfigMgr infrastructure to deploy the Pulse client to transfer management to the service for fast onboarding. You can also export current configuration, applications and task sequences from your current ConfigMgr environment into Pulse.

I have ConfigMgr now - how is this different?

Pulse provides ConfigMgr capabilities from the cloud increasing the management reach to remote devices. If you are familiar with ConfigMgr then you will be easily able to configure Pulse with the Pulse administrative console to meet your needs and not have to worry about managing the infrastructure upgrades, management servers and distribution points.

If I use VDI, can Pulse still help me?

Depending on how you use VDI then yes. Many businesses have users connect to a VDI session once they have logged into a local machine. We see this commonly in larger organisations with store managers having laptop devices. Pulse is a perfect solution for managing those physical devices, and ensure they are patched, secure, compliant and available so the VDI session can be started. Without remote update of these physical devices they can be prone to cyberattack preventing access to the VDI session if compromised by threats such as wannacry.