Thursday, May 19, 2022

Jamf Pro Review

Motivated by a love of the Apple platform, Jamf Pro was developed to help companies succeed by delivering a mobile device management (MDM) solution for Apple devices.

Originally founded in 2002 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Jamf has received a $30 million investment from Summit Partners and grown to over 2,000 employees. Now headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jamf helps manage over 26 million Apple devices for 60,000 global customers. 

See below to learn all about where Jamf Pro stands in the MDM market:

Jamf and the MDM market

The mobile device management market is well saturated, with a considerable number of contenders vying for their share.

Given Jamf Pro’s choice to specialize, they’re one of the leaders in MDM for Apple devices. Their most comparable competitor is fellow Apple MDM provider Kandji.

Jamf Pro features

Zero-touch deployment

  • Automatically deploy dozens, hundreds, or thousands of Apple devices, complete with settings, security controls, apps, and books
  • Jamf Pro works with Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager
  • Send hardware directly to the end user, ready to be powered on
  • The platform works with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies
  • Provision applications based on employee credentials

Device management

  • Support and manage Apple devices post-deployment
  • Jamf provides a commitment to provide same-day support for all new Apple operating systems (OSs)

App life cycle management

  • Automatically install and update apps
  • Jamf Pro allows for custom applications developed by or for your organization
  • Apps can be accessed using self-service

Inventory

  • Track hardware data, including device types, models, names, serial numbers, unique device identifiers (UDID), and battery levels
  • Store security information, including encryption status, system configurations, software restrictions, and jailbreak detection
  • Store record management data, including managed status, supervised status, IP address, and enrollment method
  • Store software data, including OS version, apps installed, app versions, and storage capacity
  • Track additional data, such as the profiles installed, certificates installed, purchasing information, and Activation Lock status

Self-service

  • Curate a customized and branded self-service catalog of options for your organization
  • Empower groups of users to request specific apps
  • Identify users or groups that can submit app requests
  • Assign users that can approve requested apps
  • Other self-service resources include bookmarks, shortcuts, e-books, guides, videos, printer mapping and drivers, email and VPN configuration, the ability to allow or require single sign-on (SSO), basic maintenance, troubleshooting, and system diagnostics

Security

  • Patch management and deployment services are available
  • Monitor and prevent malware threats
  • Integrate with identify providers
  • Deliver aggregate device logs
  • Provide device health reporting
  • Configure and distribute device settings, such as VPN profiles and FileVault 2 disk encryption
  • Control restricted apps
  • Define policies to ensure devices adhere to security requirements
  • Enforce password policies

Benefits 

Integrate Jamf Pro with existing IT services and technologies, including:

  • Apple Business Manager
  • Apple School Manager
  • Cisco ISE, Security Connector and Fast Lane
  • Conditional Access for Mac
  • Active Directory
  • SSO/SAML
  • SCCM
  • APIs

Additional iPad apps supplement usage in the enterprise and education:

  • Jamf Setup
  • Jamf Reset
  • Jamf Pro Parent
  • Jamf Pro Teacher

Use case

National Geographic

When one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions needed a comprehensive Apple device management solution, National Geographic turned to Jamf Pro. With over 90% of employees choosing iOS devices, IT was required to provide support for journalists and photographers in remote field locations as often as office staff at their headquarters.

At the time of deployment, National Geographic needed to manage over 1,000 macOS and 550 iOS devices, with scalability capacity for the installation of Apple TVs across the entire organization. Previous multi-platform tools were better suited to manage PCs, falling short with Apple management requirements.

Post-implementation, the organization enjoys management flexibility and trusted security with all of their Apple devices.

“With Jamf Pro, our journalists and employees spend less time worrying about technology and more time focusing on our mission of inspiring people to care about the planet,” says Jehan Aziz, Apple service manager, National Geographic.

National Geographic selected Jamf Pro based on the following criteria:

  • It gives journalists and employees the Apple devices they want, with the tools they need to be productive
  • It allows for the installation of all new Apple OS releases, with timing determined by the users
  • Employees are able to patch software when and where they need to
  • It offers administrative tools for customizable configurations, profiles, and settings
  • Jamf Pro ensures devices are encrypted, securing sensitive information
  • IT staff can provide remote wipe capabilities for lost or stolen devices
  • Jamf Pro is backed by the Jamf community and support team

There are several other examples of how companies are using the functionality provided by Jamf Pro:

  • SAP uses Jamf Pro to manage over 24,000 Macs, 16,000 iPads, 67,000 iPhones, and 230 Apple TVs
  • GOAT, a platform for buying classic and rare sneakers, is using Jamf Pro to manage over 1,000 macOS and iOS devices
  • The European luxury brand Rituals uses Jamf Pro for their 650 MacBooks, 700 iPads, 650 iPhones, and 1,500 iPod devices
  • Oxford University uses Jamf Pro to manage their inventory of Apple devices

Differentiators

For enterprises looking to scale as needed, without the headaches that come from maintaining the requisite infrastructure, look to the optional Jamf Pro MDM servers in the cloud — including disaster recovery, daily backups with 30-day retention, service monitoring, and 99% server uptime guaranteed.

With the aim to support the growing number of employees that work from home and work remotely, Jamf added BYOD support to Jamf Pro. Given the need to separate personal data from corporate data and ensure preservation of each user’s privacy, this functionality only allows IT to manage corporate information. By eliminating the need to buy additional, redundant, devices for employees, the cost savings are immediate.

To provide further support to clients, Jamf has a considerable library of white papers that introduce topics such as “Apple Admin Scripting for Beginners,” “Single Sign-On and Authentication for Beginners,” “Steps to Complete Microsoft Enterprise Compliance,” and “Essential 8 Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents.” These materials elevate Jamf to being advisers.

User reviews

Reviews for Jamf Pro are consistently high, with praise often given for their support options, including having active online communities.

Pricing

Subscription plans for Jamf Pro are available with two configurations, billed annually:

  • $3.33 per device per month for iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS
  • $7.17 per device per month for macOS

All subscriptions include workflows to automate deployment and management, access and flexibility to customize macOS scripts, and an on-demand portal to reduce help tickets.

Conclusions

Jamf Pro delivers on their promise of centralized management of Apple devices without compromising on features or functionality.

Automating common IT tasks like deployment and software updates will reduce the number of service tickets and support requests, reducing costs and keeping users happier.

In addition, value-added features like personalizing content and custom branding allow users to identify with, trust, and rely on the MDM solution.

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