Jamf Now and Pro simplify Apple MDM for businesses of all sizes

Jamf's Now and Pro platforms make it easier to deploy and administer Apple phones, tablets, and computers. Here's how the two mobile device management solutions work.

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Jamf Pro

Image: Jamf

Centrally administering an organization's iPhones, iPads, and Macs vs. manually trying to manage each device offers many advantages, and firms like Jamf are making the process easier. Jamf's Now mobile device management (MDM) solution targets small businesses, while the company's Jamf Pro platform scales to meet enterprise mobility management (EMM) demands.

SEE: Mobile device security: Tips for IT pros (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Jamf Now is a cloud-based MDM solution that simplifies enrolling and managing Apple devices, including iPads, iPhones, and Macs. Using Jamf Now, business owners and administrators can direct users to a link (the organization's enrollment hyperlink), from which users will be guided through the enrollment process. Or, organizations can leverage so-called "no-touch enrollment" by integrating Apple Business Manager with Jamf Now to remotely set up and configure user devices.

With Jamf Now, owners and administrators can remotely configure individual email accounts, specify wireless network settings, and install Apple App Store apps (Figure A). Using the premium Jamf Now Plus plan, businesses can also deploy custom apps, including Adobe Creative Suite and Google Chrome.

Figure A

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Image: Jamf

Jamf Blueprints permit creating custom configurations that apply different settings and restrictions to devices. Different Blueprints can be created for varying job functions or departments to permit deploying different apps, wallpapers, and security settings to different personnel or teams based on need.

The first three devices added to a Jamf Now account are free. Additional device pricing starts at $2/month per device, and a free demo is available.

SEE: Jamf acquires ZuluDesk, adds scale for Apple device management in education (ZDNet)

Jamf Pro adds enterprise inventory, device customization, and security features and introduces self-service app catalog capabilities. Jamf Pro integrates with Apple Business Manager, Apple School Manager, Cisco ISE, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), and Windows' Active Directory, among other enterprise solutions, to supplement and bolster asset management and tracking and network security solutions larger firms frequently leverage.

Jamf Pro permits zero-touch deployment and configuration of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and even Apple TVs. End users can leverage existing Active Directory credentials on Macs, subsequently, to begin using corresponding authorized corporate resources.

Administrators can then deploy various configuration profiles, including to both iOS and macOS devices, and apply Wi-Fi, VPN, and email settings, as well as run scripts and apply policies.

License management, including procurement, and application configuration and deployment are also important features included with Jamf Pro. Maintaining programs is easier, too, which is particularly important in larger enterprise environments. The Pro platform supports centrally deploying updates and remotely monitoring and confirming the upgrade status on devices, which is critical, as updates don't always complete when triggered, and enterprises must be able to identify and resolve update failures when they occur.

Using Jamf Composer, administrators can also leverage Jamf Pro to design custom app and software packages and deploy those packages to macOS computers, a common need within enterprise organizations.

Jamf Pro pricing is $3.33/month per iOS or tvOS device and $7.17/month per Mac, billed annually. Volume and education discounts, and free trials and a demo, are available.

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By Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...