March 28, 2019 Geoff King

Why Jamf and Intune need to co-exist to manage your Apple environment?

With windows-dominating enterprise environments and so many end users loving the experience Apple products provide in their personal lives there was bound to be a meeting of these two technology giants within enterprise at some point. Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) has been a standard for managing Windows machines for a long time now, however, with more Apple Mac computers entering the enterprise network and the requirement of transferring asset management to the cloud via Intune in Microsoft’s case there is now new requirements enterprise to consider.

Jamf Pro (formerly Casper Suite) has been the standard for managing macOS devices for quite some time now and Microsoft acknowledge this and have recently (November 2017) teamed up with Jamf to integrate the two companies products, effectively expanding the reach of Intune to use the information inventories from Jamf to define compliance policies for macOS devices that need to access corporate resources within the cloud (e.g. Office 365 and SharePoint online).

What is Jamf?

Jamf was created exclusively for the Apple platform and offers extensive management of macOS in large scale enterprise environments. Jamf offers a happy medium of features when directly compared to Windows management options (i.e. Group Policy & SCCM) and allows organizations to effectively deploy software, updates, scripts as well as configuration profiles to provide a consistent and secure experience for end users on macOS devices.

Jamf are focused on providing users a true self-service model of support for end-users, freeing up valuable support resources, especially when coupled up Apple Device Enrolment (Formerly DEP).

The offerings include:

  • Jamf Pro for IT professionals and Jamf Now for teams and small businesses. An Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) tool, Jamf Pro empowers the IT professionals and the end-users they support by providing endpoint management for all Apple Devices. Jamf Pro was formerly known as Casper Suite and the basic aim of this tool is to automate device management while ensuring end-user creativity and productivity.
  • Jamf Now (formerly known as Bushel) which has been designed for both (iOS + macOS) devices. Whether you need an iOS manager or a macOS, device management is quick, affordable, and accessible, so as to support the users without the help of IT. In other words, it offers the easiest way to carry out small business MDM tasks on Apple devices.

The Jamf and Intune integration

The amount of macOS devices within the enterprise is growing! This isn’t because Apple is now focusing more on the enterprise, it’s because organizations are starting to give users choice. Let’s think about that, by giving users the choice you’re allowing and empowering them to use the tool they’re most comfortable and, more importantly, the most productive with. This not only has benefits for users, but also for support teams, since users are more familiar with the tools that they’re choosing, they have less problems since they’re more familiar with the device and in a lot of cases are able to resolve problems themselves.

Of course, this presents IT teams new challenges, we now need new more modern ways of managing these devices. As the digital transformation within organizations continues it’s becoming less and less important for IT to manage everything on the endpoint (ensuring certain versions of library files are installed, drivers, etc.) which shifts the focus to simply ensuring the endpoint is secure and compliant with policies the organization configures.

With Jamf and Intune integration, inventory data can be shared between Jamf and Intune so compliance policies and conditional access policies can be built around the information that Jamf collects and is able to share with Intune. This allows IT teams to create compliance policies based on the user’s endpoint regardless of which platform they’re coming from, providing proxy-free conditional access to ensure that only trusted users and devise are accessing corporate owned applications and data.

This coupled with Jamf’s self-service facility means that we can deliver registration of macOS devices into Intune and provide end-users with singe-click remediation to bring their devices up to the required compliance standards to be granted access to corporate resources.

The bottom line

Jamf works symbiotically with Intune allowing IT teams to enjoy the ease of inventory management and the security of conditional access on each platform in a single frame. In conclusion, Jamf offers a seamless path to work with your existing tools and efficiently manage the Apple devices in your enterprise along with Windows.