Jamf, Microsoft confirm Apple grows in the enterprise

Microsoft just teamed up with Jamf to make it so much easier to integrate Macs into enterprise IT.

Apple, Jamf, Microsoft, enterprise, Mac, iPhone, iPad, AirPod
Mike Blake/Reuters

Jamf Nation Conference (#JNUC) has become one of the more important events in the Apple in the enterprise diary, and Microsoft appeared at the event to show new integration that enables Apple's solutions to work even more effectively with Azure cloud services. 

Hell freezes over 

Microsoft's Brad Anderson, corporate vice president, demonstrated how Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) tools will soon work with Jamf integration and Apple's platforms to ensure that enterprise Macs are security compliant with Azure AD authentication.

At its simplest, this integration means only trusted users on trusted devices using trusted apps can access Microsoft-protected enterprise data. 

It achieves this by enforcing strict control over which devices can be used to access which applications connected to Azure.

In other words, organizations can "validate user credentials while also confirming a Mac is managed and compliant before granting access."  

Why does this matter? 

"Organizations are often overexposed today. More and more, corporations have Mac devices, but they aren’t necessarily managed,” explained Joe Bloom, product manager at Jamf. 

"Conditional access is really the secret sauce of Enterprise Mobility Security," added Anderson. 

This is good business for Microsoft.

As hardware purchasing patterns mutate, that company is working to carve out a future in enterprise-focused cloud services provision. 

It's yet another big step forward for Apple in the enterprise, of course.

It means enterprise teams can now deploy Macs across their business almost as easily as it is already possible to deploy an iPhone.

They can even use an iPhone to set those Macs up to handle Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility products if they use the heavily improved Jamf Pro 10 that ships next week

The people-powered enterprise 

Years ago, Steve Jobs would argue that Apple was not focused on the enterprise, but on the user. 

"When you care about people's happiness and productivity, you give them what brings out the best in them," said Apple CEO Tim Cook last year. 

The success of the iPod helped open the door for the success of the iPhone, and that success generated a whole new way of thinking about enterprise mobility.

The BYOD movement has opened up personal choice in enterprise tech. Driven by employee demand for a nice user interface, enterprise deployment decisions have transformed, just as the way people do business is transforming. 

Jamf CEO Dean Hager noted that his own internal company research that suggests 75 percent of enterprise users would choose a Mac for their next computer if they were given the choice. 

That's not a blip: Mac deployments expected to grow

We've seen plenty of evidence that supports such claims, and the transformation of enterprise technology appears to be happening quite rapidly, according to Jamf.

The company confirmed that it now has something like 13,000 customers (up from 5,990 customers in 2015) and supports over 9 million devices. 

Meanwhile, there's significant expectation of Mac deployments in the enterprise growing "exponentially." 

Microsoft will always be around, of course, but Apple is occupying more and more space, and its technologies are gaining more and more traction. "I think of it as a movement," said Hager, speaking at JNUC.  

It's not just about Macs — Apple Watch, iPads, and even AirPods have an enterprise story to tell, he said. It's all about taking business transformation and information and making it useful and available in different real-world situations. 

Hager looked at AirPods and called them "business intelligence in my ears," he and shared a narrative that puts iPads as core devices for many customer-facing implementations in business transformation. Already we see health and retail professionals using Apple tablets as part of their business. 

More recently we saw Apple and GE team up in an effort that can only open up new markets for Apple devices, for Microsoft, and for Jamf. 

JAMF 10 will be available in November. The new integration with Microsoft will be available from later this year. 

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