For device management, JAMF underpins Apple's enterprise role

At this week's JAMF Nation User Conference, the EMM company shone a spotlight on what it's doing to help integrate and manage Apple hardware and services in the corporate world.

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As Apple deprecates, JAMF integrates.

That's the feeling I got from the keynote at JAMF's annual JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC). Apple has been moving to deprecate and decommission many components of its macOS Server platform this year as if it decided to take a back seat to managing its products in enterprise and education.

One of the big take aways from JNUC this week is that JAMF is positioning itself in the driver's seat and doing a phenomenal job of integrating all of Apple's platforms into enterprise environments. In addition to taking the lead for deploying Apple products, JAMF has also made its user conference one of the most significant for enterprise IT in general.

The playing field, 2018

Since it launched support for enterprise device management in 2010 (alongside the iPad, iPhone 4, and iOS 4), Apple has remained generally on the sidelines of the mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) game it gave birth to with MDM support on the iPhone and iPad. Rather than creating a first-party proprietary management console, Apple created an open MDM framework that third parties could access across a level playing field of capabilities.

That approach has allowed a number of candidates to put their own spin on managing Apple devices and integrating them with other enterprise tools. In the near decade since, several companies have taken up the challenge and the market has solidified around a handful of vendors. The vast majority integrate mobile management with their other enterprise products and solution stacks - Microsoft, VMWare and Citrix are prime examples. JAMF and MobileIron, in contrast, see EMM as a solution to be approached on its own, aiming to be the best options in their respective categories without trying to sell companies everything but the proverbial EMM kitchen sink.

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