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A great enrollment experience, using Jamf and open source software

IBM is committed to providing the best onboarding experience for its more than 365,000 employees across the globe. Doing this is no small feat — more than 35,000 new employees are onboarded across 17 countries every year, and IBM provisions 150,000 laptops annually. IBM knew they needed to perfect their provisioning process so both their IT teams and end users could concentrate their time elsewhere.

At the Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC), Jay Latman, infrastructure architect at IBM, talked a bit about the experience they want their end users to have — one that ensures the experience of the internal setup of the Mac mimics the simplicity and self-guided attributes of Apple Setup Assistant. As described in the session (and on GitHub), the application experience flows through three phases: getting to know the end user, installing software bundles to get users up and running, and education links for next steps and support.

Imagine this: a brand-new computer is delivered to an end user. This user is greeted with a beautifully branded pop-up message once they get to their desktop, which serves as the enrollment payload necessary to determine what “provisioning” deployment should be given to the machine. By selecting options in the enrollment payload that is deployed through Jamf, the attributes and values are updated on the back-end and calculations are made to determine what payloads need to be delivered to the new device. Marketing employees in the U.S. will get an entirely different provisioning deployment than the engineers in the UK. The end user “chooses their own adventure” in a similar manner as to choosing their “Location/Language”, “Wi-Fi/Network”, and “Location Services” in Setup Assistant.

Through this process, organizations can have bundles of apps and deployment options for users that want a one-click provisioning process, when all available applications are installed automatically. Organizations also have two other options. One, the end user can have fewer applications install at once and the rest can be downloaded by the end user in Self Service. Two, only security and required apps/payloads are deployed to the machine, and the end user can get everything else they need in Self Service. This is all operable thanks to automated mobile device management (MDM) enrollment and Jamf.

IBM wants to assist the Mac community in delivering the same new-hire experience to all kinds of organizations. As you may have heard during the Day 2 Keynote, IBM is open-sourcing their provisioning process to the community! By open-sourcing their tremendously helpful onboarding tools and their learnings discovered in the creation of the Mac@IBM project, Jamf Nation can learn and grow together across all various deployment and administrative IT tasks.