Migrating to Jamf made easy

Discover how simple it is to migrate from an MDM provider that doesn't meet your needs to Jamf Pro. Easily implement your migration project without wiping or reenrolling devices.

May 17 2024 by

Sean Smith

MDMs allow organizations to extend security and management to all endpoints accessing enterprise resources. The key is finding the right device management solution that meets your organization’s unique requirements while supporting evolving technologies and scaling to grow with you.

However, organizations sometimes face challenges requiring them to move from one MDM provider to another.

Why organizations choose to migrate?

One crucial cause for change is support, or more specifically, a lack thereof. Let’s take Apple for example, their devices are designed to adhere to frameworks that govern security and privacy. These frameworks act as blueprints for developers by:

  • Providing guidance on best practices for implementing security and privacy within the software they create
  • Limiting what developers can and cannot do to protect devices and the data contained within them
  • Ensuring that user privacy remains protected from threats stemming from compromises to hardware and/or software

Security and privacy are a cornerstone of Apple’s design philosophy and as such, prioritizes them within their frameworksand requires developer strict adherence. When new features are announced, they are baked into Apple’s frameworks. This makes them available to MDM providers who then decide to implement support (or not) of the newest features within their respective solutions. Sadly many providers lack true, same-day support for Apple’s latest and greatest operating systems.

Why is same-day support so critical for MDMs?

This delay in support prevents organizations from deploying the newest security and privacy protections. From a security perspective, by not allowing them to stay protected against ever-evolving threats, organizations are unable to follow industry best practices that mitigate vulnerability risks through regular patch management cadences.

But it’s not just staying up-to-date with the latest Apple technologies that encourage organizations to switch MDM. Othercritical operational concerns are your current MDM solution does not meet:

  • Technical, security and/or organizational needs, like compliance requirements
  • Scalability requirements, impacting the ability of MDM to support globally distributed workforces
  • Budget allocation or Return on Investment (ROI) criteria, resulting in the costs being greater than the benefits the company receives
  • Operational business needs, such as moving from an on-premises MDM to a cloud instance

Whatever your challenge, migrating MDM vendors should be easy. With Jamf, it is.

Historically, what made migrating challenging?

Hands down, the greatest challenge is the impact on productivity. A close second is time. Both are impacted directly by the downtime required to migrate each device successfully. Multiplying per-device downtime by the total number of devices to migrate equals the total time displaced to complete the project.

What factor(s) affect how long or short downtimes will be?

Typically, devices enrolled in one MDM solution require these devices to be wiped before they can be reenrolled within the new MDM solution. While the re-enrollment process itself isn’t terribly time-consuming, other factors that affect length of time are:

  • The size of your IT staff
  • Employee’s physical location (onsite vs remote)
  • Data backup and restoration
  • Device re-provisioning
  • Types of devices being migrated

Each consideration plays a significant role in impacting downtime. Ultimately, how negatively it affects user productivity during the migration process is best measured on a sliding scale. For example, a large IT staff with identical model MacBook Pro laptops centralized onsite and without the need to physically backup or restore data and all devices will result in a lower impact on project time than if your organization has no dedicated IT staff. The latter will result in downtime growing disproportionately the fewer dedicated IT staff are available to complete the project.

Is there an easy way to perform migrations?

While the hurdles for changing MDM providers have historically been high, they don't have to be…

Enter Jamf Migrate

Jamf’s Professional Services Engineering team developed Jamf Migrate, an app (iOS) and workflow (macOS), that helps organizations move from their existing MDM provider to a Jamf solution quickly and efficiently.

Alongside our Services and Support team, Jamf Migrate helps organizations of all sizes and infrastructure migrate devices to Jamf with minimal impact on downtime. A few of the different environments our team has successfully helped organizations migrate are customers who:

  • Manage all of their Apple devices with another MDM and want to move to Jamf Pro
  • Manage their macOS devices with Jamf Pro but manage their iOS devices with another MDM
  • Are scaling their infrastructure and want to move from Jamf Now to Jamf Pro

Jamf Migrate Overview

More than a mere script, Jamf Migrate is a robust solution that helps organizations customize migrations to suit their unique needs — backed by a secure API and localized for multiple languages.

Developed by Jamf Professional Services Engineers, Jamf Migrate helps throughout the entire migration project: from engineering to support to customer success. It is engineered with security at the forefront, tested with hundreds of migrations; supporting all sizes and delivered by our Professional Services Team of experts, ensuring customer success.

At a high level, Jamf Migrate is:

  • Deployed from the previous MDM provider to your managed devices
  • Removes all current configuration profiles, including management
  • Installs the Jamf Pro management profile
    • (macOS only) Display User Approved MDM message, prompting for reauthorization

What do end-users see during the migration period?

Jamf Migrate is designed to keep migration times to a minimum. What used to take hours (or even days to complete) now just takes minutes per device. During those few minutes, Jamf Migrate displays a wizard on end-user devices, informing them at every stage of the process — limiting downtime and keeping them informed.

What are the requirements for using Jamf Migrate?

Organizations must have a Jamf Pro instance. As a best practice, we recommend a fully configured destination Jamf instance to provide ideal management capabilities during and after the migration process.

Jamf Professional Services

We help you succeed with Apple and Jamf.” — Jamf Professional Services

The quote above describes what you can expect from Jamf before, during and after the migration process from your previous MDM provider to Jamf’s solutions. It is the people more than anything – even the technology – that helps a successful migration.

Jamf + You

The key to any great relationship is a solid foundation. Your relationship with Jamf Professional Services, one built upon great communication, preparation and collaboration, makes it an integral component of a successful migration.

Some of the ways that Jamf Professional Services works with you to ensure the success of your migration project are:

  • Dedicated Jamf Professional Services engineer
  • Full planning with guidance given ahead of migration
  • Help with building the workflow
    • Customizing settings
    • Testing solution
    • Process demonstration
  • Follow-up calls with customer success specialists included
  • Validate the success of migrations on several test devices

This close partnership with Jamf’s Professional Services team provides customers the peace of mind to take their migration forward to perform organizationally required testing, conduct a pilot phase, or for wide-scale deployment.

Ready to migrate to the standard in Apple device management?

Schedule support for your migration project today!