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First Mac, then iOS: How Eventbrite revolutionized Apple deployment

Eventbrite has spent a decade building the largest global platform for live experiences and is on track to process close to 200 million tickets, worth $3 billion in gross ticket sales across 180 countries this year alone. If you attended the Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC) in 2015, you probably saw their Starfish IT: Scaling Eventbrite IT’s Mac Management presentation. During this session, Jason Kuo, Senior IT Support Engineer at Eventbrite, discussed with the crowd how Eventbrite has doubled in size in less than two years — now over 500 employees — and how this tremendous growth led his staff to take a different approach to their IT strategy. He explained how they inverted the traditional, centralized IT architecture by leveraging the principles of starfish — fascinating organisms that have no centralized nervous system.

Jason will be back at JNUC this year, along with Warren Herrera from Eventbrite’s Field Operations Team. This time the focus is on iOS and the transformation is remarkable. Let’s look at the numbers:

  • Eventbrite’s Field Assets Team manages around 1,000 iOS devices (iPads, iPods and iPhones) for use as ticket scanners or point-of-sale equipment by event organizers.
  • In the past year, Eventbrite shipped 14,000 devices to 1,300 events, with a peak of 900 devices in one week!

From manual to automated
Prior to using Jamf Pro, every iOS device at Eventbrite was manually configured. For each device, the team would clean up photos, iMessages, apps and the home screen, while dealing with pesky Apple IDs and iCloud accounts.

With two team members, this process was painstaking and unscalable. Now, leveraging Jamf Pro, Volume Purchase Program (VPP), Device Enrollment Program (DEP), configuration profiles, Self Service and the Jamf API, Eventbrite revolutionized their iOS device deployment process, exponentially increasing efficiency. Now each device is simply erased, letting Jamf Pro magically configure each device identically — with no Apple IDs!

They also developed an open-sourced command line API tool to streamline tasks like mapping devices to asset tags and wiping multiple devices simultaneously. Instead of touching each device for 3-5 minutes to prepare for redeployment, it’s more like 30 seconds or less.

“And now managing both macOS and iOS in the same platform [Jamf Pro], we can seamlessly manage our entire fleet of corporate Macs right alongside our customer-facing iOS devices, all with appropriate security controls in place,” said Jason.

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Want to hear Jason and Warren explain their triumphant tale in person? Register for JNUC 2017 to join this session and take a peek under the hood, discuss lessons learned, and see the process from start to finish so you too can enjoy an elegant solution to (re)deploy thousands of iOS devices.