In a conference predominantly filled will sessions aimed at enterprise organizations, educational institutions and healthcare providers, Rick Saville, the Director at Abbeydale Building Environment Consultants (BEC), was sharing his small business experience as the person who manages Abbeydale BEC’s Jamf Now instance, and why Abbeydale felt Jamf Now was the best fit for their Apple device management needs in the first place.
Abbeydale Building Environment Consultants, or Abbeydale BEC for short, was formed in 1993 and has grown to become a small team of geotechnical and environmental consultants. Offering desk studies, site investigation, gas monitoring, slope stability, flood risk assessments and more, they carved out a niche with small-medium business developers, architects, and structural engineers looking to build primarily housing and industrial premises.
Being a part of the construction, engineering and field services industry, they know the emphasis within these industries of having partners that are efficient, effective and capable of handling the day-to-day control of their role on projects. Being a small business, as Abbeydale is, means that members of their team acknowledge and embrace the fact that their role encompasses multiple facets, and they are expected to wear a lot of hats each and every day. Rick also admits this sometimes comes with the challenge of accomplishing your work with far less dedicated resources. It’s a challenge he enjoys and seeing the fruits of his labor make massive improvements for his company and coworkers makes it worth it. It’s a sentiment that many who work for an SMB will be familiar with.
A brave new world
When Rick returned to Abbeydale BEC after a brief stint away, he knew the situation he was coming back to was one with challenges that a lot of small businesses have to contend with. Outdated technology — both hardware and software — the need for a standardized system that offered consistency for employees, and employees needing to maintain and update their own devices were simply a few. Rick needed to bring ease of use to his team, remove the hassles, and show them he could provide a great working experience. He knew once he did that, there would be excitement and an appetite to learn more about how technology could reshape their work-life for the best.
As a long-time fan of Apple technology and its use in the workplace, it was always his plan to try and involve Apple devices at Abbeydale BEC, but that's a massive change for a small company and one that can’t be done overnight. Rick wasn’t alone in his appreciation for Apple devices. People were comfortable with using them at home and, therefore, found comfort in the idea of using them at work.
“When things are easy to use at work, they often result in happy workers, and that’s what I was aiming for,” says Rick.
Jamf Now saves the day
To provide a great user experience for this team, and one that would allow his users to focus on their work — rather than their tech — the plan needed to start with a system that allows one person to manage the company devices from a central location. But this system also needed to be able to offer a high level of security for company devices that were now going to be exposed to a few more risks. Company and client data is vital, and security will always be a key to success.
Rick Saville considers himself a tech-enthusiast, while humbly admitting, “I have NO professional IT experience! Not even a little bit.” A fact that makes overhauling a company’s technology trickier but not a dealbreaker, as Rick can attest. He worked closely with his local Apple Business Team and discovered that, while Jamf Pro and other mobile device management platforms went over his head, they also offered features that he, frankly, didn’t need. Then he found Jamf Now.
Jamf Now was easy for him to understand, easy to onboard, and allowed him to keep devices up to date and secure. It was a cloud-based platform that allowed him to access the platform from anywhere, at any time, and the ability to achieve zero-touch deployment reduced the challenges during the global pandemic. From start to finish, working with his local Apple Business Team, Rick was able to implement a real device program for Abbeydale BEC that helped make their team more effective, efficient, and capable.
Reeling from his shock, when Apple told him his problem was fairly common and easily solvable, Rick dove into Jamf Now’s intuitive interface and dashboard-style overview built specifically for small and medium businesses! He quickly learned that Blueprints within Jamf Now would allow him to assign specific apps, wifi and email configurations that specific workers needed so that devices felt customized to each employee’s needs, he had the full power of the Apple’ App Store to arm his users so they didn’t need to source their own applications, and he could do it all without putting the burden on them or worrying about things being set up incorrectly on a new device.
When it came time to make sure that devices were up to date, Rick could go to his Jamf Now account’s device overview and see what operating system each device was running. Then, work with that person to find a time for him to push the update without interfering with their workday while their device is updated. With workers taking mobile devices out and onto worksites, Jamf Now enabled Rick to know that he had quick and easy remediation options should a device go missing, be stolen, or broken which means clients could know their data was safe and secure.
“It lets you do absolutely everything that might take a team of people at a larger organization to achieve which is perfect for a small business.”
Onwards and upwards
Upon reflection, Rick commented on the results of this undertaking. He believes the team has what they need; he’s been given the confidence to manage these devices easily and effectively; the plan allows Abbeydale’s to grow feely knowing Jamf Now will scale with them seamlessly; everything is adaptable given just how simple it is for him to make tweaks and changes. Not being held back by his management system allows him to feel as though he can focus on constant improvement, without the fear of being held back.