Jamf Now or Jamf Pro: Which is right for you?

See the Apple management differences of Jamf Now and Jamf Pro, and discover which solution is best suited to help you address your unique goals and requirements.

April 17 2020 by

Daniel Weber

Since 2002, Jamf has been laser-focused on helping organizations succeed with Apple. We are more focused on that goal than ever and with two solutions for managing Apple in commercial organizations – Jamf Now and Jamf Pro – you might find yourself asking which solution is a better fit for your needs.

With employees expecting the ability to use Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV for their work, many organizations are discovering that a purpose-built Apple management solution is the best way to accomplish their goals.

Today Jamf helps more than 38,000 organizations manage more than 16 million Apple devices. There are a few common questions when organizations begin adopting Apple:

  • Now that we bought Macs for our staff, how do we deliver the apps and resources they need to be productive?
  • How can I use my iPad as a kiosk or point-of-sale device?
  • How do I protect company data while also protecting the privacy of my team?
  • How can I reduce the volume of help desk tickets?

A common thread in all these questions is the need for an end-to-end management platform for every Apple device in an organization.

Since expertise, goals, and requirements vary, we created two distinct tools — both of which have always offer same-day support for Apple operating system releases — to address your unique needs: Jamf Now and Jamf Pro.

Jamf Now

Most commonly used by small to mid-sized businesses, Jamf Now is streamlined Apple device management; no IT experience required. When IT is not your day job, or you have a more simplified environment, Jamf Now is for you.

Sign up for Jamf Now. | Try Jamf Pro for free.

What do the "basics" get you?

For starters, here’s what you won’t get: a sales pitch, software training or extensive product documentation and manuals. There’s no need! We’ve designed Jamf Now so that you can, well, start now. Jamf Now walks you through every stage of your account creation to ensure you have all the necessary pieces in place to start managing devices. Tailor-made for small to medium-sized organizations, Jamf Now helps you:

Setup: Enroll devices into Jamf Now via user-initiated enrollment or zero-touch through Automated Device Enrollment, a part of Apple Business Manager. Once enrolled, configure Wi-Fi, email, calendar and contacts, and set basic iPhone, iPad and Mac restrictions on your devices. You can enjoy ongoing device customization by leveraging a Blueprint in Jamf Now. Create multiple Blueprints to define settings, restrictions and apps, then deploy a Blueprint to a device or set of devices. For example, Retail organizations can use the Retail Blueprint to automatically apply settings needed, along with the most commonly used apps. This way everyone is enabled with the exact tools they need to get the job done.

Inventory: Keep track of device settings and details by viewing inventory status within Jamf Now or by exporting inventory reports to spreadsheets to demonstrate compliance. From email configurations or Wi-Fi deployment to serial numbers, operating system and capacity, everything about a device is visible on this page. In addition to being able to check in on specific devices, you can filter your inventory to check all the devices that need your attention or many other filters to keep you on top of your entire deployment. All in a simple and intuitive manner.

Manage: With Jamf Now, we took the challenges of device management and simplified them, creating an intuitive environment for users. Jamf Now can help you purchase apps in mass through Volume Purchasing, another part of Apple Business Manager, and centrally deploy them to the appropriate devices. Jamf Now also provides the ability to deploy custom applications developed by your organization or apps that are not available in the App Store. In addition, you can manage OS Updates, customize, alter and deploy Blueprints without disrupting teams, or use Single App Mode which allows you to lock your iOS device to a single app, turning it into a point-of-sale or kiosk in retail locations. All of this is done with the goal of letting you “set it and forget it” until you need to come back and make changes.

Secure: You can require that a complex, rotating passcode be on all Jamf Now enrolled devices and enforce native Apple security features such as FileVault 2 for Mac. Also, if an iPad or iPhone is lost or missing, you can disable and locate and/or remotely lock and wipe it to ensure the device, user and data remains secure.

Jamf Pro

Since 2002, Jamf Pro has been the gold standard in managing Apple in the enterprise. Jamf Pro customers typically have a dedicated IT admin – or a team – to oversee their organizationally-owned hardware and are looking for rich management to help automate their day-to-day administrative work.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons organizations choose to manage Apple with Jamf Pro. For a more in-depth tour of the product, get in touch with our team.

Deployment: Often one of the most stressful parts of being an IT admin is making sure new employees have everything they need to be productive as quickly as possible. The work is time sensitive and can be repetitive. With Jamf Pro, you’re able to build true “zero-touch” deployment: order an Apple device, ship it directly to an end user…no IT interaction needed.

Jamf Pro also integrates with Apple Business Manager, a free deployment program from Apple that can help you streamline your procurement process. And if you already have Apple devices in use, Jamf Pro’s network scan tool can help identify unmanaged Macs so you can make plans to bring them under management.

Employees can also feel free to bring personally-owned devices into the workplace thanks to User Enrollment, a modern “bring your own device” (BYOD) enrollment method that helps protect corporate data while maintaining end user privacy

Inventory: As employee demand for Apple grows so too will your need to keep track of all the new Apple devices deployed in your organization. Jamf Pro’s advanced inventory tracks more than 300 data points about every device, allowing you to get as granular as needed.

Furthermore, inventory information can be fed into our patented Smart Groups technology, an automated way to manage your fleet. With Smart Groups, you can easily define parameters for a group and let Jamf Pro do the heavy lifting. Identify mobile devices with an outdated operating system or build a computer group for a specific team or department – the possibilities are virtually limitless.

Device management: Go beyond basic configuration profiles and use policies and scripts to truly customize your devices. Want to modify account permissions? No problem! Need to have a custom script run every time a user logs in? Easy! No macOS or iOS restriction is off limits. Run custom scripts and advanced configuration profiles to open the door for infinite device management capabilities. Plus, Jamf Pro provides full Apple TV support, so you can manage them just like an iPhone or iPad.

App management: The App Store is the global marketplace for personal and professional apps alike. With Jamf Pro, you can identify and deploy key apps that your entire organization will use or tailor an app’s deployment to a specific site, team, or user. And if your team needs an app not available in the App Store, we’ve got your back. With Jamf Composer – included with Jamf Pro – you can package any app before deployment.

Self Service: Give users a curated catalog of apps, documents, and resources so they can quickly find what they need — all without ever submitting a help desk ticket. You can even personalize Self Service with custom branding on the logo, banner image, or dock icon.

Security: Apple is known for its focus on security and with Jamf Pro you can take it one step further. Monitor and enforce Apple security tools like FileVault encryption or Gatekeeper. You can also configure a secure VPN manage local macOS accounts and administer management privileges at a granular level. Even block specific software from running, enforce restrictions – like disabling the camera or iCloud — and manage kernel extensions all with a single click.

Patch management: Outdated software is one of the biggest threats to your corporate data. Jamf Pro helps keep you secure with patch management, the best way to automatically deploy software and OS patches to eligible computers and bring them into compliance. With Jamf Pro, you define user interactions and set deadlines for when updates need to occur. Jamf Pro also has automated patch alerts for popular third-party apps baked natively into the product. No other tool helps you identify, distribute and report on patches like you can with Jamf Pro.

Integrations: Jamf remains laser focused on building the best Apple management platform on the planet. To extend the value of Jamf Pro even further, we have 300+ integrations available on the Jamf Marketplace. Take advantage of your existing tech stack by seamlessly integrating Jamf Pro with the other tools and services you already use.

Furthermore, industry-leading partnerships with Microsoft, Google and more help take their tools to a new level in Jamf Pro. Microsoft customers will love the ability to use Active Directory information to help scope groups and policies, seamlessly manage and deploy Office 365, or enforce Conditional Access for Mac.

The Jamf Pro Experience

There are a number of ways we work alongside you as you adopt, deploy and manage a Jamf product and Apple hardware.

Support: Our world-class support team is on the frontline of ensuring your success. Support is available via chat, email or phone during business hours, and there’s no max number of support cases you can create. Premium Support is also available should you desire round-the-clock support, priority escalation, product issue reports and a dedicated Jamf expert. Also, all Apple admins are welcome to join Jamf Nation, a community of more than 100,000 Apple IT admins.

Services: If you would like an extra hand to ensure success, our services team is standing by to bring their years of experience to bear. Whether on-site or remote, Jamf services help equip you with the tools necessary to take your next step in managing Apple. Following your initial engagement, Premium Services are also available to focus additional resources on enhanced workflow design, implementation strategies, security management and more.

Training: Holding a Jamf training certificate is more than just a point of pride for our community – in some cases it got them a job! Training is the best way to take your product knowledge to a new level and become an even more valuable asset to your organization. Basic-, intermediate- and expert-level training courses are offered to get you the hands-on experience and in-person access to Jamf and Apple experts you need to succeed.

Still not sure which is right for you?

Whether you’re looking for a streamlined solution or a comprehensive management platform, you can’t go wrong with choosing Jamf.

Our 96% Jamf Pro customer retention rate and industry-leading customer satisfaction scores speak for themselves. If you’re ready to take one of our solutions for a spin, click below to get started.

Start managing three devices for free today.

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