Jamf Blog
November 12, 2020 by Garrett Denney

macOS Big Sur same-day support

macOS Big Sur brings new features to IT administrators in business and education environments.

Jamf is excited to announce same-day support for macOS Big Sur, which became generally available today.

Same-day support is one of the most important ways we help our customers succeed with Apple. With our laser-focus on the Apple ecosystem, we are able to dedicate the full strength of our global engineering team to new Apple operating system releases each year. By delivering support on release day, our customers can rest easy knowing that Jamf has their back. This empowers them to make the new OS available immediately or delay the upgrade for testing and validation prior to distribution. No matter how an enterprise wants to manage OS upgrades, Jamf is ready to make sure they succeed.

macOS Big Sur is significant in several ways, not the least of which is the update to version 11, the first such change in nearly 20 years. macOS Big Sur also delivers new features that improve provisioning, enterprise workflows, and security and privacy.

Provisioning and enrollment

Tailoring enrollment has never been more critical than it is in today’s world of remote work, distance learning and telehealth. Auto Advance for Mac is a new way to automatically skip screens during Setup Assistant, providing a faster path to getting employees logged in and productive.

Admins who desire a more customized setup experience can instead use Enrollment Customization to tailor Setup Assistant with new screens, like a welcome message or user agreement.

Finally, Jamf Connect enhances Mac provisioning further for organizations using a cloud identity provider by giving users the ability to access their Mac and applications with a single cloud identity.

Enterprise workflows

With more staff working outside the walls of a traditional office and many devices already deployed in the field, it is vital that admins be able to enroll devices efficiently over the air. User-approved Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a common way to enroll devices that are already in employees and student hands.

macOS Big Sur is taking user-approved MDM to the next level by automatically giving Supervised status to devices enrolled in this manner. That means admins will have greater management capabilities on these devices, expanding the ability to apply additional management functionality to devices already deployed.

Modern Mac-specific security

With macOS Big Sur, Apple is pushing even harder for vendors to move off of relying on kernel extensions to enable advanced capabilities for security solutions, hardware control and other scenarios. This is something Apple started in macOS Catalina with System Extensions and the Endpoint Security Framework. In this new operating system release, the end-user experience when a kernel extension is installed is even more complicated when a Mac boots.

Jamf Pro has been instrumental in helping push out configuration profiles that allow a better end-user experience for customers that have to rely on legacy software utilizing kernel extensions. At the same time, Jamf Protect, our endpoint security solution for Mac, was designed to utilize the Endpoint Security Framework from the start, ensuring a trouble-free experience for end users when security and device experience truly matters.

Distance learning innovation

Distance learning has put unique demands on school IT admins to power virtual learning, wherever it takes place. To help teachers succeed in this new environment, we are excited to bring the Jamf Teacher App for Jamf School to Mac.

Teaching in a remote environment presents many new challenges, like ensuring students stay engaged and on track during the school day. Teachers can now manage classes, lessons and student device functionality from either a macOS or iPadOS device, ensuring they can manage their class even when students are apart.

School IT admins can also activate school-issued LTE/cellular-enabled iPads in bulk before they are deployed to students. This means devices are ready to connect to the internet immediately upon receiving the device – regardless of location.

Apple Silicon

Apple also recently announced the upcoming release of Apple Silicon-enabled MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini. We are excited to support these powerful new computers when Apple makes them available beginning next week.

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Garrett Denney
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