The magic of endpoint provisioning

Eric Py and Chad Lawson of Rocketman Tech take a look behind the curtain and at some favorite tricks to create a magical experience for users while maintaining control over devices at all times.

September 29 2020 by

Evan O'Malley

"Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect." – Teller

Magicians spend a lot of time perfecting skills that, if done right, can't be seen. If IT admins do the job well, the deployment of Apple devices looks like magic to the end users. During this JNUC 2020 session, Rocketman Tech Engineer (slash Problem Solver) Chad Lawson and VP of Business Development, Eric Py went into detail about using endpoint provisioning (and more specifically, DEPNotify) to give a seamless user experience, no slight-of-hand necessary.

Why do we need endpoint provisioning?

Most importantly, it’s the final step in creating a provisioning workflow that gets as close to zero-touch as possible. When setting up a new device, the user will power things on and complete the setup assistant, but the device’s work isn’t done there. As the device continues through pre-enrollment and other tasks are still running in the background, endpoint provisioning can help inform the user if there’s additional information needed from their end or to have them wait before beginning to tinker on the device. Whether informing them of what has been done already, what’s currently being installed, or what’s going to happen next, it helps keep transparency on what can be expected instead of users left with an empty desktop wondering, “So, can I get started?”.

This also opens the door to providing a helpful, memorable onboarding process. With the addition of clear on-screen instructions, introductory videos and corporate branding, this step can make the difference in the experience of a new employee while also saving IT valuable time. Imagine stepping into the shoes of a new employee, jumping from meeting to meeting discussing how to perform the best and be most efficient, but then you first interact with the company hardware and it’s a confusing, inefficient experience. Endpoint provisioning can ensure an elegant first impression.

Endpoint vs IT-Based Provisioning

When considering advantages of either endpoint or IT-based provisioning, it’s important to keep time spent in mind. Lawson recalled on the ‘old days’ and getting that dreaded 4:00 PM call on a Friday to get dozens of devices set up for new employees and how the time cost for IT teams would skyrocket when meticulously ensuring proper setups. Instead of having that time stack up for a select one or few IT staff, it helps distribute that time spent across all employees to lighten the load. Along with the current global climate it has also become extremely important to be able to ship devices to homes of employees instead of getting them to IT first.

Not only is it a time saver, but this helps give users confidence and enjoyment through the setup process. By giving users the opportunity to empower themselves and connect to their technology, they’re also able to experience the magic of unwrapping and unboxing their device like a present and can add that joy to the onboarding experience. This gives users the end experience they want, while also maintaining the control and management that IT wants.

In the end(point), it’s a huge saver of time, energy and morale.

How's it done?

By combining various Jamf features, Apple Business Manager (ABM) and DEPNotify, you can make magic for your end users. Lawson pulled up a demonstration of this where he explains his sample setup and how he puts it all together.

In Jamf, you’ll use policies as you normally would for any other particular environment, but where the real difference comes into play is within the onboarding category. Under the policy for enrollment via the user (or User-Initiated Enrollment, UIE), he included packages for installing the company assets as well as to install DEPNotify, which will create the seamless user experience. Using DEPNotify, you can also initiate a user registration sequence to obtain more data to be used with that device.

To add a cherry on top, after running through all of the necessary policies, DEPNotify can assist in showing a branded welcome video to new users to inform them more about the company and to provide one more opportunity to dazzle users.

Ready to leave end users mystified by your endpoint provisioning? You can find more detailed explanations on this topic on the Rocketman blog or through their Github.

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