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The management standard for the Apple ecosystem

“Hello, it’s me
I know you’re wondering if after this past year you’ll get to see
Our new product, a sign…
That a release will soon be coming,
We know that the wait is numbing…”

A video of Jamf employees lip syncing to their own rendition of Adele’s “Hello” fueled laughter and applause at the 2017 Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC) this morning at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Minneapolis. Moments later, Jay Dorenkamp, head of software engineering at Jamf, delivered a long-awaited message.

“As you could tell from the video, it’s been a long road, but it is my privilege to tell you that one week from today, Jamf Pro Version 10 will be made generally available.”

The highly anticipated Jamf Pro 10 includes an entirely new look and feel, a more robust Patch Management and a totally revamped Jamf Self Service. More than 1,000 organizations helped in the beta, with concurrent versions of Jamf Pro running in late summer and fall to ensure customers would have zero-day support for Apple releases and the highest quality in the newest Jamf Pro version.

“Version 10 is the largest release that Jamf has offered in several years, and it’s packed with great new features and improvements,” Dorenkamp said. Moving forward, customers will receive more frequent, smaller releases as a way to provide new features and fixes faster. “As an example, we are already working on our next release after 10, and you can expect to see a beta of that release very soon,” he said.

Following the exciting news, Jamf CEO, Dean Hager, welcomed the crowd of more than 1,500 attendees to the biggest JNUC ever. “It’s one of the most exhausting, but exciting projects the Jamf team works on all year,” he said. “But more importantly, you have already contributed to make JNUC awesome. We have 64 Jamf customers presenting this year, bringing their real-world expertise here for your benefit. Thank you to all presenters!”

After also thanking the sponsors that help make JNUC possible, Hager gave a special shout out to the Jamf Nation members who weren’t able to attend. “I think we should let them hear a cheer from you that tells them how much we wish they were here in Minneapolis with us,” he told the crowd. After a long applause, Hager continued with a look at Jamf Pro Version 10.

“On our journey to Version 10, we were faced with many important decisions,” he explained. “In facing those decisions, Jamf’s priorities were clear. We would prioritize quality over time. And we would prioritize Apple functionality over Jamf functionality.”

Jamf consistently supports Apple releases with zero-day or pre zero-day support. Hager said it’s the business Jamf chose in order to deliver a quality product to customers that stays in lock-step with Apple. “Somebody has to recognize the Apple experience can not be achieved by treating all devices, from all manufacturers, the exact same,” he said. “Apple users want the Apple experience, and Jamf seeks to provide that.”

Hager then took a look at Apple devices, first citing the steady increase of Mac devices in the enterprise – a direct result of the Choose Your Own Device Movement. He continued with an overview of the many uses of an iPad, saying, “The iPad is the device for transforming organization processes and customer experiences.” Moving on to the iPhone and AirPods, Hager explained, “The AirPods are not headphones. They are an enterprise business machine that hang from our ears – originally made possible because of Apple’s core enterprise presence, the iPhone.” He referenced the power of Apple TV in the conference room, the classroom, the hotel room and the hospital room before concluding with a comment about one of his favorite products – the Apple Watch. “Because of its proximity to its user, the Apple Watch is the ultimate notifications machine in the world.”

And while Apple has seen great success with devices in education, Hager said the company’s penetration in the enterprise market shouldn’t be ignored. Jamf, a company that has supported only Apple since 2002, grew from 6,000 customers in 2015 to more than 13,000 customers today, approximately half of which are education and half are commercial. “If Apple isn’t growing in the enterprise,” Hager said, “then I’m confused.”

The Day 1 Keynote continued with an in-depth look at Jamf Pro Version 10, including a review of the modernized interface, an exploration of the new dashboard, an explanation of contextual warnings and push notifications, and more. Microsoft’s Brad Anderson then took the stage to dig even deeper and share how together, Jamf and Microsoft provide conditional access for Mac, ensuring devices are in compliance.

“Jamf Pro is using Microsoft Workplace Join functionality, within Azure Active Directory, to join Jamf-enrolled Macs with all the rest of the enterprise’s corporate-owned or personally owned devices,” Anderson explained. “Once Workplace Join is complete, InTune can report on it in the same way it reports on InTune-enrolled devices.” He continued saying, “It means enterprises can provide access to their corporate resources not only based on the user’s credentials, but also on the compliance of the Mac. It’s something we call conditional access.”

Following a demo that displayed key features of this exciting new integration, Hager announced another partnership that’s changing lives in education. David Vinca, the CEO at eSpark Learning, joined him on stage to share the news. “Based on the success we’ve seen our customers have with Jamf versus our own MDM solution, or others in the market, we have decided to go to market exclusively with Jamf as our device management partner,” Vinca said.

eSpark uses a school’s assessment data to diagnose the skills of each individual student. This generates a queue of curated content aligned to the skill or standard where they need the most instruction or support. “Every child interacts with the best, most engaging iOS apps and videos available,” Vinca said. “Quizzes and creative challenges allow students to reflect and synthesize their learning, getting to higher order thinking.” Both Jamf and eSpark are offering special pricing to help make the move to either solution more affordable.

The morning of good news and announcements continued with a look at some additions to Jamf Nation. With more than 53,000 members across the globe, Jamf knows it’s important to maintain and appropriately update Jamf Nation. That’s why some new features, including the addition of a “Like” button is so valuable. Jamf Nation Product Owner Emily Brown, explained it saying, “In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to sort search results and comments by likes, which means the most useful content floats to the top.” Brown said a Jamf Nation app for iOS is also on the horizon. “The app will keep you informed about the latest activity on your topics and network.”

As frequently seen on Jamf Nation, IT admins support each other. So, in an effort to further enable those interactions, Jamf launched a developer portal – a place with resources for anyone who wants to develop software that enhances Jamf’s solution. “This really embraces the power of “and”, which means our customers should expect more software built by the community than ever over the next few years,” Brown said. Once those solutions are built, users can find them in a new, central repository for open source and proprietary solutions – Jamf Marketplace.

But Jamf’s dedication to support and encourage those who continually strive for better solutions doesn’t stop within their building, on their website or even in the broader community. Hager ended the Day 1 Keynote with an explanation. “Earlier I said Jamf’s mission is to help organizations succeed with Apple. But, that’s not our purpose,” he said. “Our purpose is to empower people with technology.” Earlier this year, Jamf lived out this purpose in Haiti.

With support from the Jamf Nation Global Foundation, corporate and individual donors, and an inspired team of Jamfs – Jamf embarked on a project to bring Apple technology to Grace Academy School in Titanyen, Haiti. As a result of the week-long trip, the school received 48 shared iPads (each loaded with learning software), valuable training and maybe most significant, the inspiration to teach and learn in new ways.

“It’s been only two months, but I’m hearing students at Grace Academy have found a new power. They have new dreams,” Hager said. “Technology that puts humans first can make people, young and old, incredibly powerful. That’s our purpose.” He closed out the morning with a message for all attendees. “It’s our hope for you at JNUC, to help you become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. Have a great JNUC!”