Jamf Blog
July 17, 2018 by Daniel Weber

Why the device management solution you choose matters

Read this blog for a tutorial on device management models — best-of-breed versus unified endpoint management (UEM) — and discover which is right for your commercial, K-12 or higher education environment.

When searching for a device management solution for the first time or evaluating your current tool for a potential upgrade, you often get pulled in multiple directions with vendors shouting:

  • “Look over here! We can manage ALL of your platforms with one solution.”
  • “But we’re the cheapest and our tool is good enough to get the job done.”
  • “Wait! Don’t go with them! Why? Well, just because.”

It can be hard to wade through the noise and nonsense to determine which management solution is best for your unique needs.

At Jamf, we want you to succeed with the ecosystem you choose — be it Apple, Microsoft or Google — with the management solution you ultimately select (even if it’s not us). While we obviously want you to choose Jamf, we most importantly want you to be fully informed prior to making any decision. So begins our tutorial on device management philosophies…

Unified endpoint management (UEM) 101

When all of your ecosystems are managed with one tool, this is often referred to as unified endpoint management or UEM. On the surface, the idea of having one solution to tackle any device that hits your network can be appealing.

The problem, and what UEM providers won’t tell you, is that there is such a lack of commonalities in how Apple, Microsoft and Google are intended to be managed that the end result is a lackluster experience for IT and their users.

If the chart is hard to understand, it can’t be easy to manage.

With each ecosystem having its own method of deployment, operating system release cycle, security features and overall device management style — just to name a few — a UEM approach prohibits IT from delivering a seamless and timely technology experience that modern users demand.

Less is not always more

The old adage that “you get what you pay for” tends to hold true in the realm of device management solutions. With a seemingly new vendor popping up daily to undercut the price of the last flavor of the week, it can be difficult to look at the long-term as opposed to an enticing upfront cost.

When considering going this route, ask yourself:

  • Does this vendor have a proven record of support operating system releases and features when they become available?
  • If something goes wrong, do they have a reliable support staff who can assist?
  • Can this company and its solution scale as our needs and environment change?
  • Will this company be around in one, two, five years and there when I need them?

Purchasing software to help you get the most out of your hardware is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be done hastily.

But you already knew that. And now you’re asking yourself, “I’m reading the Jamf blog, where does the best-of-breed argument come in?”

Very perceptive. Yes, we’ve arrived at the point where we discuss the best-of-breed management model and the one Jamf is known for.

Best-of-breed management solutions

Where UEM and dime store tools fall short, best-of-breed solutions reign supreme. By providing full lifecycle management, Jamf’s best-of-breed Apple management solutions are the only way to maximize, streamline and automate:

Deployment and provisioning to build the perfect device for users through a zero-touch, hands-free enrollment process.

Configuration management by leveraging configuration profiles, policies and scripts to customize and personalize each device.

App management to purchase apps in bulk and distribute them directly to a device or make readily available in an on-demand app store.

Inventory so you can collect hardware, software and security configuration details, and take immediate management action as a result.

Security by leveraging native Apple features to restrict malicious software and patch out-of-date devices.

For a much more thorough dive on how best-of-breed solutions differentiate themselves from others and what specific features Jamf offers, download the best-of-breed guide of your choosing.

What about Microsoft best-of-breed?

Ah, of course. The other major player in the modern landscape. While Apple has gained significant traction in the enterprise, many organizations will still need to support Windows PCs. To accommodate these organizations, Jamf Pro integrates with Microsoft’s best-of-breed Windows management solution, Intune, to deliver the answer to the challenge of cross-platform management.

This integration provides an automated compliance management solution for Macs accessing applications set up with Azure Active Directory. Through the industry’s only proxy-free conditional access, this partnership ensures that only trusted users, from compliant Mac computers using approved apps are accessing Office 365 and other cloud and on-premises resources.

Microsoft enables Jamf to report Mac information to Intune and provide a simple process to remediate non-compliant devices.

For traditional environments, Jamf offers a plug-in for Microsoft’s Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) — providing a seamless path to work with modern and traditional Microsoft tools.

The management decision is yours

Hopefully this provides insight into the management model that makes the most sense for your organization, staff and users — in the short and long-term.

I’ll leave you with one additional thought. Jamf has been around for over 15 years and been exclusively focused on helping organizations succeed with Apple. This isn’t just a hobby or way to make a quick buck — this is what we pride ourselves on.

With more than 16,000 customers managing over 10 million devices, our best-of-breed model has worked to the tune of a 95 percent customer retention rate. Long story short: when customers choose Jamf, they join a rapidly growing community of Apple experts — and don’t leave.

If you’re interested, we offer a free, no strings attached trial of our best-of-breed solution so you can put our features to the test. Ready?

Photo of Daniel Weber
Daniel Weber
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