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Apple MDM Startup JAMF Software Continues To See Explosive Growth

As noted in a recent blog post, one of the interesting trends in IT is that Apple has decided to make an aggressive move into the enterprise. This can be seen in the recent announcement of their comprehensive partnership with IBM to target enterprise IT.

As noted in a recent blog post, one of the interesting trends in IT is that Apple has decided to make an aggressive move into the enterprise. This can be seen in the recent announcement of their comprehensive partnership with IBM to target enterprise IT.

One startup that was quite happy to see Apple sign this deal with IBM is JAMF Software. Although JAMF did raise $30 million in 2013, they have largely been entirely self-funded, and as noted in our previous profile of them one year ago – JAMF Software Helps IT Pros Manage Everything Apple – JAMF has rode the Apple wave for the last decade with great success.

Given the significance of the JAMF deal, we decided to check back in with their CEO Zach Halmstad to hear the latest on JAMF and what they are seeing in regards to Apple’s progress in the enterprise IT market.

IT Specialist Thank you for joining us again Zach. To begin with, for any IT readers who are just hearing about JAMF for the first time, could you provide a quick overview on your background and core value proposition for enterprise IT managers?

Zach We’re Apple device management experts. More than four thousand organizations rely on us to help them inventory, deploy, and secure Mac, iPad, and iPhone in an easy way. Some customers have tens of thousands of Apple devices. Others have a handful.  Our tool helps IT organizations provide a great support experience for their Mac, iPad, and iPhone users.

IT Specialist Since our interview with you at the beginning of the year, have you made any updates to your core Casper solution suite?

Zach Yes, we’ve had an exciting year and have introduced some powerful additions for our customers. And I’ll note that all of these features came at the request of our customers. We have a really active user community at jamfnation.com and they are not shy about telling us what improvements they need to be successful. Some quick highlights:

  •  Support for Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) – this makes it easier and faster for IT to set up devices for users. Basically users can now unwrap a new Apple device, turn it on, and be enrolled in a business or school environment. This is one of the most important enterprise features that Apple has released in a long time.
  • Support for Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) – this makes it possible for IT to reassign apps to different users, saving the org serious money. This is especially handy for schools. Now each year they can just reassign the apps to a new wave of students instead of buying new licenses. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from customers on this.
  • Better Self Service – This is an update to a popular feature within our Casper Suite. It lets IT empower users to find the right content for themselves. It’s like having your own App Store where users can grab the right apps, upgrades, patches and more – without having to contact IT.
  • BYOD – this summer we launched what we believe is “the right way” to deal with BYOD. We recognized that lots and lots of BYOD initiatives fail because management tools are too intrusive on the users. And once users feel their privacy has been invaded, they will refuse to enroll their device. Our solution is focused on transparency. It gives IT control for what they need yet also really respects the user’s privacy. Users are saying,“Fine, manage my corporate email, but hands off my pictures.”
  • Support for iOS 8 and Yosemite – we also rolled out new versions this fall to support Apple’s two new operating systems. In addition to supporting our existing feature set on the new OS, we also have built solutions around the new capabilities that Apple has released. We shipped these products within 30 minutes of Apple releasing, which is very important to our customers, because Apple enjoys remarkable upgrade adoption. Our IT customers need to be ready for this exciting wave.

IT Specialist For enterprise IT managers who may be considering an MDM solution for Apple products, what would you say is the level of difficulty to implement a JAMF solution in their company?

Zach It’s pretty simple. It ranges from a few hours to several days – depending on how complex an organization’s environment is and how well they understand the Apple platform.  I think we have a solid program to make sure the software is set up and used well. We go on site for a few days to make sure it’s integrated and configured properly. Customers also take advantage of our hands-on training and get certified not only in our solution but also in Apple device management.

IT Specialist Based on what I have observed, it seems like Apple is very interested in making a continued push into the enterprise market. Along those lines, do you have any sense of the extent of actual Apple adoption in the enterprise? Are enterprise IT managers starting to get comfortable with seeing employees in their company use Apple devices for work?

Zach We believe that Apple’s penetration into the enterprise will continue to grow rapidly. It’s a time when the end users really want the user-focused Apple experience, and IT really wants the security that Apple can provide for their data. We’ve seen adoption continue to expand and grow every year for the last decade, and we’re excited to have an opportunity to help more organizations have successful rollouts of Apple products.

Earlier this year, we sponsored a survey that pointed to the boom of Apple adoption in the enterprise. In addition to these survey results, here are a couple extra proof points that Apple is absolutely in the enterprise:

  • More than 900 Apple IT experts came to our annual JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC) last month. This has grown tremendously over the past five years.
  • More and more organizations – schools and businesses – have started using our jamfnation.com site to post for Apple IT jobs. This is a new career wave.

IT Specialist How has this uptake in the enterprise helped JAMF – are you seeing a correlation between the acceptance of Apple in the enterprise and JAMF’s growth?

Zach Yes, we’re seeing very strong growth. We’ve doubled our customer count over the past two years and have added nearly one millions devices under management in the past year. We are pleased so many new organizations each day select us as they roll out more and more Apple devices.

IT Specialist With the recent release of the iPhone 6 and 6-Plus and the release of iOS 8, do you think enterprise IT specialists will be seeing a big jump in employees wanting to use their Apple devices for work?

Zach Yes. End users outnumber IT guys, as they say. The users have spoken. They love their Apple devices and they do indeed expect to use them at work. The lines between work and personal life are pretty blurry anyway.

IT Specialist One thing that Apple announced not long ago was its Device Enrollment Program (DEP), which seems like it is targeted at enterprise IT. Can you explain what DEP is, and where JAMF’s solution fits in?

Zach DEP is one of the biggest things that Apple has done for the enterprise in a long time. DEP allows an organization to buy devices from Apple, and have them enrolled into the Casper Suite without ever touching the device. The user gets to unbox a brand new device from Apple, still in the shrink wrap, and as soon as they set it up, it is automatically enrolled, which gives IT the information it needs about the device, and gives the user access to their email, apps, and other content that they need access to. It’s an incredible solution for both IT and the end user.

IT Specialist JAMF recently announced that you’d been seeing explosive growth in the education IT market. Can you explain what is driving this success, and what role specifically is JAMF playing in this sector?

Zach Many schools are rolling out initiatives for a more digital classroom experience. And that often involves iPads. We have so much experience here that demand from the education sector is brisk. We help them get the devices enrolled. We help them get textbooks to their devices. We help them manage the devices.  We even have an app that helps the teachers manage their student’s iPads in the classroom.. Our goal is to ensure that the technology is augmenting the learning experience, and not getting in the way or being a distraction. 

IT Specialist Turning now to the corporate level, I understand your co-CEOs recently received an award from Ernst & Young as Entrepreneurs of the year? What were the driving factors here?

Zach We’re IT guys. I started the company back in 2002. And shortly thereafter I met Chip Pearson. Together, we supported Apple long before it became the world’s most valuable brand. We stuck to a belief – that no platform offers better security or delivers a more productive and satisfying user experience than Apple. We were determined to deliver a tool that could manage Apple devices really well – in any environment and every infrastructure. And most importantly, we were determined to be the type of vendor that we would want to work with as IT guys – make life easier, even if that meant making things more challenging from our perspective.

IT Specialist Looking ahead, can you provide any sense of upcoming product releases or updates, as well as any important business news readers might want to keep an eye out for? For example, on the latter, does JAMF anticipate raising any additional capital?

Zach At our user conference in October, we announced a new product that we’ve been working on called Bushel. This product is aimed at the SMB market, where we often find customers that have IT as a task, but not as their primary job. We’re trying to take our decade of experience in the enterprise, and help the SMB market role out Apple products with the same success.

Other than that, we’re just laser-focused on helping our customers manage Apple devices.  

IT Specialist Thank you for your time Zach, and all the best wishes going forward.

 

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