I’m at the Jamf Nation User Conference 2019: Here’s what I want to see

Jamf has a commanding lead in the Mac management space and is growing rapidly. What are the next steps in their strategy?

We’ve spent a lot of time on macOS and Mac management over the last few months. Simply put, there’s a lot of activity—especially growth—happening in the space right now.

To that end, for the second year in a row, I’m at the Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC), in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jamf (which specializes in Apple device management, if you’re not familiar) has been growing like crazy for the last several years, with a reported 35,000 customers as of a recent press release.

You can read my keynote summaries and top 10 takeaways from last year’s JNUC to get an idea of what the conference is like. The bottom line is that it was a very useful show, and the Jamf and Mac admin community is tight-knit and friendly, so I’m excited to be back.

As with any year, the latest round of changes in iOS and macOS will figure prominently. Big surprise, I know! Kidding aside, one standout this year will be the new identity management and enrollment features in macOS Catalina. With these updates, we’ll have to dig into how the role of Jamf Connect has changed.

Jamf has made two acquisitions in the last year, ZuluDesk in February and Digita Security in July, so we can expect these to be featured, as well.

Last year at JNUC 2018, I felt that the attendees skewed towards traditional Mac-centric industries, in particular education. While the enterprise was well-represented in keynote customer segments last year, I’m hoping that this year brings more enterprise attendees.

As more and more traditionally Windows-centric organizations are embracing device choice and supporting Macs, we can safely work under the assumption that the total addressable market for Mac management is going to keep growing, and could end up quite large. I’d love to see some detailed analyst numbers on this, but for now I think this is a market effect that we can all agree on.

Obviously, this growing market is a big boost for Jamf. But naturally, there are a lot of other vendors out there that want to tap into the market. There’s a lot of investment flowing in here, including VC funding. The competition includes pure-play vendors like Addigy, Fleetsmith, Kandji, Mosyle, and SimpleMDM on one side, and UEM vendors like MobileIron and VMware Workspace ONE on the other side. 

Again, Jamf is at the top of the heap, but I’m sure they’ve noticed all this activity, too. Of course, they want to continue to be the best Apple device management platform they can be. But what else might this mean for their strategy?

Last year, Jamf partnered with Microsoft, which is certainly a key advantage. I’m curious to see if the integration will get any tighter, both on the technical and go-to-market sides.

On the product side, Jamf Pro, their main product, is an on-premises product, though it’s also available as a managed service from Jamf, called Jamf Cloud. Jamf also sells Jamf Now, a cloud-based SaaS product, with a smaller, SMB-oriented feature set. With enterprise cloud and SaaS strategies marching forward, I’m curious if Jamf has any long term product plans to share here, as well.

I’ll be at the show today (Tuesday) through Wednesday night, so if you’re there, come say hello. My TechTarget colleague John Powers is in attendance as well. Keep an eye out here at BrianMadden.com and on Twitter (@JackMadden) for more news, notes, and analysis.

Update, November 14, 2019

You can now head to my JNUC keynote and news summary article—many of the questions I posed above are answered there. In addition, I have plenty of notes from sessions and conversations with Jamf employees and customers, so keep an eye out for a final JNUC wrap up article to go over everything.

In response to my comments about Jamf's cloud strategy, a representative reached out to state that "Jamf Pro is today a cloud-first solution." At JNUC, Jamf told me that two-thirds of Jamf Pro customers are using Jamf Cloud (the hosted version of Jamf Pro), and that almost all new customers use it. Regarding the architecture and strategy of Jamf Cloud, naturally this is a deeper conversation, but again, I'll get to that soon. In the meantime, you can read more about Jamf Pro here and Jamf Cloud here.

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