The 2017 Jamf Nation User Conference kicked off this morning, and there are quite a few reasons to pay attention: Last year, Jamf announced huge growth; they announced a partnership with Microsoft back at Ignite; they just got a majority investment from Vista Equity Partners; and most importantly, Mac management in the enterprise is dramatically growing and changing.
With all this, going on, I was excited to watch the livestream of the keynote this morning (I even got to the office at 7:00 AM to do it!).
The session started off by talking about Jamf Pro 10. It will go GA next Tuesday (October 31), but it was announced all the way back at Jamf 2016 user conference and originally due in the first half of 2017. Their message was essentially, “We’re really sorry it was late.” This certainly had the most impact on education customers, who missed the opportunity to roll it out before the school year. My colleague Alyssa Provazza is there on the ground, so I’ll ask her how customers reacted to this.
Next up was Jamf CEO Dean Hager. He talked about the state of the Mac in the enterprise, noting that while BYOD brought in an initial wave, it’s really been choose-your-own-device programs and corporate-issued MacBooks that have been driving a lot of the growth. (Check out the big IBM case study from last year for a good look.) The devices that Jamf manages are about 50/50 macOS and iOS, and he mentioned growth in corporate-liable tablets (think teachers, healthcare, retail, etc.) as well as the Apple TV (now that it has full MDM, it’s great for conference rooms, etc.).
Overall, Dean’s point that was that Apple is paying a lot of attention to the enterprise, and Jamf is a barometer of all that. This leads to their numbers—Jamf is now at 13,000 customers. Last year they were a little over 9,100, and in 2015 a little under 6000, so the impressive growth has continued. (This comprises 10,000 Jamf Pro and 3,000 Jamf Now customers.) The last thing Dean mentioned was that a lot of people ask them if they’re going to stay focused exclusively on Apple. They actually had a short-lived Android plan back in 2014, but today, his answer was a resounding “Hell yes!”
Moving on, they demonstrated all the new Jamf Pro 10 features—again, we knew about some of these a year ago, but they include a new admin UI, a more flexible patching policy engine, and a brandable user-facing self service app. New announcements today included integrations with Tableau, Splunk, and RobotCloud; two new Jamf Cloud regions in Tokyo and Sydney; a developer program (with Jamf API references, etc.); a marketplace for partners; and a mid-year license-renewal option.
Brad Anderson made an appearance in the keynote to demonstrate Jamf’s integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure AD. We already saw this at Ignite, but if you haven’t heard about this, it enables Jamf to register Macs in Azure AD; then Intune can pull compliance data from Jamf and use it for conditional access policies for Azure AD-protected resources. There’s also some integration between the Intune Company Portal and the Jamf Self Service app, so that users can get enrolled and remediate any issues (there’s no automatic remediation right now).
One thing that didn’t get mentioned was the majority investment from Vista. Clearly, this came from the angle of wanting to get onboard with a rapidly growing company, but it’s still a little early to see what the full effects will be.
All the enterprise Mac growth will surely affect Jamf competitors, too. Microsoft took a very sensible approach in partnering with Jamf—after all, it will drive Intune and Azure AD usage. However, others like AirWatch and MobileIron, as well as Fleetsmith, a Mac-dedicated startup, are looking for a piece of the action for themselves.
We know that unified endpoint management is the thing everyone talks about now, so we’ll see how much of it spills into the Mac space. Still, Jamf seems confident that their pure-play advantage will continue to serve them well—and with good reason, considering all their growth.