Today, with over 15,000 Apple IT administrators around the world attending virtually, Jamf (NASDAQ:JAMF) kicked off its 11th annual Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC). With a theme of ‘a year like no other’, Jamf showed how its Apple Enterprise Management platform is enabling IT to digitally transform business, education and healthcare and empower employees, nurses, doctors, educators and students.
“2020 has been a year like no other. Workflows that were once visionary, like zero-touch deployment and virtually educating students or caring for patients, are now necessary,” said Dean Hager, CEO, Jamf. “Jamf goes well beyond the MDM framework to fill the gap between what Apple builds and what organizations require to empower and serve their employees, students and patients. We are proud of the work that Jamf Nation, the world’s largest online community of Apple IT administrators, is leading in digitally transforming their organizations.”
COVID-19 has spurred the greatest movement of the workforce into their homes in history. IT teams need to be able to ship new devices without touching them and allow employees to work anywhere while staying secure and connected to the resources they need. Jamf’s Apple Enterprise Management (AEM) platform, the only AEM solution of scale that automates the entire lifecycle of Apple in the enterprise, announced new key functionality powering remote work including:
· Streamlined authentication and identity management, biometric security – IT needs to be confident that the right person has access to their hardware and resources, and end users can access everything they need to be productive with a single set of cloud identity credentials. Jamf Connect has been re-built from the ground up with a fresh take on the login and authentication flow, providing a more native and Apple-like experience for end users. The installer package was also simplified, making it easier for IT admins to implement and deploy Jamf Connect to users.
In addition, instead of relying on another piece of unmanaged, costly hardware such as a smart card to conduct multi-factor authentication, workers can employ a passwordless workflow using an iPhone and Face ID or Touch ID to secure the Mac provisioning process. This allows employees to leverage their Microsoft Azure AD credentials on the Jamf Connect iOS app, and loads a certificate on the iPhone, which is validated on a Bluetooth-paired Mac. Employees can then utilize biometrics (e.g. Face ID or Touch ID) on their iPhone (and a PIN number if required by the IT admin) to securely unlock their Mac and access the resources they need. Beta for the passwordless workflow will be available later this year, with general availability expected in early 2021.
While Jamf continues to develop solutions that use cloud identity to provision devices, macOS and iOS also contain Apple’s native Single Sign-On Extension framework, which when used with an identity provider’s extension on a managed device, can greatly improve the login experience to enterprise applications. Today, Jamf demonstrated a preview of the forthcoming Microsoft Enterprise SSO Plugin, which allowed for a transparent Azure AD authentication while accessing the Jamf Self Service portal.
· Extension of Microsoft partnership brings conditional access to iOS devices – Jamf announced it has extended its partnership with Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security by launching iOS Device Compliance. Through this offering, available today in preview and coming soon to all customers, organizations are empowered to choose Jamf for iOS management while also sharing important device information like compliance status with Microsoft Endpoint Manager. IT teams can utilize the built-solely-for-Apple Jamf features for Apple ecosystem management, while leveraging conditional access to ensure that only trusted users from compliant devices, using approved apps, are able to access company data.
· Apple-specific endpoint protection that secures devices accessing resources from everywhere –This year, Jamf showed critical new functionality within its recently-launched enterprise endpoint protection solution Jamf Protect, including broad malware prevention to identify and block incidents on macOS, as well as unified log forwarding that allows organizations to monitor extensive activity across their fleet in real time without devices ever touching the corporate network.
“The COVID-19 pandemic acted like a stress test for our remote management tools, and Jamf has lived up to the challenge,” said Joe Steele, Head of Workplace Technology, Starling Bank. “We are now able to allow employees to work remotely indefinitely because we can connect them to what they need to be productive, then manage and secure their devices. Jamf has future-proofed our workflows for whatever comes next.”
Jamf also announced key updates to its Marketplace, the central hub for customers to discover ways to extend their Jamf environment. Today, the Marketplace has nearly 350 listings, including recent integrations with Jira, ServiceNow and Splunk. Updates include improved discoverability, more prominent features on what’s new in the marketplace and direct access to the tools IT needs to make custom configuration much easier.
Jamf announced a new telehealth workflow aimed at protecting providers while still connecting patients to the care they need and the communities they love – virtually. In this year like no other, healthcare organizations around the world can use Virtual Visits powered by Jamf to configure and instantly deploy third-party conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to iPad or iPhone. Providers are able to easily virtually round to their patients, and patients can simply connect with loved ones outside the hospital – without IT ever having to touch the device. Further, once patients are discharged, Virtual Visits can help automatically digitally wipe the device to prepare it for the next patient. This new workflow can limit the amount of PPE care teams use during each patient encounter, while still enabling them to provide quality care.
“With Virtual Visits, we can facilitate an easy way for patients to stay connected without the technology being overly complicated in order to improve the patient experience,” said Holly Panting, IT Project Manager, Oxford Health. “With the flexibility provided by Jamf, it allows us to deploy and manage these devices easily. We can now spin up these solutions quickly and get them deployed safely.”
Schools needed to pivot to distance learning quickly this spring, and for the 2020-2021 school year, they need to power hybrid programs but be ready to shift to virtual in a moment’s notice. Jamf announced Learn Anywhere, its complete solution for empowering education whether teachers are ten feet or ten miles from students. Learn Anywhere includes new features that help educators communicate with students, use engaging resources and assess learning objectives from any environment, including:
· Remote Class – Unique ability for teachers to launch a virtual classroom or one-to-one meeting with students in only one click using trusted conference platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet.
· Raise Hand – When a student gets stuck and doesn’t know where to go, they sometimes need help from their teacher directly. Raise Hand allows students to digitally engage teachers with a question or alert them to an issue, as if they were sitting face-to-face in a classroom.
· Jamf Assessment – Before now, there was not a fully compliant method to administer proctored exams in a virtual world. With the Jamf Assessment app, the proctor is able to see both a live recording of the screen and video of the student through the camera. It is completely configurable through Jamf Pro or Jamf School to allow you to customize background colors, specify the online test site and adjust the width of your video and exam windowpanes. Now students are able to take college placement or any other high-stakes assessments even when forced to learn from home, allowing them to continue building their future.
· Jamf Teacher, Jamf Parent and Jamf School Student apps – The integrated easy-to-use Jamf Teacher, Jamf School Student and Jamf Parent apps enable better teacher to student communication and empower parents to get more involved in their children’s education and device usage.
“Jamf allowed us to transition our district from in-class learning to distance learning in 24 hours,” said Jacob Luevano, Innovative Teaching Strategist, Manor Independent School District. “Many students who didn’t have access to apps, resources and all the benefits of modern technology, now do. This allows them to better engage with their peers and teachers, and empowers them to seamlessly transition from classroom to home with their Apple device in hand.”
The Jamf Teacher app is now available for Jamf Pro customers, and both the Jamf Teacher and Jamf School Student apps will be available for Jamf School customers on macOS soon.
Jamf also announced that it used a portion of its IPO proceeds, in partnership with several of its banking partners and financial sponsors, to launch four new Apple Classrooms, called Innovation Hubs. Collaborating with Urban Ventures, whose mission is to end urban poverty, and MATTER ngo, an NGO helping people launch ideas that improve communities, Jamf and its financial sponsors announced plans to launch Innovation Hubs in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and Zimbabwe, Africa.
These Hubs will be equipped with Apple technology for classroom and after-school programming designed to prepare kids for college and careers. In addition, Jamf and Urban Ventures are launching a Mobile Innovation Hub. Designed specifically to travel to under-equipped partner schools throughout Minneapolis, the Mobile Innovation Hub will be equipped with collaboration spaces, iPads, Apple TVs, Sphero balls, flying drones and learning applications to augment school curriculum across several subjects, including coding.