Recently, we’ve been highlighting some of the major partnerships that are beginning to form between mobile management and mobile/cloud services vendors. These partnerships are strategic and aim to enable IT workflows that better secure, support, and monitor iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices than what any one company could offer. So far, these partnerships and the integration of solutions that they offer haven’t included Apple or the basic management tools that Apple makes available for free – until now.
Mac and iOS management provider JAMF has posted a guide to integrating the company’s signature solution with Apple’s free Configurator tool to streamline iOS deployment.
Casper Suite is one of the top Mac management solutions on the market and it is extremely versatile. The suite essentially provides workflows and tools for every step in the Mac lifecycle within an organization from purchase and asset tagging through initial setup and deployment to ongoing client and user management.
JAMF began offering iOS management in Casper Suite a while ago and offers a full range of device management capabilities. In many ways, JAMF, like most mobile device management (MDM) vendors, has a broader iOS solution than Apple’s Configurator – the ability to do over the air management through is the biggest key feature that Configurator doesn’t offer.
JAMF’s white paper (PDF) on adding Configurator to its iOS deployment workflows highlights three major areas where Configurator excels over most MDM solutions: the ability to pre-install apps, pre-configure wireless network access, and enroll devices with an MDM service while still offering the traditional iOS setup process to users.
Configurator can automate all of these steps, which means that as soon as an iPad is handed out to a user, it is essentially ready to go. That user doesn’t need to worry about joining a corporate wireless network or going through a management enrollment process. They can simply start using the iPad.
This approach should work with any MDM product and it really offers a more user friendly and streamlined roll out process because the core enterprise needs have been handled by Configurator before a user even touches the device. Any further management can be done using Casper Suite (or the MDM product of choice).