Delivering ROI through mitigated risk

by Daniel Weber

Return on investment (ROI) is a key metric organisations use to determine if they are making a sound investment. It’s essentially looking at how much an item costs compared to what value it provides.

To help you make a smart investment with your Apple device management, we want to be transparent with the ROI you can expect with Jamf Pro.

Hobson & Company, a leading research firm focused on ROI studies, conducted independent research consisting of 15 in-depth interviews with Jamf Pro customers to determine if and where organizations leveraging Jamf could save time, resources and money.

Three key areas were identified:

  1. Simplified IT management
  2. Improved end-user experience
  3. Mitigated risk

In the conclusion of our three-part blog series, we’ll examine how Jamf Pro mitigates risk.

Automate security and policy management

Manually maintaining on-going configuration settings (i.e., operating system updates, printer settings, etc.) becomes time-consuming and resource intensive. Jamf Pro’s deep integration with Apple’s native frameworks automates the process of maintaining devices. Through remote management and the use of configuration profiles, policies, smart targeting and scripts, IT admins can personalize and tailor individual devices or groups of devices based on the needs of end users.

Customers interviewed reported a 65 percent reduction in time spent managing policy and setting changes.

Reduce time spent managing IT inventory reports

One of the more time-consuming tasks for IT staff is tracking computing and mobile assets and the software installed on them. This information is used to ensure license compliance, effectively manage device lifecycles and other auditing needs. Jamf Pro’s Smart Groups feature provides IT staff with real-time access to dynamic hardware/software inventory reports that help them provide accurate reporting for audits and compliance, do real-time license tracking, and efficiently perform other maintenance tasks.

Customers interviewed reported a 90 percent reduction in time spent creating inventory reports.

Reduce the probability of a costly security breach

Security breaches are brand eroding and expensive to remediate. With Jamf Pro, security controls and policies are consistently enforced and easy to monitor, minimizing the risk of a security breach. And, with day-zero support for all new Apple releases, Jamf Pro empowers its customers with instant access to great new end-user features as soon as they become available, but also new layers of security and fixes to vulnerabilities.

Customers interviewed reported a two-point reduction in the probability of a security breach.

 

Interested in Jamf for your organisation?


Delivering ROI through simplified IT management

Delivering ROI through simplified IT management

Return on investment (ROI) is a key metric organizations use to determine if they are making a sound investment. It’s essentially looking at how much an item costs compared to what value it provides.

To help you make a smart investment with your Apple device management, we want to be transparent with the ROI you can expect with Jamf Pro.

Hobson & Company, a leading research firm focused on ROI studies, conducted independent research consisting of 15 in-depth interviews with Jamf Pro customers to determine if and where organizations leveraging Jamf could save time, resources and money.

Three key areas were identified:

  1. Simplified IT management
  2. Improved end-user experience
  3. Mitigated risk

In part one of our three-part blog series, we’ll examine how Jamf Pro simplifies IT management.

Reduce time spent provisioning devices

Provisioning includes not only purchasing and receiving devices, but also imaging and configuring user-specific settings. This is a high-touch, manual process for IT administrators, and is even more time consuming for operating system upgrades. Jamf Pro’s zero-touch deployment is enabled through its deep integration with Apple Business Manager, allowing IT administrators to automatically enroll and configure new devices without hands-on support from IT, and share with end users in original shrink-wrapped packaging.

Customers interviewed reported an 80 percent reduction in time spent provisioning devices.

Reduce time spent managing apps

Jamf Pro’s centralized software distribution features automate app management and give IT administrators the ability to easily schedule and distribute standard and/or custom software packages and workflows to end users’ workstations, ensuring the correct software and apps are on each device.

For patch management, IT administrators can choose to either leverage Jamf Pro’s unique patch management service, which automates patch management by monitoring the most popular app software patches and managing the updates from a central server, or choose to push patches directly to devices using Jamf Self Service.

Customers interviewed reported a 90 percent reduction in time spent managing apps.

Reduce the volume of help desk tickets

When end users have technical difficulties, the first step to resolution is logging a ticket with the help desk. Jamf Pro’s Self Service app automates many of the common tasks traditionally entered as a ticket, empowering users to quickly and efficiently solve many of their technical problems on their own.

Customers interviewed reported a 15 percent reduction in the volume of help desk tickets.

Interested in Jamf for your organisation?


Why you should join Jamf Nation

If you haven’t heard of Jamf Nation, you’re most likely new to mobile device management (MDM) or IT altogether. Jamf Nation is the most active, most viewed community out there for everything Apple. I remember back in the old days before I used Jamf, I would search for an Apple answer and without fail, I’d be pointed to Jamf Nation.

So, if you fall in the camp that isn’t in the know about Jamf Nation, I want to fill you in.

What is Jamf Nation?

Jamf Nation is a community of Apple admins that come together to find answers to Apple problems, collaborate on scripts and request features for Jamf Pro. The great thing about Jamf Nation — and what separates it from other community sites — is that it’s free for everyone. You don’t even have to be a Jamf customer. You simply sign up and start searching discussions or begin creating your own to ask questions, learn new workflows or get insight on really anything imaginable when it comes to Apple IT. Most of the time someone will either have the same problem you have or be able to point you in the right direction.

Never go it alone again

Jamf Nation is super easy to post scripts, screenshots and links. Say I want to find a way to deploy the latest macOS to my company Macs. I can go out to Jamf Nation and first search to see if someone has already done this and if so, find their script and use it. If I can’t find the answer, I can post my question and most of the time get a response in less than 24 hours.

Another great thing about Jamf Nation is the ability to find an easy way to install tough Mac applications. A quick search often results in step-by-step instructions and maybe even a link to download the script.

Help shape the future of Apple device management

Jamf Nation is a great selling point if you’re on the fence to buy Jamf, as this free community is essentially an awesome extension of Jamf’s already best-in-class support. Once you purchase Jamf, you can easily see how others are using the product and how you can complete similar tasks. As a bonus, jump over to the feature request section of Jamf Nation to view what other admins want to see from Jamf Pro. I was so impressed by this area; first by the number of ideas and votes for those ideas and second by the fact that Jamf truly values the feedback and implements where possible.

For example, I had just moved from another MDM. I had a feature that I really liked in the old MDM, so I created a feature request for that feature. I took screenshots from the other MDM and also explained why Jamf should have this feature. I checked back in a few days and my feature request already had a bunch of upvotes and comments from other admins. Then about two months later I saw that my feature request was moved to planned. I waited another two months and my feature was added to Jamf Pro. This is unheard of today in technology, the fact that a feature I requested was added in less than six months is truly amazing!

All in all, the biggest take away from Jamf Nation and Jamf as a whole is they really care about the customer. That is pretty cool, and you won’t find that in any other MDM that’s currently on the marketplace.

I recommend you check out Jamf Nation today and see what you’ve been missing. And if you’re not already a Jamf customer, you’ll definitely want to check them out too.

Interested in Jamf for your organisation?


How to manage Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac - Q&A

by Bill Smith

Our webinar, How to Manage Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac, generated a lot of interest from the Jamf community and a lot of questions from those who were able to join. We couldn’t answer all of your questions fully in the short time we were together, so let’s follow up here with some of your Questions & Answers.

The main focus of the webinar was to demonstrate how to manage Office using plists and profiles, however, presenter Paul Bowden with Microsoft did have “One more thing…” Office applications are now available in the Mac App Store and attendees had many questions about that too. Those are in their own section toward the end.

If you haven’t yet watched the webinar, you’ll find it below and in our video resources section at https://www.jamf.com/resources/webinars/. If you’d like a copy of the presentation slides, you can download them from https://jamf.it/how-to-manage-office.

For additional questions and information, visit Jamf Nation, the MacAdmins community on Slack or contact Jamf.

Preferences, plists, profiles and policies

Q: Does the OfficeAutoSignIn key in a configuration profile work with an enterprise volume license or is there an option to skip that window? Or is there a volume license package that will activate Office?­

A: Yes, the key works regardless of how Office is activated (Office 365 subscription, volume license or single license.) Volume licensing is available for organizations needing five or more seats and avoids users needing to sign in with Office 365 credentials. However, apps activated with Office 365 credentials receive more features than other types of licensing.

Q: Does the OfficeAutoSignIn key only work if you are signed in to a domain-joined Mac with an account that has an Office 365 subscription?

A: No. This key doesn’t require an Office 365 subscription, nor does it require a domain-joined Mac.

Q: Does this content also apply to Office 365 ProPlus [which includes the Teams application] or just Office 2019?­

A: Yes, the great majority of this content equally applies to both Office 2019 and Office 365. Automatic Outlook account setup using a configuration profile and Intelligent Services are specific to Office 365.

Q: What are you using to view the plist?­

A: BBEdit from Bare Bones Software is a great plain text editor that lets you view and edit plists easily. The free version is very full featured. It doesn’t suck.®

Q: Can you also use Xcode to edit a plist on the fly?

A: Yes­, this should work too. Keep in mind that some changes made in an application may not be written to its plist until the application is quit.

Q: Is there an AutoUpdate plist that is global to all users?

A: Not by default. The plist for the AutoUpdate application is per user and exists in each user’s home folder. A configuration profile will manage and enforce settings for all users. However, in Paul’s “Walkthrough – Policy or Preference” section, he describes how an administrator may want to create a new plist in the System-wide preferences at /Library/Preferences. A plist here will affect all users but will let each choose another setting if desired.

Q: I’ve experienced an issue where apps deployed on a new machine don’t register with MAU until the app is launched at least once.­

A: You can resolve this through a configuration profile that has the Applications array defined. See the example on Paul’s GitHub repository. Use a plain text editor like BBEdit to make a new com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist file on your desktop and paste in the full plist. You can use the defaults command explained in the webinar to add more properties to the file like the settings for HowToCheck, ChannelName, etc. Or you can copy those settings from the MAU_FullyManaged.plist example and paste them at the end of the file. (See this example for what it will look like when you’re done. Be sure to use the plists from Paul’s GitHub, though.) Upload the entire plist to a Custom Settings payload in a new configuration profile.

Q: Are these managed preferences available to Office 2016 apps?­

A: Many are in Office 2016 (versions 15.9 through 16.16.x). But some are only in Office 2019 (versions 16.17 and higher). Microsoft is adding new manageable preferences almost every month. Refer to Paul’s demonstration in the webinar for how to find a plist setting using the diff command.

Q: Where can I find more plist file settings to manage?

A: A great place to start is the community-contributed list of domains, keys, values and their descriptions at https://jamf.it/officepreferences. If you find information that hasn’t been added to this list, please ask the page owner to update the page or request access to edit the page yourself. Also, refer to the Deploy preferences for Office for Mac section of Microsoft’s Deployment guide for Office for Mac.

Q: ­Are the preferences in the spreadsheet particular to a “minimum version” or “specific version” or just “it depends”?

A: ­New preferences are added all the time. That means you’ll need to be at newer versions of the apps to use the newer keys.­ For the most part, the spreadsheet does a good job of detailing when a new preference was introduced and the minimum application version needed to use a particular key.

Q: ­You mentioned that it’s not wise to change a plist while the app in question is running. Is it harmful to deploy a configuration profile with a plist to my users if they have Outlook, Word, etc., running? ­

A: Different apps behave in different ways. Some will immediately change settings when you deploy a profile. Others require you to restart to see the settings change. Deploying a profile while an app is running shouldn’t be harmful, but it may not take effect until the app is restarted.

Q: ­Is it best practice to deploy the profile or plist for Office prior to installing Office or after?­

A: ­It doesn’t really matter. So long as the apps and the profiles or plists are in place when the user launches an application, that’s when it all comes together. ­

Q: ­What was the URL for the one-click setup?­

A: See the Jamf Blog post “Help users activate Microsoft Office 365 and configure Outlook in one click” at https://jamf.it/one-click.

Q: ­What happens if I use a configuration profile with a Custom Settings plist to set a few of these Office First Run Experience settings, but don’t include all the other keys in the plist? Will it wipe out the plist with only the new settings or will it “merge/ add” the settings? ­

A: ­Yes, they’ll merge! (Technically, if you install a profile before the user can set the preference, the user’s own plist won’t write the setting.) For those keys/values you don’t include, the user has full control.

Q: ­If I push these settings in a profile to existing Office installations who’ve already gone through the First Run Experience, will it overwrite their choices?

A: ­If users have already gone through the first run experience, the profiles don’t affect them. Remember, configuration profiles don’t change plists. They only override the settings in plists.

Q: ­How would that “default but not locked-in preference” be applied? Script?­

A: ­Yes, use a script. Or if you’re only going to set the default for one or two settings, consider using just the Execute Command filed under the Files and Processes payload in a Jamf Pro policy. Configuration profiles enforce settings. A script will let you set the default setting but allow the user to change it later. ­

Q: ­If I skip the First Run dialog for Intelligent Services, what is the default setting? Enabled or Disabled?­

A: The kFREIntelligenceServicesConsentV2Key is not set by default. It gets set to “true” when the user sees “Use Intelligent Services” dialog. If you want to suppress the initial dialog, you need to manage the key and set it to “true”.

Q: ­Intelligent Services are specific to Office 365. Are there any negative consequences to enabling these on an Office 2019 installation, licensed with Serializer?­

A: Intelligent Services works only when the applications are activated with an Office 365 license. Attempting to apply Office 365 specific settings to applications activated using a volume license should have no impact on them.

Q: ­Any way to disable the Microsoft Store in the apps?

A: Not with configuration profiles, but your tenant administrator can do it centrally.

Q: Are the Terminal commands used in the presentation case-sensitive?

A: Yes, the commands as well as the domains, keys and values are all case-sensitive. The exception to this is Boolean (true/false) values. The defaults command is pretty forgiving with case for Booleans.

Q: ­Will you have an example of using a Choices.xml for managing installation via stand-alone package? or just recommend using MAS?

A: We didn’t cover how to use a choices XML file since it’s documented in other places. If you don’t want to use a choices file, you can install individual apps from the Mac App Store or download them from https://macadmins.software (the links all point back to Microsoft). You may find the script mentioned in Bill’s Jamf Nation post from a couple years ago useful too.

Q: If Office plists do not get generated until the user actually opens the application, how can you modify a plist before the user even logs in or before they open the Office application­?

A: If you as an administrator create the plist first with the keys and values you want to pre-set for the user, the application will use that plist and it will add any other necessary keys and values to finish creating the file. Your settings will be honored.

Q: What is best practice — Installing all the app plists into a single configuration profile or a separate profile for each app — Microsoft AutoUpdate, Word, Outlook, etc.?­

A: ­One plist per app is best practice­. It’s OK for a single app plist like com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist to contain multiple key/value pairs (e.g., HowToCheck, ChannelName and SendAllTelemetryEnabled). Generally, you want to deploy unrelated plists in separate configuration profiles. That’s because when you “update” a profile you’re really removing the old profile from the Mac and installing a new one. For a brief moment, your management settings are lifted before they get reapplied.

Q: ­Can an administrator lock the user out of joining the Office Insider program too? ­

A: ­Yes! Set the value of the ChannelName key to “Production­” in the com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist file.

Q: ­Can you also specify joining the Office Insider Fast or Slow programs? ­

A: Yes, through the same ChannelName key in the com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist file. Set its value to “InsiderFast” for Insider Fast or “External” for Insider Slow.

Q: Can we block/suppress PST files in Outlook via com.microsoft.outlook?

A: ­Yes! Keys are DisableImport and DisableExport for the com.microsoft.Outlook domain. Set to TRUE for the value. Remember, the domain and key names are case sensitive.

Q: ­Can this feature slow the performance of the application? ­

A: ­Profiles are an Apple-designed feature. They won’t impact the performance of the apps, just the behavior of the apps. The settings from plists and profiles are applied at the time an app is launched.

Q: ­Is there any way to deploy a Custom Settings configuration profile in Jamf Now? ­

A: Currently, configuration profiles with custom settings are only supported in Jamf Pro.

Q: ­Will you cover the Microsoft AutoUpdate Caching Server? ­

A: The MAU Caching Server is more than we have time for in this webinar. But see Bill’s MacAdmins at Penn State presentation “Administering Office 2016 for Mac, Part III: Outlook and Updates” and Paul’s training video “Using the ‘msupdate’ command-line tool in Microsoft AutoUpdate”.

One more thing… Office in the Mac App Store

Q: ­What are the main benefits of moving to the Mac App Store for Office 365?­

A: You can use Apple’s volume purchasing of apps to deploy Office apps directly from the Mac App Store, which means you no longer need to maintain your own package installers. And you’ll always be installing the current version of the apps instead of possibly installing older versions. The App Store will handle your updates too. Updates through the App Store are “delta” updates, which means your Macs are only downloading the changed bits of the software rather than the entire application each time.

Q: Now that Office is in the Mac App Store, what happens to the other ways I currently deploy Office? Is the package going away?

A: Not at all! The App Store is simply a new way to get and deploy Office. It’s not replacing the package installer.

Q: Are there going to be any changes to the way we can, or will have to, manage Office now that it is in the Mac App Store?­

A: Short answer is No. Managing Office apps deployed using volume purchasing and the Mac App Store will be the same. There will be some special steps to follow for converting existing apps installed using a package to Mac App Store apps, though. OneDrive may be an exception since the App Store and package versions are different. Paul will be posting information for this at https://macadmins.software/mas/ in the very near future. (This page is currently in progress. Please be patient.)

Q: ­How does Office 2019 through Office 365 licensing work in a Higher-Ed Lab/AD environment? Does this require specialized licensing? ­

A: The licensing is the same, however, Office 365 currently doesn’t support shared activation across all users on a Mac. You can use Paul’s O365SharedActivator script to assist with this for now. Any future plans for enabling shared Office 365 activation for lab machines will likely require an Azure tenant.

Q: How do I manage Microsoft AutoUpdate when deploying apps through the Mac App Store?

A: AutoUpdate isn’t compatible with the App Store. The App Store itself will handle the updates going forward. You can manage when updates are installed in Jamf Pro by editing each app under Computers > Mac App Store.

Q: Can the apps from the Mac App Store be used with a volume license?

A: No. For technical reasons, only Office 365 activation is supported. Perpetual licenses (non-subscription licenses) like volume licenses deployed using the Office 2019 Serializer or individual licenses purchased from a big box store or retailer are not compatible.

Q: If a user already has Office 2019 installed on his or her Mac from an installer package, can I deploy it via VPP and have it take over management of the currently installed apps? Also, will the Mac App Store be capable of handling the updates automatically?

A: Do not install the Mac App Store apps over existing apps.­ They are signed using Apple’s certificate whereas apps installed from a package are signed using Microsoft’s certificate. This can lead to unwanted keychain prompts to the user. Instead, follow the instructions at https://macadmins.software/mas/. (This page is currently in progress. Please be patient.) Once the apps are installed from the Mac App Store, it will assume responsibility for keeping the apps updated and you’ll no longer need to manage an installer package.

Q: ­Will Teams be available in the Mac App Store (soon)?­

A: ­Unfortunately, no ETA on Teams in MAS.­

Q: Where can I find more information about deploying Office for Mac from the Mac App Store?

A: See Deploy Office for Mac from the Mac App Store on Microsoft’s website.

Still have questions? Contact us. Not already a Jamf Pro customer? Take our solution for a free spinand put these workflows to the test.

 


Jamf Doubles Down on Education, acquiring ZuluDesk

– Jamf, the standard for Apple management, today announced its acquisition of ZuluDesk, a leading Apple education technology solution for today’s modern classroom. Headquartered in Emmen, Netherlands, ZuluDesk provides more than 6,000 schools with its purpose-built solutions, while also empowering teachers and parents with apps to help students make the most of the world’s greatest ecosystem of education content. After completing its most successful year ever in education, together with ZuluDesk, Jamf is doubling down on its commitment to education to become the undisputed Apple education technology leader, serving 14,000 schools and managing over 9 million Apple devices, including most of the largest districts in the United States.

The acquisition of ZuluDesk provides Jamf with a broader set of education technology solutions to serve schools of any size and complexity. Jamf’s flagship product, Jamf Pro, is already used by more than 8,000 schools and will continue to provide education and commercial organizations with powerful workflows for macOS, iOS and tvOS in collaboration with the world’s largest Apple IT community, Jamf Nation. ZuluDesk will also continue to focus on Apple management, benefiting schools with its setup speed, simplicity and best-practice teacher and parent workflows. In addition, Jamf’s unique, personalized support model for Jamf Pro customers will also be made available to ZuluDesk customers.

“Like ZuluDesk, Jamf has always been passionate about education and is committed to investing in and developing solutions that help Jamf fulfill its purpose of empowering students with Apple technology that puts their needs first,” said Dean Hager, CEO, Jamf. “We believe that ZuluDesk’s success in creating an education technology solution that leverages iPads, Apple TVs and applications designed for teachers and parents give Jamf an expanded set of capabilities to help students learn with Apple.”

Jamf’s first commitment is to all of its schools and delivering value for the time and resource investments the schools have made. The entire ZuluDesk team will join Jamf, and Jamf will be increasing its investment to develop, enhance and support the ZuluDesk Management System, Client, and teacher and parent apps. Further, ZuluDesk customers will benefit from an expanded set of skilled global resources to provide world-class services and support. ZuluDesk customers will also be welcomed into Jamf Nation.

Jamf’s education customers who use Jamf Pro will also see significant additional investment in their solution and benefit from the ZuluDesk acquisition. Jamf plans to leverage ZuluDesk technology to launch teacher and parent apps for Jamf Pro in the future. A companion app to Apple’s Classroom, ZuluDesk Teacher empowers instructors to prepare lesson plans and message students directly. ZuluDesk Parent helps parents guide and protect students on their devices at home.

“We could not be more excited to bring our customers into the Jamf community,” said John Pals, CEO, ZuluDesk. “Jamf’s undisputed leadership in providing education technology for schools coupled with its amazing support and growing Jamf Nation community equip ZuluDesk customers with an expansive set of knowledge and resources. Together, we can help more schools thrive with the best tools for learning.”

About Jamf

Jamf is committed to enabling IT to empower end users and bring the legendary Apple experience to businesses, education and government organizations via its Jamf Pro and Jamf Now products, and the 75,000+ member Jamf Nation. Today, 20,000 global customers rely on Jamf to manage more than 12 million Apple devices. To learn more, visit: https://www.jamf.com.

Interested in Jamf for your organisation?


Top 10 Reasons to use PaperCut MF

PaperCut MF is the easy way to automatically monitor and manage copying and printing in your organization, giving you control over your costs and environmental impact. PaperCut MF checks print jobs on the print server and analyzes them, applying rules to enforce your print policies.

1 Cut Waste and Your Carbon Footprint
Encourage responsible printing with PaperCut MF quotas and print policies, cutting paper and toner costs and power usage. At-a-glance reporting on CO2 and carbon emissions – by CO2 volume or by tree – shows the impact.

2 Apply Print Policies Enterprise-Wide
With PaperCut MF, printing requests are intercepted at the print server to control jobs according to policies that encourage or enforce good behaviour. Use job filtering to advanced scripting (JavaScript) to implement policies and improve device utilization. For example, you might route large jobs to dedicated high-speed printers, display popups to ask end users to confirm single-sided output, automatically delete print jobs with incorrect paper sizes or suggest an alternative printer when a device is offline.

3 Solve mobile and BYOD Printing
Allow users to print from whatever BYOD or mobile device at their disposal. No matter the operating system, their location, the fi le format or the brand of printer, PaperCut MF has simple solutions to solve all these. All solutions integrate into PaperCut’s standard print charging/ accounting/quota process.

4 Enable Find-Me/Secure Print Release
PaperCut MF protects confidential documents and slashes the volume of unclaimed printouts by ensuring users to release print jobs at the point of printing. With Find-Me printing, users queue print jobs to a virtual queue and then release them for printing on a specific device. Secure Print Release requires user authentication before printing, ensuring that only authorized users can print and collect sensitive documents. PaperCut MF can also be configured to require print approval, ensuring managers, teachers or SysAdmins authorize the printing of any job.

5 Monitor and Report on Usage

Real-time monitoring and reports address all areas of print/copy/fax/ scan management, ranging from detailed page logs to summaries by the user, department, device or environmental impact. PaperCut MF offers more than 50 reports out of the box, in PDF, HTML or Microsoft Excel (.csv) format. Access reports from any web browser, or schedule them to be automatically generated and emailed. You can set up reports to use your own header, and create reports with custom data by specifying date ranges, filtering and sorting by the data available.

6 Deploy Simply

An installation wizard installs server software and then proceeds to automatically detect printers and multi-function devices on your network. Create users and groups automatically from directory services including Active Directory, Open Directory, Novell eDirectory of LDAP, Install wizards help you define user access rights, page costs and quotas. Client software is optional and can be run directly off a server share avoiding the need to install/deploy locally. PaperCut MF integrates with printers and multi-function devices from all major vendors.

7 Administer Centrally, Manage Easily

PaperCut MF provides browser-based administration access from any network location, providing advanced administration and configuration options in an intuitive user interface. End users have access to a set of web tools to track their own activity in real-time, query their account balances, view transactions, and transfer credit to other users.

8 Integrate with Your Intranet and Other Systems

A customizable web interface ensures you can easily integrate with your intranet site, and a fully documented API and scripting interface let you integrate PaperCut MF with other IT systems.

9 Scale Up Effortlessly

Modern software design and architecture provides scalability for networks of all sizes, from five to 500,000 users. Regardless of the number of servers and end users on your network, PaperCut MF will meet your needs.

10 Maximize Uptime and Availability

PaperCut MF delivers a robust approach to maintaining service by clustering at the print spooler, application server and database (for cluster-aware databases), as well as automatic fail-over protection against single points of failure.

 

More benefits of PaperCut

Control costs

with a simple account, bill or charge for every copy, print, scan and fax

Report usage

and costs per page, by user, device and function

Access devices

via login, account code or ID/access card

Enforce

responsible use using rules, limits and auto notifications

PaperCut is used by more than 50,000 organizations in 100+ countries to cut costs and environmental impact. “PaperCut’s ease of use, mixed with its powerful scripting and filtering services – and combined with its many varied reports – make it our ideal print management solution. We can safely just leave it to do its job and not have to worry about running up massive printing bills.”
Tony Ayre, IT Manager, Minehead Middle School

Get in touch


Eliminate the challenges of binding: Jamf Connect now integrates with Azure Active Directory

Coffee shops, airports, working from home — in today’s environment, more and more employees are working in locations other than the office. While many companies are putting a focus on accommodating a more mobile workforce, this shift also brings heightened awareness about keeping company data secure.

For years, organizations have been binding Mac computers to Active Directory to maintain a certain level of security. However, in an age where not all employees are on-site but are still required to log into a corporate network to access resources, security assurances don’t come so easily.

What is Active Directory?

Microsoft Active Directory has been the gold standard for on-premises identity and account management. A vast majority of organizations have been using Active Directory in order to solve authentication issues; in other words, making sure that company data and applications are protected from anyone outside of the directory that is not an employee.

How can organizations overcome Active Directory challenges?

But binding to Active Directory is not without its downsides. Because employees are no longer stationary, the way organizations approach identity and security must adapt by moving from an on-premises identity provider to one in the cloud. Data security breaches are more of a threat than ever and organizations are laser-focused on protecting their information. Just logging in with a username and password is not enough anymore. Enter top cloud identity providers, such as Microsoft Azure and Okta, which allow IT admins to remotely manage users, passwords and access to corporate applications.

Can I use Azure with my Apple devices?

Yes! With the acquisition of NoMAD, now Jamf Connect, organizations have the ability to provide a simple, unified authentication and account synchronization process while ensuring end users have the best possible Apple experience. Simply put, IT admins gain peace of mind knowing they can manage accounts and secure each device all while their employees are unboxing their Macs, powering them on, and accessing all of their company applications with one username and password — without being connected to a corporate network, such as VPN.

This is all made possible with Jamf Connect’s new integration with Microsoft Azure. So, as we see the growing migration from Active Directory to the cloud, IT admins are assured that their bases are covered when it comes to identity and security, while still giving employees the best experience with their Mac. It’s a win-win.

Details on how Jamf Connect integrates with Azure

Download our Jamf Connect overview and learn the what, why and how of the Microsoft Azure integration and discover how to put it to use in your environment.

Download now

And when you’re ready, see the incredible benefits of Jamf Connect for yourself.

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Welcome to the new world of digital signage

Apple TV has been creeping into the spotlight for the past few years — have you noticed? Newer models brought the App Store with streaming services, 4K support, HomeKit capabilities, Siri integration, and of course AirPlay. This new feature set paired with Jamf management enables Apple TV to find new homes in conference rooms, classroom, hotels and hospitals worldwide. A device that was previously reserved for the home theater has found a global stage with one use case in particular: digital signage.

What is digital signage?

Using a combination of multimedia and dynamic data, digital signage is a fantastic way to showcase information or advertising in an attractive way. Do you want to make students and parents aware of extra-curricular activities and clubs? Do you want store visitors to see your products or promotions featured in beautiful 4K? How about making your corporate lobby more welcoming or replacing the Apple TV screensaver in your conference room with something purposeful and valuable? Digital signage could be the cost-efficient and scalable solution you need.

A digital signage system is made up of a few parts. You have your display (flat panel or projector), media player and a content management system. Historically the media player has been expensive hardware that was difficult to setup and manage. Content management was either done over the network or manually distributed to the media players using physical media like SD cards. All of this special hardware and manual labour added up quickly, making early digital signage projects unattainable for many.

Enter the 4th Generation Apple TV

October of 2015 saw Apple’s release of the 4th Generation Apple TV which included the Apple TV App Store. Developers finally had the ability to write software targeted towards Apple’s lowest cost device, attached to the largest possible screen. tvOS 12 was released in September of 2018 and it brought automated device enrollment and Apps and Books to Apple TV. This series of fortunate events brings us to a world where tvOS has certain management capabilities that mirror other Apple platforms:

  1. Automated enrollment enables zero-touch device configuration
  2. App management makes it easy to get software where you need it — without an Apple ID
  3. Configuration profiles allow you to set apps in ‘Single App Mode’ and apply additional security settings
  4. Apps and operating systems stay up to date through Jamf’s management solution

Carousel Signage

Carousel Signage is a company that saw an immense opportunity with an Apple TV-based digital signage player because it solves virtually every problem associated with traditional deployments. From many considerations (cost, graphics performance, management of the platform), Apple TV is superior to purpose-built devices. Located just blocks from Jamf headquarters, Carousel found a partner in Jamf to offer advanced integrations that make initial deployment and ongoing management of the deployment simple.

Carousel offers granular levels of access to content contributors — this means you can empower an individual to update just a portion of the digital signage message while ensuring brand integrity. Content approval workflows allow staff or even students the ability to submit content that won’t go live until it is approved. Their ability to display dynamic data make it effortless to provide valuable information to your students, employees or customers. And finally, integrations with CAP-enabled alerting systems extends emergency notifications to Apple TV as well.

Apple TV + Jamf + Carousel

Innovation by Apple, Jamf and Carousel have led to a perfect storm of opportunity. A fantastic media player, paired with a robust management framework, and given purpose with software like Carousel Signage, will revolutionize how digital signage is deployed and maintained. If your organization has something to say, make sure it’s both heard and seen with the powerful combination of Apple TV, Jamf Pro and Carousel Signage.


Why the device management solution you choose matters

When searching for a device management solution for the first time or evaluating your current tool for a potential upgrade, you often get pulled in multiple directions with vendors shouting:

  • “Look over here! We can manage ALL of your platforms with one solution.”
  • “But we’re the cheapest and our tool is good enough to get the job done.”
  • “Wait! Don’t go with them! Why? Well, just because.”

It can be hard to wade through the noise and nonsense to determine which management solution is best for your unique needs.

At Jamf, we want you to succeed with the ecosystem you choose — be it Apple, Microsoft or Google — with the management solution you ultimately select (even if it’s not us). While we obviously want you to choose Jamf, we most importantly want you to be fully informed prior to making any decision. So begins our tutorial on device management philosophies…

Unified endpoint management (UEM) 101

When all of your ecosystems are managed with one tool, this is often referred to as unified endpoint management or UEM. On the surface, the idea of having one solution to tackle any device that hits your network can be appealing.

The problem, and what UEM providers won’t tell you, is that there is such a lack of commonalities in how Apple, Microsoft and Google are intended to be managed that the end result is a lackluster experience for IT and their users.

If the chart is hard to understand, it can’t be easy to manage.

With each ecosystem having its own method of deployment, operating system release cycle, security features and overall device management style — just to name a few — a UEM approach prohibits IT from delivering a seamless and timely technology experience that modern users demand.

Less is not always more

The old adage that “you get what you pay for” tends to hold true in the realm of device management solutions. With a seemingly new vendor popping up daily to undercut the price of the last flavor of the week, it can be difficult to look at the long-term as opposed to an enticing upfront cost.

When considering going this route, ask yourself:

  • Does this vendor have a proven record of support operating system releases and features when they become available?
  • If something goes wrong, do they have a reliable support staff who can assist?
  • Can this company and its solution scale as our needs and environment change?
  • Will this company be around in one, two, five years and there when I need them?

Purchasing software to help you get the most out of your hardware is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be done hastily.

But you already knew that. And now you’re asking yourself, “I’m reading the Jamf blog, where does the best-of-breed argument come in?”

Very perceptive. Yes, we’ve arrived at the point where we discuss the best-of-breed management model and the one Jamf is known for.

Best-of-breed management solutions

Where UEM and dime store tools fall short, best-of-breed solutions reign supreme. By providing full lifecycle management, Jamf’s best-of-breed Apple management solutions are the only way to maximize, streamline and automate:

Deployment and provisioning to build the perfect device for users through a zero-touch, hands-free enrollment process.

Configuration management by leveraging configuration profiles, policies and scripts to customize and personalize each device.

App management to purchase apps in bulk and distribute them directly to a device or make readily available in an on-demand app store.

Inventory so you can collect hardware, software and security configuration details, and take immediate management action as a result.

Security by leveraging native Apple features to restrict malicious software and patch out-of-date devices.

For a much more thorough dive on how best-of-breed solutions differentiate themselves from others and what specific features Jamf offers, download the best-of-breed guide of your choosing.

 

What about Microsoft best-of-breed?

Ah, of course. The other major player in the modern landscape. While Apple has gained significant traction in the enterprise, many organizations will still need to support Windows PCs. To accommodate these organizations, Jamf Pro integrates with Microsoft’s best-of-breed Windows management solution, Intune, to deliver the answer to the challenge of cross-platform management.

This integration provides an automated compliance management solution for Macs accessing applications set up with Azure Active Directory. Through the industry’s only proxy-free conditional access, this partnership ensures that only trusted users, from compliant Mac computers using approved apps are accessing Office 365 and other cloud and on-premises resources.

Microsoft enables Jamf to report Mac information to Intune and provide a simple process to remediate non-compliant devices.

For traditional environments, Jamf offers a plug-in for Microsoft’s Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) — providing a seamless path to work with modern and traditional Microsoft tools.

The management decision is yours

Hopefully this provides insight into the management model that makes the most sense for your organization, staff and users — in the short and long-term.

I’ll leave you with one additional thought. Jamf has been around for over 15 years and been exclusively focused on helping organizations succeed with Apple. This isn’t just a hobby or way to make a quick buck — this is what we pride ourselves on.

With more than 16,000 customers managing over 10 million devices, our best-of-breed model has worked to the tune of a 95 percent customer retention rate. Long story short: when customers choose Jamf, they join a rapidly growing community of Apple experts — and don’t leave.

If you’re interested, we offer a free, no strings attached trial of our best-of-breed solution so you can put our features to the test. Ready?


What is Apple Business Manager?

Whether you are an IT professional or have the task of maintaining your office’s technology, you know that having the ability to enroll devices and purchase applications in volume can feel like a life saver. Chances are, if you have found yourself here, you’re working with Apple devices in your business and may have heard about Apple Business Manager. Let’s take a look at what Apple Business Manager is, a little bit about the change and why you should strongly consider using it to help make your everyday device management tasks easier, faster and more simplified.

What is Apple Business Manager and why was it made?

Apple Business Manager is Apple’s newest way for IT teams and businesses to automate their device deployment, app deployment and purchasing, and content distribution while working seamlessly with a mobile device management (MDM) solution. At this point, some of you may be thinking, “Doesn’t Apple already have a Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) and a Device Enrollment Program (DEP)?” Yes, they do! Apple Business Manager combines the power of DEP and VPP in one consolidated service to allow you to automatically deploy Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV devices directly to users — configured with settings, security controls, apps and books. For a deeper dive, check out our blog on why DEP and VPP gave way to Apple business Manager.

As mentioned, Apple Business Manager helps you quickly and easily deploy your Apple devices to employees, automatically enroll them within Jamf without physically touching or prepping each device, simplify your setup and onboarding process, as well as get more out of your MDM. Apple Business Manager also allows you to create Managed Apple IDs, a special account type that allows you to share your Apple Business Manager account with others in your organization.

What does that mean for you, the user?

You have a few options as you consider how to approach Apple Business Manager. First, if your organization is already enrolled in Apple’s deployment programs (formerly called VPP and DEP), you are able to use your existing tokens until they expire.

Apple has made it clear that Apple Business Manager is the best platform for businesses using their products going forward. The migration to Apple Business Manager is free, fast and easy. Head to deploy.apple.com to begin your migration. Once complete, your new Apple Business Manager account will show your server tokens and other associated content.

Note: Once you make the upgrade to Apple Business Manager, you will no longer have access to the Apple deployment program website.

If you are starting from scratch, enrolling into Apple Business Manager program is also relatively quick and easy. Any business is eligible to enroll in Apple Business Manager at business.apple.com. To get started, you will need to complete the online enrollment process by providing information including name, phone number and a valid D-U-N-S number for your company.

Once you are a part of the program and have downloaded your Apple Business Manager tokens, you are able to upload these tokens into your Jamf account by simply following the onscreen instructions.

Having the ability to enroll devices and manage the content that you have bought in volume all from the same portal location is going to streamline the amount of time you spend enabling your employees to perform at their best.

Depending on your needs, Jamf offers two solutions to help you integrate with Apple Business Manager and start managing your fleet of Apple devices today.