Jamf talks with AWT about Jamf Connect and Apple’s growing influence in enterprise

Yesterday, Jamf, which specializes in Apple management solutions, announced that it’s further expanding into identity authentication and security with Jamf Connect’s integrations with cloud-based identity providers such as Microsoft Azure Active Directory

The company thinks this will benefit it, Apple’s Mac, and Microsoft. Last December Jamf CEO Dean Hager told Apple World Today that 2019 would be a record year for Windows-to-Mac migrations and he’s sticking by that prediction.

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“It’s not a coincidental that we’re announcing a product that eases the move to a Microsoft cloud solution if a company decides to go with a Mac solution,” he says. “Windows users are about to come to fork in the road as extended support for Windows 7 ends on January 14, 2020. Hager says that, for the 100 million (plus) users on Windows 7, an operating system that was released nearly a decade ago, they will have two choices: migrate to Windows 10, which was released on July 29, 2015, and potentially use that operating system for several more years or follow the growing trend of enterprise users making the switch to Mac.”

He adds that Microsoft will be happy with this as they’ll gladly trade a Windows user for a cloud user.”

With Jamf Connect, an end user can unbox a Mac, power it on and access their corporate applications after signing on with Azure Active Directory credentials. Jamf Connect now allows for simple provisioning of users from Azure Active Directory during an Apple provisioning workflow. 

With the Jamf Authentication plugin, users can log into their Mac with Azure Active Directory credentials. IT admins can create local accounts based on Azure Active Directory identities and keep passwords in sync with those in the directory service. And they can use supported Azure Active Directory multifactor authentication methods at the macOS login window.

Jamf initially stepped into the identity authentication space with the acquisition of Orchard & Grove, the makers of NoMAD. It was the first acquisition in the company’s 17-year history. The open-source solution, NoMAD, remains free while the commercial versions of NoMAD (including NoMAD Pro, NoMAD Login+ and PKINIT) were folded into a single solution and rebranded Jamf Connect.

Joel Rennick, director of Jamf Connect and founder of NoMAD, says that they’re looking at future cloud identify providers beyond Azure, but no agreements have been nailed down.

“Also, we recommend using a Jamf server, but it’s not required,” he adds. “Jamf isn’t an identify provider; we focus on the management of Apple devices, so we want users to bring their own identities to the party.”

Rennick adds that Jamf Connect also helps the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend by making things a little easier. Jamf is working to make the entry of the Mac into an enterprise environment even easier.