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How to Deploy and Manage Apple Devices with Jamf

20 April,2020

How to Deploy and Manage Apple Devices with Jamf

It’s been over 17 years since Jamf is aiding schools here and abroad to accomplish more with Apple. As of 2019, Jamf serves over 14,000 schools and manages over 10 million Apple devices worldwide and counting. What is their secret? Well, there is no secret, but Jamf is well-known for its straightforward and automated method of deploying and managing Apple devices which they call the ‘Zero-touch Deployment Strategy.’

Zero-touch deployments are possible thanks to Jamf Pro with Apple School Manager integration. Apple’s official website defines Apple School Manager as “a simple, web-based portal for IT administrators to deploy iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Mac computers all from one place.” So how can you implement the Zero-touch Deployment Strategy? It has three simple steps which are shown in the image below:

Let’s break it down in detail:

PREPARE Stage

1. Sign up for Apple School Manager by enrolling at https://school.apple.com/. While you’re at it, you can add user information of teachers, students, staff and other user types like managed Apple IDs by:

  • Integrating your Student Information System (SIS), or
  • Manually importing it

After the enrollment, link Apple School Manager with JSS (Jamf Software Server) for synchronisation. This enables automatic daily updates every time you add or remove user and class information. This also ensures that teachers and students get the right devices and apps they need. To do this:

  1. Log in to JSS.
  2. Go to Global Management.
  3. Click Device Enrollment Program.
  4. Click the [Public Key] button to download it.
  5. Create a new instance.
  6. Assign a name and upload the Public Key by clicking the [Upload Server Token File].
  7. Hit Save.

2. To link an account to your MDM (Mobile Device Management) server:

  1. Go to Mobile Device Management.
  2. Click Apple Education Support.
  3. In the General tab, tick the [Enable Apple Education Support] checkbox. By doing this, you’re enabling education profiles to be delivered for shared iPad and Apple’s classroom app.
  4. Switch to Apple Education Manager and tick the checkbox to enable Apple School Manager Integration. Fill out the necessary details and hit Save.

3. Configure enrollment settings by going to Users tab.

  1. Import student and teacher users by clicking [Search] button.
  2. Hit Import and choose All Users or a Subset of Users to narrow it down.
  3. Click [Next] button.
  4. After reviewing the User Information, hit [Next] button.
  5. Your import is successful when “User information has been imported” message appears on the screen.
  6. Hit Done.

Do the same procedure when you sync your Mobile Devices and Computers. Now you can move on to the second stage.

PURCHASE Stage

  1.       Order Apple hardware or devices. Buy only via Apple or an authorised reseller.
  2.       Assign devices for enrollment. There are three ways to do this:
  • Automated Device Enrollment (formerly DEP), or
  • Apple Configurator 2 for iOS and tvOS devices, or
  • Manually via User Enrollment and on-device enrollment

DEPLOY Stage

Surprisingly, this stage (which is the main topic of this article) is the easiest part because you only need to do the first step and let users to the rest:

  1.       Send or give their assigned device to users.
  2.       The user will unbox and power on the device.
  3.       The device will enroll into management automatically. No need for IT staff intervention. Well, users only need to configure simple setup assistant steps then the device is ready to use.

This is the beauty and power of Jamf, the industry’s leading Apple management solution. It eliminates the need for IT to touch a device physically as they can configure it over the air from one central location. More importantly, it empowers teachers to provide their students with a better educational experience.

Sources: Zero-Touch Apple Device Deployments for Beginners by JamfJamf Apple School ManagerJamf for education

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