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article imageMicrosoft makes it easier for businesses to use Macs at work

By James Walker     Sep 27, 2017 in Technology
Microsoft has announced a partnership with Apple device management provider Jamf. The collaboration will make it easier for businesses to use Macs in conjunction with Microsoft services. It's part of Microsoft's aim to enable enterprise interoperability.
Jamf provides IT management and deployment capabilities for Mac devices. Today, Microsoft and Jamf announced a constructive partnership that will see Jamf add Microsoft Azure AD authentication to its platform. This will allow Mac devices to communicate with Microsoft Intune, Microsoft's own IT management service for Windows-powered PCs.
The announcement is a significant move for Microsoft that provides another indication of its long-term enterprise goals. The company's aims are no longer as simple as trying to sell Windows and Office to as many businesses as possible.
Partnering with Jamf is an admission that some firms want to use Apple products. In many cases, they want to use them alongside Microsoft devices though, an arrangement that has traditionally been difficult to implement.
Microsoft's now making it much simpler for businesses to use a range of different devices but manage them all from a single location. The service is more attractive to IT staff and it helps enterprises to monitor their products, keep them maintained and identify operational issues. By following its customers, Microsoft can sell Intune even if it's already lost out on Windows device sales.
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"We see a growing need from our customers to use a unified cloud-based solution to manage all of their devices, including Mac devices," said Brad Anderson, Microsoft corporate vice president in a joint statement with Jamf. "We recognize this, and are excited to pair Jamf with Intune to provide companies with an integrated, enterprise-ready solution that users love and IT trusts."
Jamf will send information about the state and health of enrolled Apple products to Microsoft Intune, where they'll show up alongside Windows PCs. Administrators can review any problems and take remedial action, without having to leave Intune.
"Over 12,000 organizations, including 20 of the top 25 most valuable global brands, use Jamf to manage Apple devices," said Dean Hager, CEO of Jamf. "Companies who enjoy full Mac lifecycle management from Jamf now have the ability to integrate with Intune and secure access to thousands of applications set up with Azure AD authentication."
Digital transformation demands a new set of standards around device interoperability and cloud service maintenance. Microsoft wants to be at the forefront of digital disruption and next-generation business mobility. The old reliance on convincing enterprises to run a Microsoft tech stack of Windows PCs and servers has a diminished value in modern IT.
Instead, companies need the flexibility to choose hardware and software that best matches their industry, unified by a single backend cloud platform. It's this platform Microsoft now wants to provide, ensuring it has a place in the cloud-first digital era. The client devices are now much less important, as long as they can all communicate through the shared cloud.
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