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SAP, Capital One detail work with Jamf in enterprise Mac deployments

Martin Lang, Vice President Enterprise Mobility of SAP at JNUC

As Apple cements itself as the dominant vendor of premium PCs and mobile devices, corporate IT is increasingly welcoming support for Macs as part of their business. Representatives from SAP and Capital One recently discussed what's involved in bringing Mac choice to their organizations.


Speaking at this week's Jamf Nation User Conference, the largest Apple-focused IT event in the world, Martin Lang, Vice President Enterprise Mobility at Germany's global business software firm SAP, noted that his company now has 13,000 Macs its manages for its employees using Jamf Pro.

Lang noted some unique issues related to Mac users, including the expectation that their machines will get new OS updates essentially as soon as Apple makes them available. In the Windows world, PCs commonly run the last update that corporate IT has decided to roll out, in part because major Windows updates involve significant licensing fees.

While Apple's macOS and iOS updates are free, deploying new releases to thousands of users and dealing with any compatibility issues can be challenging. At the same time, it also helps keep Macs and iOS devices secure.

Lang noted that across SAP, Jamf Pro has helped his group bring 97 percent of their Mac users up to date on with one of the two most current macOS releases (either Sierra or the just-released High Sierra— which 15 percent of SAP's Macs are already running).

As with IBM's Mac program and parallel computing choice efforts at other companies, Lang noted that a major selling point in opening up broad support for Macs across the enterprise focused on Total Cost of Ownership, taking into consideration not just the invoice price of new hardware but also support costs and also residual value, as the company can recover greater value in selling their used Macs to third parties after their initial use cycle ends.

Lang also outlined that at SAP, Macs are managed as part of Enterprise Mobility, taking cues from best practices in managing iOS devices. The group is also working with HR to efficiently implement its choice program as part of the process when new employees are hired.

Capital One

Ryan Kremkau, the director of engineering at Capital One bank, had previous experience in managing thousands of corporate Macs at Expedia and then Nike. The bank now supports 12,000 employee Macs, about a quarter of the total PCs it has in use.

Kremkau described a shift in strategy away from IT policy that sought to put employees into defined user-role buckets and then assign them a package of equipment based on what IT staff decided they'd need. Instead, IT administrators are increasingly looking to employees themselves to decide what they need to be productive. IT administrators are increasingly looking to employees themselves to decide what they need to be productive

And to facilitate Mac choice, Kremkau said that administrators have to find and remove roadblocks to adoption. In parallel, there's a need to convince management of the benefits of opening up choice, and to help IT staff to relinquish control.

Specific to the banking industry, Kremkau cited banking regulators as having the potential to "crush your dreams," and recommended making friends with information security.

He also noted that Apple Retail has "set expectations high" for Mac users with its Genius Bar service, echoing the comments Lang made regarding Mac users wanting to update their systems immediately.