Choosing the right mobile device management (MDM) solution can make a huge difference for your organization’s overall endpoint security strategy. It can also inform future hardware deployments because some MDM vendors offer specialized services for certain manufacturers.
Jamf and SimpleMDM are great examples of this because they both focus exclusively on securing and managing Apple products. If your organization equips employees with iPhones, iPads, and macOS computers, an Apple-specific solution can provide you with valuable features that other MDM providers don’t offer.
However, choosing an Apple-exclusive MDM vendor can also lock you into using Apple products, or require another point solution on top of an already complicated stack. For example, if you decide to deploy Android mobile devices at some point in the future, you may need to implement an entirely separate MDM solution just for those devices.
Let’s take a closer look at Jamf and SimpleMDM to find out which one offers superior value for Apple-centric organizations.
Overview of SimpleMDM
SimpleMDM simplifies the management and security of Apple devices. It allows administrators to create and provision new accounts, enroll new devices, and install apps in bulk to Apple iOS and macOS devices. Its combination of valuable features and affordable pricing make it a popular option among Apple-oriented businesses and managed service providers.
Here are some of SimpleMDM’s most important features:
- Hosted solution. SimpleMDM hosts your MDM software for you. The hosted service includes integration with Munki — a set of free open-source software distribution and installation tools for macOS.
- Fast updates with zero-day support. SimpleMDM pushes updates to Apple devices the day they are released. Zero-day support provides guarantees against update compatibility issues.
- Onboarding assistance. The SimpleMDM team helps customers deploy mobile device management from scratch, with particular focus on small and mid-sized businesses.
Overview of Jamf
Jamf is an Apple-specific mobile device management and security platform designed for enterprise customers. As an industry leader in this niche, it provides comprehensive tools and services designed to make the most of Apple hardware.
Jamf offers a rich feature set, including:
- Enterprise implementation expertise. Jamf helps customers achieve stringent compliance goals by mapping Apple hardware deployments to regulatory frameworks like NIST and ISO 12007, among others.
- Deep customization options for Apple hardware. Few vendors offer the same degree of customizability that Jamf does, especially for Apple devices.
- Advanced security features. Jamf customers can use add-ons to integrate Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions to their tech stack directly through the platform.
Comparison of SimpleMDM vs. Jamf Pro
The main difference between SimpleMDM and Jamf is the price and feature set offered. SimpleMDM is a low-cost solution ideal for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that rely on Apple products. Jamf brings enterprise-ready features to large organizations and government agencies. For most IT administrators and managed service providers, the size and complexity of the organization you wish to secure will be the deciding factor between these two vendors.
| $2.50 per device per month for all Apple operating systems.
Special enterprise pricing available on request.
|Starts at $4 per device per month paid annually for iOS devices only.
Adding macOS costs $8 per device per month.
Jamf also includes special pricing tiers for educational customers: $9 per device per year for iOS and $18 per device per year for macOS.
|30-day free trial, no credit card required.
|100% free trial with no credit card information required — but only available upon request.
|Supported platforms and operating systems
|iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS.
|iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS.
Ease of Use and Setup
Both MDM solutions allow for effortless account creation and setup. Jamf and SimpleMDM offer rapid enrollment options and flexible deployments, but there are some differences between the two when it comes to installation.
Jamf is a much bigger and more fully featured platform. Taking full advantage of its customizable platform will require more setup time than SimpleMDM, which does not offer the same amount of flexibility.
|Automated provisioning and deprovisioning
|Included, with support for automated Return to Service functionality as well.
|Yes, with advanced identity-based provisioning available through integration with an identity provider like Okta.
|Yes, SimpleMDM hosts your MDM solution.
|Yes, available in self-run installs as well as in hosted situations.
|Supports customized deployments
|Some customization and flexibility included.
|Yes, within the limitations of Apple hardware.
Device Management Capabilities
Both SimpleMDM and Jamf provide update and patch management capabilities to organizations using Apple devices. Neither company offers automated patch management, but they do offer automated app distribution workflows.
|Updates and patch management
|Does not support automation, but does offer pre-configured delayed patch distribution.
|Does not support automation and scheduling, but offers same-day support for Apple updates.
|Device deployment and enrollment process
|Supports bundled deployment using Assignment Groups.
|Streamlined enrollment through Jamf console, supports automation.
|Automated app distribution
|Supported for all Apple devices.
|Available for supervised devices.
Neither SimpleMDM nor Jamf offer robust security features on their own, but Jamf customers can pay for additional security capabilities with Jamf Protect. This integrates comprehensive endpoint detection and response features directly into Jamf, allowing for a streamlined security workflow.
SimpleMDM’s security features include encryption, data isolation, and multi-factor authentication (MFA). It also supports third-party integrations with security vendors, which can enhance its capabilities.
|Visibility and policy management
|Robust visibility and policy management.
|Complete visibility and in-depth policy management.
|Malware detection and remediation
|Only available with third-party integrations.
|Blocks known malware and monitors devices for new threats.
|Endpoint detection and response capabilities
|Only with Jamf Protect add-on.
SimpleMDM is available as a RESTful API implementation that allows system administrators to integrate the platform into existing infrastructure. It supports integrations with configuration management tools, security information and event management platforms, and help desk ticketing systems, but only through the API.
Jamf adds to its API capabilities with a selection of native integrations. These connect the platform to reputable technology vendors like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. It also supports identity management with Okta and others.
Support and Customer Service
SimpleMDM is proactive when it comes to customer support. The team is helpful and responsive to customer queries, which often revolve around third parties modifying device features. However, the company prefers to communicate over email, which can slow down complex support tasks that could be accomplished more efficiently on the phone.
Jamf customers occasionally complain about not reaching the appropriate support tier quickly enough. The support team is knowledgeable and professional, but many customers experience delays before getting to the right support person. For some advanced use cases, Jamf requires administrators to purchase additional training materials, which adds to the total cost of ownership.
JumpCloud as an Alternative Solution
There are more options for Apple device management than Jamf and SimpleMDM. JumpCloud provides a comprehensive all-in-one platform for managing Apple devices as well as Windows, Linux, and Android endpoints. This makes JumpCloud a great solution for organizations that want to make the most of their Apple hardware without locking themselves into an Apple-only fleet, and provides flexibility when selecting hardware deployments in the future.
As a cloud directory platform, JumpCloud also seamlessly combines device management with comprehensive identity and access management and security controls. Its multi-tenant functionality stands out from other MDM platforms, and empowers managed service providers (MSPs) to unify their stack and reduce the cost and complexity associated with running their business.
Within the JumpCloud platform, IT and MSP users can not only administer role-based access controls but also:
- Enable multi-factor authentication
- Provide password protection
- Support directory integrations through LDAP
- Implement SSO through SAML 2.0
- And more, all from a single cloud-based console
Comparison: JumpCloud vs. SimpleMDM vs. Jamf
Here’s how all three mobile device management providers stack up:
|$2.50 per device per month for all Apple operating systems.
Special enterprise pricing available on request.
|$4 per device per month
$8 per device per month for macOS support.
Higher priced tiers for education customers.
|MDM only for $9/user per month.
Platform: $19/user per month.
MSP-specific pricing via partner program.
|Ease of use
|Easy to deploy, some automation and customization capabilities included.
|Advanced automation and identity-based provisioning.
|Easy to deploy, advanced automation and identity-based provisioning included.
|Security features and integrations
|Simple restrictions and policy enforcement included.
|Advanced EDR capabilities only available with Jamf Protect add-on.
|Zero-Trust provisioning and policy enforcement included.
|Helpful and timely, but limited to email.
|Difficult to connect to the appropriate support channel.
|Extensive documentation, with a helpful and responsive customer support team.
Addressing Common Concerns and Issues
Apple-exclusive businesses or large enterprises often turn to Jamf because it is an established leader in its industry. However, the deep functionality may not be worth the cost or comprehensive knowledge required to implement it for many organizations. Many administrators see SimpleMDM as a more affordable option for small businesses that rely on Apple hardware. However, your choices are not limited to Apple-exclusive MDM vendors.
Multi-platform cloud-native providers like JumpCloud can offer greater flexibility and improve security outcomes at lower cost. This can enable organizations to extend bring-your-own-device support to employees without exposing the organization to BYOD risks, and provide greater visibility and control over the entire device fleet.
Selecting the right mobile device management partner means looking beyond the manufacturer models that make up your endpoint fleet today. You also have to think about future endpoint deployments. IT administrators and managed service providers should consider JumpCloud as a flexible, high-performance option for managing complex mobile device fleets.
Try JumpCloud for free and find out if it’s the right option for your organization.