Migrate From One Apple MDM to Another

Written by Cassa Niedringhaus on September 15, 2020

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With macOS® Big Sur® and future iterations, you’re required to have an official Apple® mobile device management (MDM) vendor to manage your organization’s machines. If you already have an MDM in place, you’re covered there — but you might encounter a scenario that prompts you to switch vendors. Here’s how to migrate from one Apple MDM to another. 

MDM Migration Strategy

Your device migration strategy will depend on your current and new MDM. Regardless of vendor, though, it’s important to have an MDM migration strategy in place first. 

If the devices were enrolled in your current MDM vendor via Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager, you can use those platforms in the migration to the new vendor by switching their association and going through reactivation on them.

Picking an MDM

In switching MDM vendors, it’s worth considering what needs you need to fulfill in addition to Mac® management. Although you can select a point MDM solution, comprehensive platforms exist to meet more of your identity and access management needs along with device management.

These factors should play into your decision when you select a solution:

  • Capabilities: A point Apple-only MDM solution likely has the deepest feature set for macOS devices, while a solution with MDM as just one of its capabilities will meet a broader set of needs in your organization — such as identity management and Windows® and Linux® device management. 
  • Cost: A point MDM solution will likely be more expensive than an integrated solution. Case in point, many Apple-focused MDMs charge by the device, whereas a cloud identity management platform will charge by user and give you multiple devices per user — JumpCloud gives you four devices included with its per-user charge. It’s worth assessing whether you’ll use enough of a point MDM’s feature set to justify the price. 

JumpCloud is a full-suite cloud directory platform to manage user identities, access, and Mac, Windows, and Linux devices. From a single web-based Admin Portal, you can federate core user identities to virtually all IT resources and configure and secure devices with GPO-like Policies and custom commands. Specifically for your macOS machines, JumpCloud has a set of tools to help you migrate to JumpCloud MDM and get started. 

One-Click Migration to JumpCloud

JumpCloud has a pre-built Policy you can apply to JumpCloud-managed macOS machines to enroll them in JumpCloud MDM in bulk. When you apply the policy, you can check a box that removes the existing non-JumpCloud MDM enrollment profile and automatically unenrolls them from their last MDM. You can also use this policy to enroll new machines quickly.

For DEP-enrolled machines, you instead need to go through your Apple Business/School Manager platform and switch the association of their serial numbers to the new MDM server.

The Admin Portal also displays a graph to help you track how much of your fleet is enrolled in JumpCloud MDM to help you ensure full coverage.  

Zero-Touch Enrollment

You can also establish a zero-touch enrollment workflow with Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager to automatically enroll new machines in JumpCloud MDM, as well as install the JumpCloud agent on them. The agent is used to propagate a user’s core identity to their machine and other device and identity management tasks.

Learn More 

With JumpCloud, Apple MDM is just one of the features to help you manage identities, access, and devices. Read our deep-dive technical guide to remotely managing macOS devices with an MDM to learn more about the MDM sector and our approach to device security.

Otherwise, give the platform a try yourself. Set up a JumpCloud Free account for full functionality within the platform, including JumpCloud MDM, for up to 10 users and 10 devices, and use 10 days of free, in-app chat support with our support engineers to get the most out of your account. 

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