JAMF Software announced the latest version of Casper Suite, its enterprise mobile management (EMM) product today. The new release offers an improved self-service model, easier BYOD device inventory and management, a more seamless user experience across managed Macs and iOS devices, and support for Android devices -- interesting because JAMF has long specialized in managing Apple products.
But the most interesting thing about it is the price: Instead of charging by device, JAMF is charging a flat fee of $1,000 to use its cloud service to manage BYOD devices.
What causes BYOD to fail?
JAMF's CTO Jason Wudi told CITEworld that the company identified three reasons why BYOD initiatives fail: complexity, user adoption, and cost.
In describing the challenge of complexity, he used a data point from a study sponsored by JAMF and conducted by Dimensional Research about Apple devices (both iOS devices and Macs) in enterprise environments. Setting up those devices, including BYOD devices, requires IT involvement in the vast majority (91%) of organizations. In more than half (53%), IT performs the entire enrollment and provisioning process and in 44% of organizations such setup processes involved efforts of both IT and the device user/owner.
Taking aim at complexity and user adoption of mobile solutions like apps and other resources, the new version of Casper Suite includes a self-service app for iPhones, iPads, and Macs that makes it easy for a user to provision their devices on their own. The app looks and functions much like Apple's App Store and Mac App Store services, but it goes beyond simply being an enterprise app store. The app allows users to access business content, ebooks, and device settings for things like corporate Wi-Fi access, VPN configurations, and network printers.
This has the potential not just to make users more self-sufficient, but also the reduce help desk calls for routing tasks like request a VPN connection be setup on their device.
Making enrollment a much easier process, Casper Suite can be integrated with a corporate network so that when a worker's personal iOS or Android device is detected on the network, he or she will be prompted to enroll the device automatically. This functionality integrates with device inventory and management features as well as security policies.
Here comes the price war
These features address the complexity and user adoption pieces of the puzzle, so what about cost?
In fact, the biggest news is that JAMF has priced its cloud-based BYOD management features using a simple yearly subscription of $1,000. The company still charges per device for on-premises deployments and to manage company-owned devices, including Macs, and requires customers to pay for some training. But still, this is a pretty aggressive pricing strategy for one of the most common EMM scenarios.
The move highlights the pricing war that will inevitably be part of the of the BYOD and EMM equation. Microsoft, for example, is pricing its Enterprise Mobility Suite very aggressively. As the EMM market consolidates with large enterprise vendors buying up stand alone mobile management companies, EMM is also becoming a bundled part of larger service offerings.
Developing new and less expensive pricing options is likely to be a way for companies, particularly standalone companies, to differentiate their products. That's particularly true given that there is now essentially a baseline feature set offered by the major EMM players.
Will JAMF's decision spur change in the market? That remains to be seen, but I do think we will see more companies trying new pricing options in the future.