JAMF scores $30 million to keep helping Apple invade the enterprise

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When JAMF Software started in 2002, Apple was still a bit player in the enterprise: The art department might've had a few Macs running Illustrator or Photoshop, but most companies were full of PCs running Windows. So launching a company devoted to helping enterprises manage Apple products probably looked like a niche market play at best.

Nobody could have foreseen the rise of the iPhone and iPad and subsequent wave of consumer products invading the workplace, but JAMF has been lucky enough to ride that wave, adding iOS management tools to its arsenal and picking up a customer base that includes more than 4,000 customers, including 34 of the Fortune 100 plus "a ton of large school districts" and major universities like Harvard, says managing partner Chip Pearson.

The privately held company has just announced a new $30 million funding round led by Summit Partners, with GSV Capital also participating. Pearson hopes the round and the experience of these investors will help JAMF scale "into the atmosphere," although he says that the natural of Apple devices in the enterprise is driving plenty of organic growth.

"Many customers who had licensed one side of our product are adding in the other side," he claims. "Every time we process a renewal we see some percentage actually adding licenses for other product classes without us doing a whole lot. There's a natural lift." He also said that JAMF's typical customer is increasing its Apple footprint by 20% a year, although he admits this probably isn't typical across the industry, as JAMF customers are already more likely to use Apple shops.

Pearson also shot down the common canard that Apple doesn't care about the enterprise, and pointed to Mavericks features like Gatekeeper, which IT departments can use to limit downloads to signed apps, and FileVault 2, which offers full drive encryption, as examples of how Apple is absolutely listening to IT -- even if they don't always want to talk about it.

A lot of people who quote Steve Jobs about not being interested in the enterprise are completely missing the point. "There isn't really an enterprise car, or an enterprise pencil, or enterprise desk," Pearson said, paraphrasing Jobs. "We're not going to make an enterprise version of what we make. But if we're really good at what we make, the enterprise will use it." 

Pearson also said he's starting to see a whole ecosystem of apps and services popping up alongside Apple devices, including Box and Symplified (an identity management service), as well as lots of internal corporate apps for specific purposes. But he says a lot of traditional software vendors are "struggling" to keep up with Apple's rate of change.

"Office is coming out every three or four years, while OSs from Apple are coming out annually," he says. As a result, consumers are increasingly finding their own solutions. "Consumers have the experience of being able to swipe and go, download and go, and get some value. They're popping up with a lot of solutions in place."

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