Our customer spotlight series shares the unique strategies our customers use for their Mac deployments. It also offers insight into the different ways Macadmins are solving common problems.
What is Vend?
Following their humble start in the CEO’s garage, Vend has risen to the top of the global SaaS market with their cloud-based retail management and point-of-sale platform. This platform enables retailers of all sizes and industries to accomplish more in one place than was previously imaginable, revolutionizing retail and inventory management and setting the standard for functionality, convenience, and service quality.
Vend started with the goal of helping independent retailers access the best technology available, allowing them to compete and grow by bringing together all of the important facets of modern retail into one platform. It wasn’t long before the market took notice.
With success helping retailers meet their goals, Vend found themselves entering a period of rapid growth which carried its own challenges along with it. To stay lean while continuing to meet (and exceed) the needs of their customers, Vend’s relatively small IT team found themselves in the search for a solution that would reduce their deployment time without limiting their access to powerful features, security, and the flexibility necessary for advanced implementations. With several offices in multiple countries around the world, they needed something that would allow them to manage devices remotely and move quickly with tasks that enable their employees to perform at the highest level while providing quality service to customers, as well as implement and maintain high standards of security for their devices.
While searching for an MDM solution that would provide them with the power and flexibility to accomplish what was necessary, Loki Neeley, IT manager at Vend, discovered SimpleMDM. Loki was immediately intrigued by SimpleMDM’s popularity with the Munki community and decided to start a trial.
Tools used in Vend's stack
The Vend team uses a few different macOS tools in their stack:
After experimenting with a few different solutions, Vend’s IT team found that SimpleMDM’s seamless integration with Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP), Volume Purchase Program (VPP), and other open-source tools, such as Munki, InstallApplications, and DEPNotify worked fantastically for streamlining their deployment workflow. This setup reduced their deployment process to a trivial amount of time and allowed them to deploy devices to employees remotely without ever touching them.
"Using SimpleMDM to deploy Munki and InstallApplications, my provisioning time for new machines is…well, gone."
For an IT team that previously had to remote in to help employees get their devices configured appropriately, a process which could at times take as long as an hour, this was a great feature for a company heading into an era of expansion. Munki and InstallApplications were already a part of their device onboarding workflow, and rather than having to abandon established processes while adopting a new tool, they found that these worked seamlessly alongside SimpleMDM and had an exponential effect on their efficiency.
"With SimpleMDM, when a new employee starts, I can ship a MacBook from Apple to a remote office and when the person starts, they turn the device on and they are good to go. That has had the greatest impact."
SimpleMDM has enabled Vend to maintain higher levels of security compliance by having the ability to enforce passcode policies, require FileVault encryption and set firmware passwords for their macOS devices, as well as automatically forcing iOS updates to make sure their employees’ mobile devices are fully up to date with the latest security features. If devices are lost or stolen, they can lock devices remotely and enable MDM Lost Mode to help track them down.
In addition, Vend utilizes the Single App Lock feature to lock down some of their iPad devices around the office for purposes such as guest check-in and booking conference rooms.
Another factor that solidified Vend’s decision was SimpleMDM’s ability to move quickly with new features.
"When we started, there was no two-factor authentication. We contacted their support team and they said ‘Oh, it’s coming’, which we hear all the time. Sometimes it takes six months. But we checked in a week later, and there it was."
The future is looking bright for Vend as they continue to expand their reach and product offerings. Loki and his team are confident that SimpleMDM will continue to be a vital piece to their team’s success.
When asked to summarize his experience and feelings about SimpleMDM, Loki concluded:
"I really, really like the product. That’s it."
Here at SimpleMDM, we are excited to be able to help great companies like Vend achieve their device management and IT goals while they continue to shake up their respective markets.