Make your MDM Proactive and solve issues before they are problems

Speakers: Jon Goldman

Level: Intermediate, Lecture

Excerpt: Finding ways to utilize cloud services to extend your MDM and make it an automated part of your workflow without needing developer skills. Get an easy glance of the state of your network’s devices quickly, and parlay that into a help-desk ticket that will let you proactively solve issues before they have a chance to become problems. No matter which systems you use, the roadmap for connecting systems through APIs will hold up and give you tools to manage your department/school/business.

Description: A simple way to sum up this session: How to find great ways to utilize cloud services to extend your MDM and make it an automated part of your workflow without spending weeks developing at the command line.
Using a combination of REST APIs from MDM, cloud-based API connectors, help desk/incident management software, instant messaging, and notification services I will show how to develop methods for getting an easy glance at the state of your network’s devices no matter where you are, and no matter how small your bandwidth.
Have MDM software create incident tickets with all necessary information, automatically, when monitoring thresholds are met. Arrive at your office to see that your staff is already handling the Monday morning 8:00am barrage of warning messages that would usually take over a stand-up, or worse, your whole morning.
This session will briefly touch on using Bare-Metal Virtualization to quickly deploy MDM Server Appliances to Mac Minis that can be set at any place in your organization to reduce bandwidth utilization.
From there we will quickly move into how to pull data from a restful API using command line and/or simple Mac Apps made for the purpose. This will give you a basic way to see how you can pull the data you need out of your MDM software in a text-only way that can be read quickly on the go without the need for MBs of Wireless Bandwidth. Or even to issue a slash-command from inside slack to quickly drill down on a notification that you have received in order to get more information.
Cloud-based API connectors are the next step is pulling this data and then handing it off to various other applications such as Instant Messaging, Workflow/Incident Management, and notification services.
I will finish by showing an overview of the connectors and SaaS software currently in use at Playbill for this workflow. Our packages are:

  • FileWave (for MDM and Desktop Management) – Paid Application
  • Insomnia (Mac App to Query and Debug APIs) Free
  • Zapier (Cloud-based API SaaS) Free up to a transaction limit, reasonably priced after
  • Slack
  • Atlassian JIRA & JIRA Ops (Help Desk & Incident Management) Small Installs minimal charge, larger requires per-user investment
  • Atlassian OpsGenie (Notification Service) Free base account, per-user charge for more features
    While I am using the tools I am most familiar with, there are similar tools available each package that I list above.
    Attendee Takeaway: Attendees should walk out armed with the knowledge of how to use a RESTful API, along with SaaS tools, to get the critical information they need to proactively solve small issues before they become major problems.

    About the speaker

    Jon Goldman (Twitter: @PorthosJon) – Director of Technology/CTO – Playbill Inc.

    Jon is in his 9th year with Playbill, prior to that he was a private consultant and, for 15 years, a professional theater Stage Manager. Jon has been using Apple products since his first Apple ][+ (the black Darth Vader Apple by Bell & Howell) in the late 1970s. Jon oversees a small department of IT workers and developers to support Playbill’s 3 main businesses (Print Magazine, Online Media Site, and Travel). He started his first computer consulting business at the age of 17 which developed software for overhead projector LCD screens (Powerpoint before there was a Powerpoint). He is attending his fifth Mac Admin’s Conference this year and presenting for the first time at MacAdmins.

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