(If you aren’t a Macadmin, you might not know I use JAMF Software’s Casper Suite to manage the Mac computers at my work. I’ve just returned from their yearly JNUC session and have some thoughts on a few of their sessions.)

It’s clear from the sessions at the past few JNUC that Self Service is awesome. All new Casper Suite customers should simply be given Andrina’s, Sean’s, and Emily’s talks to get started in Self Service. (Oh, and use AutoPkgr to quickly populate your Self Service with apps.) I was really excited to see Emily’s talk on Branding Self Service as I followed her on Twitter when she first began doing it and I’ve tried it myself.

If you got stuck listening to me on my soap box this week talking about branding I apologize, I’m writing this so I’ll stop, and hopefully help better communicate this feature request.

Rather than just being considered a neat trick, branding Self Service needs to be an available feature. We saw in Emily’s talk how it made user adoption of Self Service easier by having a recognizable logo and name that made sense to users. Now, how vital is user adoption to making Self Service successful? Often times, K-12 and higher ed environments have branded web portals, usually nicknamed after a company mascot, to make it more memorable and easy to reference in conversation. Clearly, Self Service is a tool people need to make it easier to use their Macs and do their jobs well, branding will make user adoption easier. Similar tools to Self Service like Munki’s Managed Software Center and Microsoft SCCM also feature company branding as a feature.

There’s a few things about self branding Self Service that make it less than ideal and this is why it should be built into Casper Suite.

  • You need to do it yourself.
  • You need to update your branded Self Service when your JSS is upgraded. Those of us who are JAMF Cloud hosted are upgraded a few days after a new release. We would need to then time the push out of the new Self Service, along with the time it takes to get it ready. (Full disclosure: You can ask JAMF for your upgrade to be delayed)
  • As new features come out in Self Service, we have to go and find more ways to brand it. (For example, the new Self Service login page) This will slow down the previous bullet point.

Lastly, I’m being asked to brand Self Service from my manager too as I imagine other Casper Admins are. I don’t want this to come off as rude but Self Service itself has been branded to make it attractive to IT people. “Oh, Self Service, my users can do stuff without me!” However, some users may have a negative response to that, like IT is doing less for them. We all know that’s certainly not the case.

If you agree, you can upvote the brand Self Service feature request through JAMF Nation. If you disagree, well that’s fine too, unbranded Self Service can still be the default setting.