It’s important to note that most players in this space have a “pure MDM” component and a “heavy lifting with an agent” component. JAMF and Airwatch are examples of this; both have their pluses and minuses. Both are IMO weak in metadata and targeting, so they have “extension” attributes that are stdout from shell scripts, saved as data that is munged into various forms of groups and smart groups. BigFix doesn’t have an MDM component per se, but it excels at “heavy lifting” deployment and targeting, due to its relevance language.
IMO the whole “unified management” thing is where we see MDM vendors grafting on the heavy lifting bits for traditional OSes, vs traditional OS management grafting on MDM bits. Choose wisely.
I recommend taking a good look at what you actually need. BigFix excels in being an OS-agnostic management platform, where your skills and approach scale to high numbers across multiple platforms. If you’re looking for a multi-platform MDM, Airwatch’s client-agnostic approach is valuable, but IMO their heavy-lifting side is weak. If you’re coming at this purely from an Apple point of view, I do think JAMF’s single-vendor focus is hard to ignore.
(Look for my talk submissions at .edu and MacIT conferences near you. )