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InfoQ Homepage News Apple Improves iOS Devices Deployment and Management for Enterprise and Education

Apple Improves iOS Devices Deployment and Management for Enterprise and Education

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Apple has recently announced some changes to its Device Enrollment and Volume Purchase Programs aiming at improving large-scale deployment of iOS devices to enterprise and education customers interested in deploying company-owned iOS devices or instituting a "bring your own device" (BYOD) policy.

To account for all the changes, Apple has issued a new iOS deployment technical reference guide and Device Enrollment Program guide.

According to Matthew Panzarino reporting for TechCrunch, one of the main improvements in the new Device Enrolment Program is support for hands-free configuration of deployed devices. The Device Enrollment Program allows to "claim" those devices and assign them to users via the Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution used by the customer. According to Apple, it is possible to automate MDM enrollment for every device and immediately configure account settings, apps, and access to IT services over the air, without need for physical access to each device to complete the setup.

Another important aspect of the program, according to Fraser Speirs, Head of Computing and IT at Cedars School of Excellence in Scotland, is that devices can be automatically enrolled in MDMs and that the enrollment can be locked, so that users cannot circumvent it.

The new Device Enrollment Program is exclusively available for devices bought directly through Apple. This is related, says Speirs, to the philosophical decision that admins should not be able to "capture" devices that they don't own. Furthermore, it is only available in the US, where Apple operates a direct sales model. For all other devices and/or countries, it remains possible to configure a device through Apple Configurator, which requires connecting the devices through USB before they are provided to users.

Apple has also overhauled its Volume Purchase Program, which allows organisations to bulk buy applications that can be installed on multiple devices at once. Furthermore, VPP purchases can be made via purchase orders by enterprise customers, offering thus a new channel for institutions to acquire software directly from Apple.

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