The most popular mobile OS received its single biggest facelift this year with the release of iOS 7 in September. Apple® introduced a plethora of new features to go along with the completely redesigned UI. The adoption was almost instantaneous and now over 80% of eligible devices are running the new OS.
The upgrades affected not only the end-users with devices, but vast improvements were made in how iOS 7 worked in business. You can also check out Apple’s latest On-Demand mini Webinar series and spend a few minutes to learn more of the latest information about iPad® in business.
When Softchoice hosted our webinar entitled “What’s New with Apple”, we asked our customers to detail their concerns with integrating and using iPad in business. Here are the top 3 questions we are routinely asked by our clients about iOS 7.
1. What is the best way to manage iOS devices?
When iPad first burst on to the computing scene in 2010, managing the devices left a lot of IT folk scratching their heads. Three years on and the quick answer is still the same: find the right Mobile Device Management solution for your business. MDM allows users to self-enroll, or IT to do it for them, and remotely manage and inventory the devices, offering access to the proper enterprise resources.
Although Apple has introduced new tools along the way, such as Apple Configurator which will allow devices to be set up and “supervised”, this method does not allow for remote management. Configurator is best used in a scenario where iPad devices are constantly being checked in and out from a central location. It can be used for the initial set-up and updating of iOS, but in the long run, it should ultimately be used in conjunction with an MDM for remote management.
Apple has increased the amount of control IT has over devices remotely with each update. Now it’s up to the MDM vendors themselves to play catch-up with the new features, which many of the leading players have done.
2. Which MDM solution do you recommend to clients?
While narrowing down your options, our team takes the following into consideration:
- Do you need a solution that is on-premise or Cloud-based?
- What mobile OS’s are you looking to manage besides iOS?
- Does your management solution need to include Mac® OS X®?
- What are your current platforms for end-point protection and management of your PCs?
Getting answers to those questions will help the resources at Softchoice better guide you to the decision that’s right for your mobile management strategy. Softchoice has great relationships with all the top players in the MDM world, so you’re in good hands when making a vendor-agnostic decision.
3. How should we manage our iOS App Store purchases and Apple IDs?
In the past I’ve instructed clients to be very careful about how to manage multiple Apple IDs, and how you deploy paid apps from the App Store(SM).
Apple has recently made it much easier to re-assign apps as needed using their Volume Purchase Program (VPP). When you need multiple copies of a paid application, contact Apple and they’ll provide you a code which can then be loaded into the MDM solution of your choice. From there it’s easy to provision the apps to User IDs, whether they’re personal or company-based email addresses. You can also de-provision as required if that user no longer needs the app or leaves the company.
So the quick answer is use an MDM that supports VPP. Now this means you don’t have to worry about whether your users have personal IDs or ones created with a company email address. It’s totally understandable if, as a business, you want to make sure your users are using company email. For the user, this is totally possible on a single iOS device and offers some kind of work/life separation. However, an organization may be tempted to create Apple IDs in “bulk” with their users’ email – though this is not a best practice as there are some “gotchyas” it’s best to work with Softchoice to make sure that process goes smoothly and it doesn’t raise any red flags on the iOS App Store.
We tried to cover as many common questions as possible relating to both iOS and Mac OS X in our Webinar. And be sure to watch the very informative on-demand Webinar series from Apple on iPad in Business.
Still don’t have an answer to your question? Leave a comment below and I’ll respond as soon as I can.