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Old Feb 26, 2014, 05:48 PM   #1
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Apple Updates Enterprise Tools for Large iOS Device Deployments




Apple has updated the software used by large companies and educational institutions to deploy thousands of iPads and iPhones to employees and students. The changes to Apple's Device Enrollment Program, its Volume Purchase Program, and the Apple ID for Students services are detailed in a report at TechCrunch and in an overview document [PDF] posted to Apple's IT Deployment site.

Among other changes, Apple now allows IT administrators to set up devices without physically plugging each one into a computer to install a profile, potentially saving significant amounts of time when setting up thousands of devices. Also, profiles can be locked to devices, preventing employees or students from removing any restrictions simply by revoking an IT department profile -- something that derailed the Los Angeles Unified School District's rollout of iPads to thousands of students.

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I've had conversations with IT pros and people who roll out large iPad installs in the past and they've mentioned that one of the things that has continued to cause Windows devices to hold some appeal is their better remote installation and configuration support. To that end, Apple has made some updates to improve that situation.

Both the enterprise and education programs now have support for Mobile Device Management hands free configuration. This 'zero touch' setup has been a long-requested feature for many pros, as it eliminates the need to cable up every deployed device and install a profile via Apple's Configurator utility.
Apple has expanded the Volume Purchase Program to more countries and now allows VPP purchases to be made via purchase order, important to large companies. Finally, Apple has also set up a new type of COPPA-compliant Apple ID for students under the age of 13.

Apple executives routinely tout adoption numbers of iOS devices by large companies in its quarterly earnings calls, and these updates should help assuage concerns in IT departments about rolling out large iOS device deployments. Much more information about deploying iOS devices is available on Apple's website.

Article Link: Apple Updates Enterprise Tools for Large iOS Device Deployments
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 05:52 PM   #2
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 06:16 PM   #3
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These tools are very nifty, especially Apple Configurator.

It was so awesome to watch 30 iPads simultaneously get updated to the latest iOS, get the same backup restored to all of them, and get a configuration profile installed that puts them all on our WiFi.... Without having to physically touch any of them beyond plugging them into the massive USB hub in the storage cart we bought.

When it was done, I grabbed a random iPad, and yep, it already had our lock screen image, was on WiFi, and had exactly the right apps installed.

Let's see you do that easily with Android.
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 07:23 PM   #4
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 09:30 PM   #5
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This is all well and good, but Apple will need to improve its responses to security flaws, as well. Some sort of patch for OS X 10.9.1 should have come out the same day that the iOS update came out, even if it necessitated a second patch yesterday when 10.9.2 was ready.
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 09:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post
These tools are very nifty, especially Apple Configurator.

It was so awesome to watch 30 iPads simultaneously get updated to the latest iOS, get the same backup restored to all of them, and get a configuration profile installed that puts them all on our WiFi.... Without having to physically touch any of them beyond plugging them into the massive USB hub in the storage cart we bought.

When it was done, I grabbed a random iPad, and yep, it already had our lock screen image, was on WiFi, and had exactly the right apps installed.

Let's see you do that easily with Android.
It can't be done with android. I used to work in Mobile Device Management in enterprise environment and it was a giant pita with android devices. No matter how customizable it is. Android is child play in MDM.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 12:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post
Let's see you do that easily with Android.
There are plenty of MDM tools to do this for Android devices. Cisco Meraki, AirWatch, etc.

The whole point of the article is that Apple is finally catching up to what corporations need.

The biggest difference seems to be that Apple Configurator still requires a USB connection, and is limited to 30 devices at a time... whereas other MDMs can configure wirelessly.

The company I work for has deployed over ten thousand Android tablets in the last two years. They used Good and I believe it was a self-serve setup instead of making someone sit down and configure all the devices ahead of time. That also allows for BYOD.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 12:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post
This is all well and good, but Apple will need to improve its responses to security flaws, as well. Some sort of patch for OS X 10.9.1 should have come out the same day that the iOS update came out, even if it necessitated a second patch yesterday when 10.9.2 was ready.
Yeah, it's not like some testing was needed to get it right. Apple should have rushed it all right before a weekend and perhaps created more issues and headaches in the process.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 12:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdarling View Post
There are plenty of MDM tools to do this for Android devices. Cisco Meraki, AirWatch, etc.

The whole point of the article is that Apple is finally catching up to what corporations need.

The biggest difference seems to be that Apple Configurator still requires a USB connection, and is limited to 30 devices at a time... whereas other MDMs can configure wirelessly.

The company I work for has deployed over ten thousand Android tablets in the last two years. They used Good and I believe it was a self-serve setup instead of making someone sit down and configure all the devices ahead of time. That also allows for BYOD.
Without specifically naming companies, I was part of the team behind MDM tools that people are using now in the industry. Let me tell you, to be able to make Android deployment as seamless as iOS deployment is a pita. Both iOS and android management can be done wirelessly. Yes, they're all self-served. You usually login to a "console", which is just a web page that connect with backend servers to manage your devices, sort of like a control panel.

If you mean iOS is playing catch up with the pc, then yes. If you mean iOS is playing catch up with android in this space, then No. iOS is way ahead of android in this space.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:17 AM   #10
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Now that Apple has created the tools for large enterprise deployments, they need to add said features to OS X Sever, so that they can have a first-party solution. OS X Server has been languishing for the past few releases, and I think it is because Apple wanted the plumbing work done first, before they add the serious features to OS X Server. Out with Open Directory, and in with configuration profile-based management!
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Old Mar 1, 2014, 03:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by C DM View Post
Yeah, it's not like some testing was needed to get it right. Apple should have rushed it all right before a weekend and perhaps created more issues and headaches in the process.
It was a single line of code. Late versions of 10.9.2 did not have the patch, but the final build did, so it seems like a simple fix. They could have issued a simple fix for 10.9.1 on Friday, and then rolled out the 10.9.2 fix a few days later.

They "rushed" out the iOS 7.0.6 fix right away, right before a weekend. My guess is that they made a calculated decision that since OS X has a smaller market share than iOS and fewer total users, it was more important to get out the iOS fix.
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Old Mar 1, 2014, 05:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPOM View Post
It was a single line of code. Late versions of 10.9.2 did not have the patch, but the final build did, so it seems like a simple fix. They could have issued a simple fix for 10.9.1 on Friday, and then rolled out the 10.9.2 fix a few days later.

They "rushed" out the iOS 7.0.6 fix right away, right before a weekend. My guess is that they made a calculated decision that since OS X has a smaller market share than iOS and fewer total users, it was more important to get out the iOS fix.
Sure, that was part of it more than likely. Another part of it could have been that 10.9.2 was all set to release early this week anyway and it would have been more troublesome to spin up a new 10.9.1 patch, test it, deploy it, support it's install and then do the same for 10.9.2 in just a few days again or push it back because or that which could have affected even more things. Things aren't simply one way or another, there are usually a lot of other things to consider, most of which people don't think about or don't want to think about.
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Old Mar 12, 2014, 05:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdarling View Post
There are plenty of MDM tools to do this for Android devices. Cisco Meraki, AirWatch, etc.

The whole point of the article is that Apple is finally catching up to what corporations need.

The biggest difference seems to be that Apple Configurator still requires a USB connection, and is limited to 30 devices at a time... whereas other MDMs can configure wirelessly.

The company I work for has deployed over ten thousand Android tablets in the last two years. They used Good and I believe it was a self-serve setup instead of making someone sit down and configure all the devices ahead of time. That also allows for BYOD.
I dont' think your understanding what this is, as far as I know nothing like this exist for anything other than iOS now. When you buy devices from Apple, the admin imports your order number and those devices into Apple's Server and it talks to your local MDM. When a user takes the iOS device out of the box it auto connects to your MDM and settings are applied. The user didn't have to install a config profile off of a webpage, email, etc, nor did they have to be touched by anyone before hand. As far as I know no one else does this.

They way you are thinking most likely someone touched the device before hand or the user had to go to a website or something in order to install the config profile.
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Old Mar 13, 2014, 02:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cashxx View Post
I dont' think your understanding what this is, as far as I know nothing like this exist for anything other than iOS now. When you buy devices from Apple, the admin imports your order number and those devices into Apple's Server and it talks to your local MDM. When a user takes the iOS device out of the box it auto connects to your MDM and settings are applied. The user didn't have to install a config profile off of a webpage, email, etc, nor did they have to be touched by anyone before hand. As far as I know no one else does this.
Importing serial numbers from a supplier list into an MDM server has been done for years.

But now I see the uniqueness you're talking about: because all Apple devices MUST be activated through Apple, a mass device buyer can sign up with Apple to force purchased devices to talk to their own corporate MDM server during Setup Assistant.

Doesn't help with BYOD, or group use of a device, but very helpful if you're buying hundreds or thousands of devices that will each be assigned an individual.
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