Apple Improves Enterprise Device Enrollment and Volume Purchasing Program

By John Arkontaky
On Feb 28, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014

According to our most recent benchmark, nearly every enterprises now supports employee use of iPhones and iPads; IT’s hand was forced from consumerization. Nowadays, instead of supporting a single mobile platform (BlackBerry) and a single fixed operating system (OS) in Windows, IT administrators worry about procuring, configuring, deploying and maintaining a heterogeneous device environment. Sure, this brings new challenges. However, Apple recently announced improvements to its procurement and enrollment systems to ease the burden on IT.

With Apple’s streamlined Device Enrollment Program system, IT can set up configuration profiles and third-party mobile device management (MDM) clients virtually, and Apple’s system executes before devices are shipped. First, IT needs to apply for a business profile with Apple. After approval, IT administrators use Apple’s Device Enrollment Program to configure and order iPhones, iPads and Macs directly through Apple. Then, you link your leveraged MDM solutions with your Apple account and devices you procure. Lastly, IT assigns profiles for devices, so it can provision security policies, device configurations and apps upon device activation. The point to all this is that IT can successfully enroll devices remotely and en masse.

The second improvement comes with Volume Purchasing Program (VPP). VPP once required an Apple Deployment Programs account. Now, Apple opens purchasing options via purchase orders, giving more companies the ability to cut down app procurement costs and retain license ownership regardless of who owns the device.

Apple iOS already has an adoption rate over 90%, but Android’s 70% adoption rate is nothing to scoff at—especially because Samsung recently announced revamped offerings for its Knox mobility management platform (see my recent blog on that topic). With moves like this, it’s apparent that Apple is committed to snatching up as much enterprise market share as possible and thwarting Android's advance.