Apple products are intuitive and easy to use for consumers. That’s why so many employees — who enjoy Apple at home — demand Mac, iPad and iPhone devices be available to them at work.
In order to translate Apple’s “it just works” philosophy to the work environment, they created Apple Deployment Programs, a free service for businesses to help streamline their Apple deployments. Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) — part of Apple Deployment Programs — was specifically created to simplify business software purchasing and distribution. The program is free to set up with Apple and integrates seamlessly with Jamf to manage Apple devices.
There’s an app for that
With the introduction of the App Store, Apple streamlined the process for distributing software. If employees need a purpose-built tool to address a problem in their daily job duties, they can download an app and be productive immediately.
The main purpose of Apple VPP is to consolidate app purchasing under one account. When signing up for VPP, you will establish an administrative Apple ID for your company (such as firstname.lastname@example.org). That Apple ID will serve as your login to the VPP portal, which facilities and tracks all your app purchases. You can then use Jamf to wirelessly distribute app licenses to your employees, and even pull apps back if they are no longer needed.
Do all your new field sales people require Dropbox, Salesforce and DocuSign? With Apple VPP and Jamf, you can automatically distribute these apps to each sales person when you hand them their new company iPhone or iPad. This allows them to focus on the work at hand, instead of fiddling with an Apple ID.
Embrace the Apple ID
The use of Apple IDs in business may rank as one of the most widely misunderstood concepts for businesses that use Apple. Ask someone if their business has an Apple ID strategy and you may get a blank stare in return.
Apple IDs are the cornerstone of Apple’s service architecture and controls everything from iCloud service to App Store purchases. There are rich services that require an Apple ID that can be beneficial to businesses. iMessage and FaceTime enable communication independent of cellular carriers, iCloud backups make it easy for employees to switch or upgrade devices, and apps can now use iCloud as infrastructure for syncing data between multiple devices.
Because most people have not considered how important an Apple ID strategy is for the successful use of Apple products in their business, they often fall in to the habit of creating an Apple ID for each device (something like iPad12@acme.com), or even worse, using the same Apple ID for all their devices. Creating a device-specific Apple ID for each device is unnecessary, and using the same Apple ID for each device is not a good idea because it isn’t secure and violates Apple’s terms and conditions. Instead, either consider going without Apple IDs altogether or, even better, allow employees to use their own.
Since app purchasing and distribution is centralized under your company’s VPP account, you’ll only have to remember one master Apple account. VPP, combined with Jamf, can distribute apps to your devices without linking the app to an Apple ID. That means you don’t have to create device-specific ones or worry about ownership being transferred to a personal Apple ID. Your paid apps will always be the property of the company, instead of walking out the door when an employee leaves. Even better, all of the updates on these apps will be controlled automatically by Jamf, so that you can feel confident that employees always have the most up to date and secure versions of the tools they need.
Go ahead, use iCloud
Apple’s iCloud features are a wonderful and integral part of the Apple experience. With Jamf and Apple VPP, you can separate the work and personal functions of an Apple device in a way that is invisible to the end user.
Because certain key business functions like app purchasing and Lost Mode (the business-level equivalent of “Find my iPhone”) are controlled by Jamf with the use of VPP, you can allow employees to utilize their personal Apple IDs to access features like iMessage, Contacts and Notes. They can personalize their device in a way that suits their individual needs, and you can feel comfortable knowing that the device and the company information on it are secure and being used in the way that they were intended. No one needs another Apple ID in their life, and it’s one less thing that you (and the employee) have to worry about remembering.
Simply put, there’s no real reason not to use Apple VPP and Jamf if you’re using Apple products in your business. So embrace the humble Apple ID… Just make sure you do it with VPP and Jamf.
Jamf offers two paths to help with your app and Apple ID strategies — both of which seamlessly integrate with VPP.