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Mobile device management for Apple: What it is and how to get the most out of it

If you’re responsible for the Mac, iPad, iPhone or Apple TV devices in your organization, the term mobile device management may not be a new concept to you. However, there are varying levels of knowledge around the topic. Whether you’re just getting started with Apple devices or have been implementing MDM strategies for years, it’s always good to go back to the basics and make sure your foundation is set. Especially with most enterprise, K-12 education and higher education institutions seeing an increase of Apple devices at their doorsteps.

So, let’s start with the basics and build from there:

What is mobile device management?
Mobile device management, or MDM as its commonly referred to, is Apple’s native management framework for managing iOS, macOS and tvOS devices. At the highest level, MDM provides IT and users with additional capabilities so that the device’s full potential can be unleashed.

How does Apple’s MDM work?
An MDM solution communicates with the Apple Push Notification Server (APNS) to send commands to Apple devices. APNS maintains a constant connection to devices, so you don’t have to. Devices then communicate back to the MDM server and receive commands, configuration profiles and/or apps you send it. Essentially, you define how you want the device to behave, and MDM and APNS collaborate to make it happen.

What can mobile device management do?
When evaluating an MDM strategy for your devices, there are six major components to consider:

  1. Deployment
  2. Inventory
  3. Configuration Profiles
  4. Management Commands
  5. App deployment
  6. Security and Privacy

To learn about these components, including best practices and workflow suggestions, check out our Apple Device Management for Beginners Guide.

This comprehensive guide gives you everything you need to know to get started with managing Apple devices. In addition to learning about the six components of lifecycle management mentioned above, you’ll also learn:

  • Available Apple services and programs
  • Practical tips and workflows for macOS, iOS and tvOS management
  • Insights for infrastructure planning

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