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Strike up the band, DEP is helping IT admins around the world

Whenever I am on Twitter and the Eurovision Song Contest tweets start appearing from my European friends and colleagues, I realize that being an American, I am sometimes isolated from things that are important to people in other parts of the world. I try. I really do. I search the #eurovision hashtag and down the rabbit hole I go.

Without Eurovision on my television, though, it just never makes sense. The context and relevance for me personally just isn’t there. And every year I am resigned to feeling disconnected from an entire continent of people that are really, really passionate about something that is inexplicable to me here in the States.

The excitement that we felt at JAMF Software when Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) was launched in February 2014 was palpable. We saw it as a game-changer, and the tech press agreed.

DEP was clear verification that not only did Apple understand the IT admin, but they were creating innovative solutions specifically to make their lives easier. With the scale of Apple iPad deployments in schools and institutionally owned Macs in the enterprise growing larger by the day, traditional manual configuration and setup of supervised devices with Apple Configurator could only be seen as a good thing if you got paid overtime and didn’t like to see your home.

MDM enters the fold
With DEP, Mobile Device Management (MDM) enrollment is streamlined for incoming new Apple devices regardless of the scale. Configuration of devices, all the way down to what is seen in the Setup Assistant, is done in advance. Unless you are applying asset tags you don’t even need to open the boxes, preserving the complete end user experience that Apple excels at.

If assuring that the device remains locked down in an enrolled MDM state is important to you, then DEP is what you’ve been waiting for. If the device is reset and returns to the setup process, the device will end up back with the set of MDM configurations you’ve provided. Amazing for your organization, frustrating as all get out for the budding genius-hacker 6th grader.

Shout it from the rooftops
Obviously you can see why we were beyond excited to tell the world how the Device Enrollment Program was better than sliced bread, and its integration into the Casper Suite was going to change the world for those deploying OS X and iOS devices. And tell the world we did! But over and over what we heard back from people outside of America was “that sounds nice but we don’t have that available over here” or for people in America who purchased their Apple Macs, iPad, iPhones, etc. via resellers, it wasn’t available.

Although amazing, it simply wasn’t available or applicable to the bulk of the IT admin community. And much like me trying to understand the #eurovision tweets, at the end of the day it wasn’t applicable.

The times they are a changin’
Thankfully the wait for many was over on November 11, 2014, as Apple greatly expanded the scope of their Device Enrollment Program to include these countries in alphabetical order:

Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and last but not least, the United Kingdom.

Wow! And if that were not enough, the scope of DEP was increased significantly to include authorized carriers and reseller partners. To say that Apple expanded the program would be a giant understatement. Now the game-changing solution from Apple—integrated right into JAMF Software’s Casper Suite—will save organizations in both education and corporate enterprise environments many hours and assure device security beyond anything the industry has seen before.

But wait, there’s more
Oh, our praise for DEP is not over. Did you know it is not just for new incoming devices? There is retroactive support in the program from Apple orders going all the way back to March 1, 2011; by order number or serial number! If you get your Apple devices from a reseller, contact them to verify the scope of their look-back period support.

Check out our on-demand webinar on DEP to learn more. Also, take a look at our comprehensive Deploying Devices with the Device Enrollment Program, VPP-Managed Distribution, and the Casper Suite documentation. And, if you haven’t downloaded Apple’s Device Enrollment Program Guide, please do so!

Jody Rodgers, Principal Product Manager and future Eurovision competitor