Mobile Device Management and iOS

Apple Configurator is a great tool for setting up iOS devices, but what happens after they are released into the wild? A Mobile Device Management solution is your friend here for being able to make changes to the devices over the air (OTA).

If you’re looking for a Mobile Device Management system there is a potentially bewildering array of choices. The most common offerings you’re likely to come across are Meraki, Casper Suite, SimpleMDM, AirWatch and Apple’s own Profile Manager which is built-in to Mac OS X Server. EnterpriseiOS have a good comparison of the feature sets of 30 MDM systems at http://enterpriseios.com/wiki/Comparison_MDM_Providers. Some of these solutions are free, some have a relatively high cost to get going with. Some are free for now with the caveat that they may become pay-for in the future.

Which MDM solution is right for you comes down to answering some key questions;

  • Do you want to be able to give users a menu of apps to choose from?
  • Do you want to deploy VPP codes to users in an easy way?
  • Do you want reporting on the iOS devices in some way?
  • Do you want to deploy content (eg iBooks) to devices?
  • How do you want to authenticate the devices?
  • Are you looking at  BYOD deployment and want students to be self-sufficient with their support needs?

An MDM solution is an excellent asset to have. Typical uses for MDM are;

  • Deploying wireless network details onto devices.
  • Pushing out webclips to devices for new services.
  • Configuring email settings onto devices.
  • Locking or wiping an iPad in case of loss

Recently we rolled out a new wireless network. With around 150 iOS devices around the campus, some in groups in classrooms and others in staff members’ hands, being able to deploy a new wireless network profile to all of these devices assisted in a smooth transition from one system to another.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Mobile Device Management and iOS

    • Hi Craig,
      We first deployed the Casper Suite from JamfSoftware to manage deployment of Apps and Policies to our Mac OS X devices. That suite’s ability to manage iOS was a bonus at the time. We’ve stayed with the Casper Suite and it’s working well for us. We’ll be reviewing which MDM solution we use for mobile devices over the second half of the year as I expect we’ll be needing something which will support various flavours of Android and Windows.

      Reply

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