Apple's New Deployment Programs

Fraser Speirs:

Yesterday Apple released two new deployment programs for iOS and Mac, and rolled out enhancements to another. I want to explain as best I can how they work together.

The Volume Purchase Program has been significantly enhanced and there are two new programs: Device Enrolment Program and AppleID for Students. Let's look at each of these in turn.

Apple has really improved the management and roll out process. It's important to remember that with iOS, Mobile Device Management providers can only work the the APIs that Apple allows. These changes are going to dramatically simplify larger rollouts.

The Device Enrolment Program basically takes that best practice but moves it into Apple's device activation servers.

DEP provides four major advantages over cabled deployment:

  • A device can be supervised over-the-air
  • Users can be presented with a simplified version of the setup assistant
  • Devices can be automatically enrolled in your institution's MDM
  • MDM enrolment can be locked

This would have prevented the LAUSD "hacking".

The second caveat is that DEP is US-only for now. Apple operates a direct sales model in the US and therefore has knowledge of who ordered which devices, down to the level of individual serial numbers. That's not true in most other countries where Apple works through resellers to sell to institutions.

Fraser and I have talked about this on our podcast on multiple occasions. In the US, schools can only buy through Apple. In fact, I can't go to my local Apple reseller and buy an iPad or Mac with my school tax ID. Apple will not allow them to sell it. Apple will likely work with resellers in other countries to bring this improvement worldwide. This is one of the areas that Apple has shown the willingness to brute force solutions to problems.

The COPPA regulations in the US have made it awkward to use individual AppleIDs for students under 13. This is being solved with the AppleID for Students program.

This will be a lifesaver for 1:1 schools with students under 13 years old. I highly recommend that you read Fraser's entire post.