Apple recently introduced a mobile device management enrollment solution for iOS that would make it easier for enterprise and education customers to roll out mass numbers of fully configured iPads or iPhones to employees without ever touching the device. For many in enterprise IT, this makes iOS a lot more appealing.
But that’s not to say the enterprise has ignored iPads and iPhones until now. In fact, Apple has made significant headway into the enterprise market over the last five years, with sales surging more than 1,000 percent at SHI. Not to mention that iOS activations made up 73 percent of total device activations in the fourth quarter of 2013 among enterprises.
Even before a solution existed for a smooth enterprise deployment, many pioneering organizations sought out iOS anyway, a testament to the strengths of Apple’s products. But still, having every user install the necessary apps and configure settings would have been a major drain on time and resources.
Watching this unfold among our customers first-hand, we built a solution several years ago that would deploy apps through the Apple App Store, and pre-stage devices for deployment before a single fingerprint could smudge the touchscreen.
For larger enterprises pushing out thousands of devices around the country, some with half a gigabyte of apps to install, having employees do the downloading could cost millions of dollars in lost time and bandwidth. Through our solution, we were able to get many of the first iOS-championing enterprises up and running a lot faster.
And while Apple now supports touch-free deployment through its activation servers, there’s still one enterprise component missing. Many companies need a way to create mass numbers of Apple IDs to pair with their devices. Apple doesn’t yet support this, but SHI’s FirstAID (First Apple ID — get it?) program can generate Apple IDs for 26 countries, finishing the process in 8.9 seconds per ID and automatically assigning each one to a device, saving countless hours for companies that need to generate IDs for thousands of employees.
As more enterprises adopt iOS devices, these deployment solutions will help put iPads and iPhones in the hands of the mobile workers who need them. It goes to show that if enough businesses are interested in using a technology, solutions will develop to make that technology easier to handle, whether from the manufacturer or a partner like SHI. As Apple continues to gain favor in the enterprise market, expect to see more solutions catering to fast deployments. Until then, we have you covered.