A new option for organizations considering Apple’s Device Enrollment Program

 In News, SAM/IT Asset Management

It’s the beginning of a new year, and organizations are rolling out new IT initiatives and goals for the next 12 months. If that means a migration to iPads or iPhones or a refresh of your current Apple devices, you have a new option on the table to quickly and efficiently deploy them under an MDM solution.

Apple now allows select third-party resellers to offer Device Enrollment Program (DEP) to their business customers, giving organizations new options for device deployment and management. Organizations can now receive the benefits of DEP, including full hardware set up and configuration, software installation, and support, without going through Apple.

After enrolling in DEP with assistance from a third party, commercial organizations can more easily set up and deploy devices and guarantee the proper safety protocols are in place, without the legwork that often complicates mass deployments. At this time, education institutions can enroll in DEP, but must enroll through Apple.

Apple Device Enrollment Program

Why third-party DEP management is good news for you

Organizations have been able to work directly with Apple for their purchasing needs and the DEP, but there are more convenient and efficient ways to gain these benefits. Before Apple opened up DEP to third parties, IT teams would have to authorize, catalog, enroll, and deploy hundreds or thousands of devices through DEP, manually entering serial numbers, which doesn’t easily fit into the schedules of busy and already overworked IT professionals.

Organizations that use DEP through a third-party supplier, however, can automate enrollment and deployment of devices, now and in the future. Granting a third party control of your DEP can empower IT professionals to focus on core business needs and IT goals. Just make sure you select a partner with a history and expertise in all aspects of deployment, from enrollments to software rollouts to end-user support.

Pursuing DEP through a third party also allows organizations to skip the step of negotiating and signing a purchasing agreement with Apple for new devices prior to enrollment of the DEP.  In some cases, a company’s policies might not be level with Apple’s terms and conditions, or the contract and approval process might take too long for a customer with immediate needs. A third-party provider could offer businesses a more flexible way to take advantage of all Apple products while avoiding unnecessary delays or contract issues.

How to enroll in DEP through a third-party partner

After purchasing new mobile devices, the first step of beginning the DEP enrollment process is identifying an approved mobile device management (MDM) solution that will be used on all devices; without an MDM solution ready to launch, DEP registration cannot be completed. MDM enables an organization to force an automated enrollment and non-removable MDM profile onto devices. After the hardware is deployed, the MDM pushes out policies, apps, and content to all enrolled devices.

Once an MDM solution is chosen, organizations must set up an account with Apple directly, and then list the third party reseller that will be in charge of enrolling devices in DEP. New devices enrolled in DEP will be properly configured with the MDM, and all applicable software will be installed and ready for use before deployment to end users. Retroactive enrollment in DEP is possible, but requires a complete data wipe for each device.

Retroactive enrollment is another option, but might not be perfect for every organization. If your company is refreshing devices that have been previously deployed, however, it can be helpful. In order to protect and maintain content stored on the device prior to the complete data wipe, employees can take their pick of cloud backup solutions, and restore all content after the proper MDM is installed on the device.

Through DEP, organizations aiming for an Apple hardware deployment or refresh in 2015 can limit the time spent securing new hardware and onboarding the new devices, enabling their IT departments to reinvest their time and energy back into the IT environment. While enrolling old devices in a new DEP is possible, it may be easier for some organizations to refresh their product line and start with a new MDM solution through the DEP.

SHI is the first Apple Corporate Reseller to be authorized and to successfully enroll devices on behalf of our customers. For information about how SHI can help you with Apple’s Deployment Programs, contact your SHI representatives.

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