James Ridsdale, founder and director of Brighton UK-based dataJAR Ltd, understands that managing a fleet of iPad devices can sometimes present challenges. And as Apple develops its services to complement Mobile Device Management (MDM) services, these challenges have only gotten bigger. 

In his JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC) session, Ridsdale discussed one of the biggest tasks facing IT admins when working with MDM: deploying iPads and applications. But, as he stressed, by using Apple's Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and Device Enrollment Program (DEP), these deployments tasks become much easier. He explained several great workflows and tricks that can help IT admins get the most out of their MDM tool, and get home on time after work!

Here’s a brief summary of some of the points made — that will hopefully save you time:

Apple Deployment Program Enrollment
“When an iCloud backup is restored to the same device, all supervision and profiles come from the backup regardless of how it was configured in DEP. For this reason, when restoring backups each user should transition to a new or different device to ensure DEP supervision and MDM enrolment are enforced," said Ridsdale.

Signing up for DEP
The most important aspect of this is giving yourself enough time. Gather the organization’s information, enroll at deploy.apple.com, and allow between 7-14 days for it to kick in.
Also, make sure you procure your hardware from an Authorized Apple Reseller or directly from Apple.

Leveraging DEP with the JSS
To avoid errors during the enrollment process, make sure the time on your JSS host is correct. Sometimes when iPads have been sitting in a box for a couple of months, the clocks mysteriously change. Counter that by enabling Location Services in PreStage.

If the user creates the Apple ID in advance of getting their new device, it will save a lot of time. 

Leveraging VPP (Device Based 9.81+)
Pro tip – even if the app is free, buy more than you need in case the developer suddenly starts to charge. “Then you already have a million licenses,” Ridsdale said with a laugh. For anyone that’s been caught out by that in the past, this is surely a must!

Casper Suite 9.81’s new ‘Automatically Update App option is “quite awesome”, commented Ridsdale. The app is installed silently on supervised devices. “It’s taken years to get us to this point, but it’s great”, clearly saving him a lot of time.

The lively Q and A that followed this session, really shows that VPP and DEP are on a lot of people’s minds this year. Circle back to this blog in a few weeks to watch the video.