The Ideal Way to Manage Apple Devices for Small Businesses

apple devices used with apple device management solutions

Written by Chris Mayhew

August 5, 2021

Apple devices are becoming more and more popular in the workplace, with companies like IBM and Wal-Mart integrating Macs into their businesses. So how do you with Apple device management for your small business? This article will discuss the importance of Apple device management, what Apple device management software is available on the market today, and some tips for managing Apple devices!

Apple Business Manager

Getting started with Apple Business Manager is simple and sign-up typically only takes a few minutes. Any business is eligible to participate, and it is the first step in managing Apple devices within an organization.

There are many benefits to using Apple Business Manager, such as managing company Apple IDs, purchasing Apps and Books in volume, and of course, the integration with a mobile device management solution (MDM) to remotely monitor and maintain Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

When Apple Business Manager is connected to an MDM solution, it helps an organization simplify and streamline the setup process of an Apple device. In some cases, the only touchpoints a device will need is to connect it to wifi. After this happens, the device communicates to the MDM provider and automatically installs all the profiles configured for the organization.

Apple Business Manager is at the core of all this functionality. So if you’re looking for the ability to have configuration profiles that can configure devices automatically, read on!

Choose a Mobile Device Management (MDM) Solution

The Apple device management software market is crowded with many different solutions that offer a variety of features. So how do you pick which one is best? First off, we recommend considering what type of Apple devices are being used in your organization- whether they’re Macs, iPads, or iPhones.

If you have a mix of devices in your organization, make sure to find an Apple device management software solution that supports all three types not to create any deployment issues and ensure the Apple device experience is seamless no matter what type of Apple device’s being used. Most MDM providers support all three devices, but there is nothing worse than going with an MDM solution that ultimately will not meet business needs. So take the time to do your homework.

Additional Reading: 6 Reasons Your Business Needs an MDM Solution

Secondly, consider whether or not mobile security is important – many Apple device management solutions offer this feature which can be vital if there are employees with sensitive data on their company-owned devices. There is nothing better than having peace of mind knowing that your critical business information is protected.

Thirdly, think about ease of use: does the MDM solution require any IT knowledge? Is there training required before using it? How often will IT need to update profiles on each device? What is the MDM support like? These are some questions you’ll want answers to when choosing the right Apple MDM software for your small business.

Why We Use Mosyle for Mobile Device Management

Mosyle is an Apple device management software that’s easy to use, makes mobile security possible for your employees, includes a free trial, and provides fantastic support. So you can get started today! Mosyle also offers an extensive library of Apple profile options that are designed for small businesses in mind.

Mosyle continues to grow and expand its MDM offerings. The benefits of using Mosyle are clear: there’s no IT knowledge needed, it includes all Apple device types (iOS, macOS, tvOS), and any Apple devices that are lost or stolen can be tracked down using their remote wipe feature. Our number one reason for using this solution is that it allows business owners to maintain control of their MDM solution and provide access to their managed service provider for support and configuration.

Configuring Your MDM Solution

Configuring an MDM solution can be a little cumbersome for the novice. However, Apple device management software solutions are designed to be as user-friendly as possible. For example, most MDM solutions often offer a step-by-step guide that walks users through each step necessary to install an Apple device profile and integrate their system with Apple Business Manager.

Once your MDM solution is configured and connected with Apple Business Manager, then the real fun begins. The first step in the process is assigning the devices to an end-user. Only devices configured in Apple Business Manager will be eligible for user assignment right out of the box. So be sure not to miss this step.

Once the device is assigned to an MDM provider, it is time to start customizing the configuration profiles within the MDM. The configuration profiles you create in your MDM solution should be tailored to the needs of your organization. For instance, some MDM providers offer security and encryption options and allow you to restrict access or install apps on certain types of devices – like iPads. My suggestion is always to keep it simple, start with the bare minimum your organization needs to get started. You can add additional profiles as you learn the systems, discover new needs, and get feedback from your employees.

Some tips for managing Apple devices and features:

  • Ensure all apple devices are enrolled in MDM and have profiles configured within your Apple device management solution of choice!
  • Update configurations regularly or whenever there is new functionality available from Apple (such as two-factor authentication coming in macOS Monterey)
  • Encourage employees to enroll their previously company-issued Apple devices with the MDM so that they can be remotely wiped if lost or stolen. This prevents confidential data from being compromised!
  • Set passcodes on employee-owned Apple devices – this will help prevent unauthorized access and keep business information secure.

Purchasing Your Devices

To get the full functionality of Apple Business Manager and your MDM solution, where you purchase your devices does matter.  If your organization purchases directly from Apple and from a participating Apple Authorized Reseller or carrier, you should enter both your Apple Customer Number and the reseller’s Reseller ID into Apple Business Manager.

If Apple devices are purchased in different ways, such as through cell phone carriers or other distributors, you may need to use Apple Configurator 2 to get your iOS devices into Apple Business Manager. Unfortunately, for those running Macs in their environment, getting those devices into Apple Business Manager is not possible at this time. However, your MDM solution should have the ability to add the devices to their platform by downloading and installing the proper profiles.

The big difference here is that Macs will not self-configure if not purchased directly through Apple or a reseller. Purchasing directly through Apple would be the preferred method if Mac deployment is important. Partner with your local Apple Consultant if you need support with your purchasing options and configuration.

Deployment

The deployment of Apple devices means many things to many people. Ultimately, deployment is the final setup stage of managing Apple devices. If you have a small organization with just one or two Apple devices, deployment might mean simply plugging them into your computer and installing the configuration profiles provided by your MDM or Apple Configurator 2. Then it is time to get the devices into the hands of your team.

Additional Reading: How to Choose an Apple Managed Service Provider

It has probably taken some trial and error to get to this point, but in the end, the time you took to get here will pay you back for years. Trust us! Being able to automate and manage your devices remotely will be well worth the configuration time.

Conclusion

Apple devices are a great way for small businesses to enhance productivity, improve team collaboration, and be more competitive in the marketplace. With Apple device management software, managing Apple devices can be both easy and affordable. Who would have thought you could have both?

If possible, I recommend going hands-on with the Apple device management solution to see how it works before you buy. Test out the platform on a Mac, iPhone, and iPad to discover the product’s full functionality (you can even use an MDM solution on AppleTV and tvOS). Most have 30-day free trials that allow you to experience the complete process. This will help give insight into what is necessary for your organization and allow you to explore another option if this does not work out.

If you’re looking for ways to simplify Apple device management, our team of experts is ready and waiting. We can help configure your Apple Business Manager and MDM management software solution (or Apple Configurator 2), so your small businesses can stay on top of your Apple devices without breaking the bank.

If hiring an Apple managed services provider is something your business needs, check out our MacCare solutions. We will do the heavy lifting so you can focus on what you do best.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!

Bonus: Click here to download our Apple Business Manager quick start guide.

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