Apple Business Manager

Apple Business Manager is a free, web-based portal provided by Apple that not only enables IT admins to easily enroll, provision, and deploy corporate-owned Apple devices, but also purchase app licenses and manage them. iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS devices can be enrolled in bulk, allowing the organization to manage them.

Apple has combined the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP) portals into Apple Business Manager to simplify device purchase, enrollment, and management and make app purchases easy. Apple also provides Apple School Manager to allow educational institutions to manage Apple devices that are used for education.

Apple Business Manager can be integrated with Mobile Device Manager Plus to facilitate seamless corporate device enrollment and management. Purchased devices can be enrolled in bulk and will appear right away on the Mobile Device Manager Plus server console from which the IT admin can manage them.

Key features of Apple Business Manager

Integrating Apple Business Manager with Mobile Device Manager Plus offers the following features:

  • Automated device enrollment

    Apple Business Manager simplifies the process of bulk enrolling corporate Apple devices, including iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS devices. Purchased devices are on-boarded onto Mobile Device Manager Plus and made corporate-ready out of the box.

  • User assignment

    Devices appear automatically on the Mobile Device Manager Plus server, ready to be managed and assigned to users.

  • App license purchases

    Admins can purchase the required app licenses through the Apple Business Manager portal. These apps will appear on the app repository on the Mobile Device Manager Plus server console, allowing admins to distribute apps to managed Apple devices and have them installed on devices without any user intervention.

Benefits of integrating Apple Business Manager with Mobile Device Manager Plus

Integrating Mobile Device Manager Plus with Apple Business Manager provides the following benefits:

  • Device supervision

    Devices enrolled using Apple Business Manager are Supervised, allowing for a greater degree of control over the managed device, which can be quite handy when the device is corporate-owned.

  • Simplified user assignment

    Apple devices enrolled through Apple Business Manager will need to be assigned and later reassigned to users before distribution, but manually performing these tasks can be rather time consuming. Integrating the organization's directory service with the Mobile Device Manager Plus server helps automate this process, thereby saving time by eliminating manual user assignment and reassignment.

  • Mandatory management

    Devices enrolled using Apple Business Manager cannot be taken out of management by factory resetting the device. This means that, even if the device is reset, it will still be under corporate management, which will prevent the misuse of corporate-owned Apple devices. However, for devices that are enrolled manually using Apple Configurator, users have a 30-day period from the time of enrollment within which, if the device is reset, there will be no mandated management and the device will not be Supervised.

  • Out-of-the-box usage

    Make Apple devices ready for corporate use out of the box with all the necessary settings, apps, and content provisioned to them. Moreover, device users can be allowed to skip initial device setup tasks, allowing them to gain quick access to the device and begin using it for work immediately.

Automating Apple device enrollment with Apple Business Manager

 

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is Apple Business Manager (ABM)?
    Apple Business Manager is a free portal by Apple that allows IT admins to automate the bulk enrollment of corporate-owned Apple devices.

  2. Why should enterprises use Apple Business Manager?
    In addition to automating the bulk enrollment of corporate Apple devices, Apple Business Manager can be used to purchase app licenses to distribute apps to devices. Purchased devices are location specific and can be assigned to different server locations as needed.

  3. How does Apple Business Manager help IT admins?
    Apple Business Manager allows IT admins to supervise Apple devices and ensure mandatory management of these devices. Device setup and configuration are also made easy, thereby eliminating the need to manually configure these devices.

  4. How do I register my organization with ABM?
    You can sign your organization up for Apple Business Manager by clicking on Enroll now on the Apple Business Manager portal. You will need to provide details about your business, including an email associated with the organization and a verification contact. These details will be verified by Apple, after which your organization will be granted access to the Apple Business Manager portal.

  5. How does device enrollment work with Apple business manager?
    First, the ABM portal should be integrated with the Mobile Device Manager Plus server and reseller details should also be added to the ABM portal. Once this is done, any purchased devices are added to the ABM portal and the Mobile Device Manager Plus server. These devices are enrolled into Mobile Device Manager Plus as well. The devices must then be activated through the Mobile Device Manager Plus server to allow user assignment.

  6. Is the ABM enrollment process different for iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and Apple TVs?
    The enrollment process remains the same for all these Apple devices. They must either be purchased from Apple or an authorized reseller or added manually to the ABM portal through enrollment tools like Apple Configurator.

  7. Why should Apple Business Manager be integrated with Mobile Device Manager Plus?
    Integrating Apple Business Manager with Mobile Device Manager Plus facilitates the devices to be seamlessly managed and used in the organization right after purchase.

  8. Can ABM act as an MDM by itself?
    Users can view their purchased devices on the ABM portal and can even apply security configurations on devices through tools like Apple Configurator. However, this can be rather cumbersome when dealing with a large number of devices. There are also limited management capabilities available. This is why it is essential to integrate an MDM solution with Apple Business Manager for enhanced device management.

  9. How to migrate from Apple VPP to ABM?
    Users can migrate from Apple VPP and Apple DEP to Apple Business Manager by logging in to these portals and following the instructions on screen to successfully migrate.

  10. Can devices not purchased from Apple or an authorized reseller be added to ABM?
    Yes, these devices can be added to Apple Business Manager by using Apple Configurator. Devices enrolled this way will initially appear on Apple Configurator, but when these devices are assigned to users, they will appear on the Apple Business Manager portal under Managed devices.

  11. How is ABM different from Apple Configurator?
    The Apple Business Manager portal can serve as a means to enroll corporate-owned Apple devices with admin supervision. Admins can also purchase app licenses and manage organization Apple IDs through this portal. Apple Configurator, on the other hand, allows devices purchased from third-party vendors to be added to the ABM portal and enrolled with admin supervision while allowing admins to apply predefined configurations to these devices.

  12. Can personal devices be enrolled through ABM?
    Personal devices cannot be enrolled via Apple Business Manager, however personally-owned devices brought under the BYOD policy can be enrolled onto Mobile Device Manager Plus using other methods like mailing enrollment invites, scanning a QR code, and user self-enrollment, which gives admins a limited amount of control over these employee-owned devices.