Apple has always been the preferred OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of choice when it comes to enterprises thanks to its security and productivity related features. However, managing Apple devices has always been an issue for IT administrators as with security comes complexity. However, Apple itself realized this and came up with free solutions of its own, namely Apple Profile Manager and Apple Configurator. It too proved difficult for IT admins as the former was a very primitive Apple MDM solution while Apple Configurator doesn't support management over-the-air. This led to a need for a mobile device management solution, which supports advanced features as well as support OTA management.
ManageEngine MDM is an Apple MDM, with support for all Apple devices such as iPods, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs and Mac machines. It provides end-to-end support for managing all Apple devices right from installing apps to securing its communications, thus making it a comprehensive free Apple MDM solution.
MDM also integrates with Apple and its mobile device management programs, providing extensive management capabilities as this integration makes management a breeze for IT administrators.
Here is the list of features supported for Apple by MDM:
The first step to manage Apple devices is to add them to MDM and this process can be done easily with MDM using a few steps. Further, integration with Apple Business Manager (previously known as Apple DEP) and support for Apple Configurator ensures several devices can be enrolled at once, with minimal admin intervention and almost no user interaction.
MDM lets you build your own enterprise app catalog, containing a combination of App Store apps as well as in-house enterprise apps, which then be easily distributed and installed on Apple devices, irrespective whether it is readily available or not. Further, the integration with Apple Business Manager (previously known Apple Volume Purchase Program) with MDM, ensures you can have the apps silently installed/deleted/updated without any user intervention. Further, MDM also helps you managing licenses of paid apps by providing details such as the total licenses, licenses utilized etc. MDM lets you pre-configure settings on the apps during installation ensuring the app is ready to be used immediately on installation.
One most important feature anyone would expect from a paid or free Apple MDM is the capability to remotely configure certain settings on the device, making the device ready for usage without the user having to configure it. MDM supports 10+ policies which let you configure all basic settings on the device such as Wi-Fi, VPN etc. Further, you can set up Apple devices as purpose-built devices using Kiosk (or App Lock), which locks the device to an app or set of apps and prevents users from modifying pre-defined settings. You can also achieve containerization in iOS devices using MDM.
As an IT administrator, you are expected to maintain details regarding the device stock as well as granular details such as device warranty etc. With MDM, details regarding Apple devices can be generated as reports automatically and also mailed to the requisite team, based on a specified schedule.
One of the primary reasons for IT administrators to prefer Apple MDM solutions over the set of tools provided by Apple is the extensive security settings provided by the former. With support for both proactive security and reactive security, MDM provides with a set of options to protect data at rest, data in motion and data in use. In case of stolen/misplaced devices, you can put the device in Lost Mode, which ensures the device cannot be accessed as the device gets locked and also has the option of putting up a message and a contact number, for the device to be handed over when found. To protect unauthorized data access/sharing, you can either completely wipe the device or just erase the corporate data using selective wipe.
Want to try free Apple MDM in your organization and set up a free MDM server to manage iOS devices? You can try free iOS MDM by clicking this link here!