This week in our continuing Deployment 2016 series on Out of School, Bradley and I talk about the role of the Mobile Device Mangagement server in your deployment.
It has been my contention for at least 2-3 years now that running an MDM is an absolute core requirement in any institutionally managed iOS deployment. Recent events with Apple vs the FBI have also shown that it's just responsible good hygiene to have staff and student devices enrolled in MDM.
What makes a good MDM? That's harder to say. There may be reasons to prefer one system - for example, if it integrates with your security systems or your wifi. Most MDMs can do the basics of gathering device inventory, sending configuration profiles and locking and unlocking devices.
For me, what separates the great MDM vendors are:
- The sysadmin workflows they can support - how automated can your device monitoring and reporting be?
- The speed at which the vendor can keep up with Apple's changes. Apple leans heavily on MDM for app installation through the Volume Purchase Program and inventory management through the Device Enrolment Program. If your vendor can't or won't keep up with Apple, that is a limiting factor on the development of your deployment.
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