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Starting Your Journey with Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP)

March 29, 2016

So you want to roll out a lot of iOS devices, but how do you get started? Do you hire a company that specializes in kitting and staging to build phones and tablets according to a standard company image? Or, why not leverage the EMM system you have already invested in? Here are a few helpful tips that might help put you on the path to success.

The Device Enrollment Program

Apple’s Device Enrollment Program is already a couple of years old but lately it’s really beginning to take wings. Carriers and resellers across 28 countries are now able to sell DEP eligible devices, and the list of authorized providers is constantly expanding. That’s because the program not only allows admins to easily enroll iOS 7 or later devices into EMM simply by powering them on, they can also supervise them wirelessly. Supervision is Apple’s way of saying, “this device is belongs to my company”, and the process opens a whole new world of configuration options to your company.

So, what does DEP actually do?
Answer:
A lot!

  • MDM is mandatory  There’s no two ways about it, the device must be secured by EMM when the Admin configures the option.
  • Enforce MDM – Configuration Profiles cannot be removed from a device. Users simply cannot opt out of MDM when this option is configured by the admin.
  • Streamlined Enrollment  You can skip a lot of screens in the iOS setup assistant. It’s actually much simpler to activate a DEP device than one you just picked up in the store.
  • Supervision  DEP is the only way to Supervise a device Over-The-Air. Otherwise you will need a serial port, a MAC, and a whole lot of spare time…

So, what can I do to a Supervised device?
Answer:
 So much! Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Silent Install  True silent installation of Apps. When combined with Device Based App Assignment (iOS 9 +) this is a truly powerful feature. Check out the video to see it in action!
  • Activation Lock Bypass  Unlock devices so they can be repurposed without the need to know the Apple ID when Find My iPhone has been enabled.
  • Global Proxy  Direct all HTTP traffic through your company’s proxy server.
  • Restrictions  Remove the ability to factory reset a device, erase apps, disallow account settings to add personal e-mail and much more!
  • Wallpaper  Brand all of your company’s iOS devices with your logo wallpaper.

iOS 9.3 Supervised Features

iOS 9.3 is jam-packed with Supervised features that will be of great interest to any admin planning a big rollout. In particular, companies that offer white-glove services where devices are staged locally before shipping them to users might want to pay close attention to this point release. Here are a few interesting new features and restrictions we are likely to see:

  • Home Screen Layout  Arrange all of the apps and web clips on a device. Create folders and decide which apps belong in the dock!
  • Blacklist Restriction  Remove the ability to run almost any app with the exception of the Apple Settings and Phone app.
  • Whitelist Restriction  Specify exactly which apps will appear on the device and remove the option to run any app that isn’t on your list.
  • Notification Management  Decide which applications will be able to display potentially sensitive notifications in the Apple Notifications Center and how they are presented.

How Do I Get Started?

Go to deploy.apple.com and sign your company up for DEP today. Apple does require some corporate information to complete a registration, including a D-U-N-S or Dun & Bradstreet number, so be prepared. Next, ask your reseller or carrier if they participate in DEP. When you purchase devices from an authorized DEP reseller, they will transmit the serial numbers to Apple and the devices will be ready for assignment to your MDM server. MobileIron customers and partners with support accounts can also access the DEP Center of Excellence at community.mobileiron.com for more information and configuration guides.

We at MobileIron are committed to investing in DEP and we support it across all of our products portfolios. If you would like to know more, please reach out to sales@mobileiron.com. We look forward to joining you on your journey!

Russ Mohr

Russ Mohr, Director, N. American Carrier and Channel Sales Engineering at MobileIron

About the author

Russell Mohr is a 20 year veteran of the tech industry. Before joining MobileIron in 2012,  he worked extensively in sales, business development, product marketing, and engineering for companies including Lucent  Technologies and Blackberry. In his current role as a technical director of our channel and carrier team,, Russell helps customers solve challenges and devise strategies using MobileIron’s best in breed EMM and IoT solutions. He is a regular speaker at MobileIron and partner events and frequently publishes blogs, white papers, and podcasts. 

Follow Russell’s twitter handle @rhmohr to stay updated about the latest industry developments or find him on Linkedin.

 

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