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4 Ways Apple Volume Purchase Plan (VPP) Impacts Business Mobility

  • Claire Feeney By

When we look back at the top Apple enterprise innovations so far, support of device-based licensing through the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) certainly lands in the top five benefits for businesses. VPP enhancements give IT administrators more flexibility and app management options to satisfy end users’ unique use case requirements.

We are excited to see how impactful these changes are for our customers—and how VMware AirWatch enables IT to redefine existing business processes and to eliminate the complexity of deploying apps and setting up users. Enhanced VPP capabilities allow admins to deliver better user experiences and to simplify Apple ID maintenance with features such as:

  • Device-based License Assignment: Administrators can assign licenses to a device, rather than a user.
  • No Apple ID Required: Because licenses can be assigned to devices instead of users, entering an Apple ID and password isn’t required to receive apps, and users do not need to accept invites prior to receiving apps.
  • Global Distribution: Once purchased, apps can be distributed to users anywhere the app is available in the App Store, in the event VPP is unavailable.

4 Ways VPP Impacts Business Mobility

1. Corporate-Owned Devices

Many businesses provide devices to employees to take advantage of the Device Enrollment Program (DEP) or supervised mode for extra security. If a user has a corporate-owned device, they receive work apps without entering an Apple ID. This means that their work apps won’t associate with their Apple ID or sync to their personal Apple devices, and personal apps won’t show up on their corporate devices—keeping these apps private.

Users no longer have to decide between using their personal Apple ID for work purposes or maintaining multiple Apple IDs for work and personal accounts.

[Related: 7 Questions Answered about AirWatch & the Device Enrollment Program from Apple]

2. Shared Devices

Schools, health systems and retailers often allow users to share devices, and now IT can assign apps to these devices without the cumbersome task of creating Apple IDs for every device.

Device-based assignment is particularly popular in education systems. IT departments no longer need to create lengthy lists of Apple IDs for different devices or to deal with students who may change Apple IDs to install their personal apps. With device-based assignment, IT now can ensure devices are only used for intended purposes without worrying about users not getting apps they need because Apple IDs have been changed.

3. Kiosk Devices

Many retailers use kiosks as mobile points of sale (mPOS) or to engage with customers in stores. VPP enables IT to assign apps to devices, so users do not have to enter an Apple ID to access the apps they need to do their jobs.

For IT teams managing a globally distributed kiosk fleet, managing app strategies and purchasing from a central location enables global app distribution, regardless of if VPP is available in all countries. With DEP, app distribution is even easier: devices can ship directly to retail locations and automatically configure out of the box.

4. BYO Devices

Our customers have used device-based license assignments to improve the user experience and drive adoption of applications. IT can now make sure bring-your-own-device (BYOD) users have the apps they need to collaborate, communicate and be productive—without requiring end users to accept a VPP invitation or enter their Apple ID password.

Keep in Mind

AirWatch supports both user- and device-based license assignments, and our customers choose what works best for them on an app-by-app basis. In the AirWatch admin console, user-based license distribution is the default setting. Devices need to run Mac OS X El Capitan or above or iOS 9+ to take advantage of the latest updates.

AirWatch cloud customer environments have been upgraded to take advantage of the new features, and on-premises customers simply need to ensure they are running AirWatch 8.2 FP1 or above.


Claire Feeney

Claire Feeney

Claire Feeney is a senior product marketing manager at VMware focused on mobility.

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