This article is part of our guide: What is Apple Business Manager?

Apple Business Manager is a platform integrating with Appaloosa to provide better control of enrolled devices & distribution of app or media licences. Apple Business Manager gathers two portals that are well known by sysadmins: Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP). Apple Business Manager provides a few capabilities that we lay out in the following article.

Apps and Books Licensing

Assign licences for employee consumption

Apple Business Managed licences

With Apple Business Manager, an organisation can buy app licences directly from Apple. Those licences are then assigned to employees. This association is either made with a user’s Apple ID or device serial number. Any employee with a valid assignment can get the application without the need for purchase, through Apple’s App Store. In the event the employee isn’t part of the organisation any longer, the admin can recover the licence and use it for another device or user. The same method can be applied to digital books.

Locations

Apple Business Manager locations

Businesses with multiple locations or organisational units can divide their apps and books licenses across locations. This allows any business using Apple Business Manager to split licences into logical groups and make sure that apps are available or restricted to certain locations.

Each location set up with Apple Business Manager can have its own VPP token, which an EMM such as Appaloosa makes use of to access and assign a particular licence.

Store Credit

Store Credit enables sysadmins to provision future spending which requires either a quote or specific buying process. When this credit becomes available, it can be used at any time to get apps and books licences. This is often refered as the Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP).

Automated Device Enrollment

This feature is formerly known as Device Enrolment Program (DEP).

Configured and ready before Unboxing

Businesses can make use of Automated Enrollment to make sure that the newly purchased device or restored device is configured as soon as its first boot. With the help of an EMM or MDM, a device can be set up to apply configurations right from its startup, skip setup screens, apply security policies or install apps & content. This feature enables a seamless device configuration workflow, allowing businesses to ship new devices directly from the shop to their employees. This feature makes it also easier to re-configure repurposed devices without the help of IT.

Orders Assignment

When purchasing new devices, admins can now make their device serial numbers available for MDM assignment. Provided admins set up their Apple customer number or an Apple reseller number in their Apple Business Manager account, admins can easily make new purchases immediately available for assignment.

Assignment By Device Type

Admins can now select multiple MDM servers for their devices. For each device type (Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iPod or Mac), admins can select which MDM server the device type should be bound to.

Managed Apple IDs

Apple Business Manager Apple IDs

A Managed Apple ID is an Apple ID that is owned and managed by an organization as opposed to an individual. Managed Apple IDs can be used by:

  1. Administrators in order to sign in to Apple Business Manager
  2. Employees when enrolling their device to an MDM using User Enrolment. It is both used for authentication and licence assignment.

Domain names to be used with Managed Apple IDs can be set using the Apple Business Manager interface, and Apple IDs can then be created using the selected domains.

Apple Business Manager also has a seamless integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory. If a user is created in Azure’s Active Directory, it is also created within Apple Business Manager.

VPP and DEP, unified

Admins can now access both features from the same, Apple Business Manager portal. Multiple admins and roles are also supported, keeping access to Apple Business Manager personal and secure.

Next in our guide: Limitations and integrations for Apple Business Manager