Apple keeps pace with Samsung in enterprise mobility initiatives

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Not wanting to cede enterprise momentum to Samsung, Apple recently unveiled a number of new initiatives to expand enterprise use of iOS, including its device enrollment program.

The device enrollment program enables IT to configure devices for mobile device management (MDM) without having to physically interact with them using Apple Configurator.  

Apple explains that the device enrollment program enables IT to "streamline the on boarding of institutionally owned devices [and] enroll devices in MDM during activation and skip basic setup steps to get users up and running quickly."

Using the program, IT can install non-removable MDM profiles, which is a "critical requirement" for corporate-owned personally enabled (COPE) devices, explains VDC Research analyst Kathryn Nassberg in a blog.

"In addition to an over-the-air approach that lends itself better to a COPE-style of mobile deployment, Apple has also gained a significant enterprise edge by changing its volume purchase and licensing programs to enable businesses to purchase apps in bulk without the need of a credit card," relates Nassberg.

The program ends the staging and provisioning process, which streamlines the deployment process. It makes MDM device enrollment part of the setup process, easing the enrollment process for employees. "All these create a powerful enterprise advantage, especially when paired with the recent changes to its volume purchase program," she adds.

Ryan Fass with CITE World calls the program "one of the most groundbreaking iOS management additions since Apple introduced MDM support nearly four years ago." He agrees that it is important for enterprises to use the COPE model, as opposed to the BYOD model in which employees owned their devices.

Apple's changes come hot on the heels of Samsung's enterprise-targeted announcements at Mobile World Congress last month. Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S5 with a high rating for dust and water resistance and a beefed up version of its Knox mobile security platform.

For more:
- read Apple's device enrollment program description
- check out VDC Research's blog
- read the CITE World article

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