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If you run a company, you know how much work onboarding a new employee can be. Beyond teaching them the ropes of your business, they’ll need a Mac and potentially an iPhone or iPad as well. Setting those devices up with all the right apps, settings, and logins can take days or even weeks. And that’s just for one person—imagine if you need to lather, rinse, and repeat for dozens or even hundreds of new employees?

The solution is Apple Business Manager, which ensures that every Apple device you purchase is associated with your corporate account—and in some cases, with a particular user—before you’ve picked up your new device. That enables zero-touch configuration and makes manual setup a thing of the past. Here’s how we make this happen.

We’ll work with someone at your company—your Business Contact—to set you up with Apple Business Manager. Your Business Contact will merely need to respond to some email messages from Apple and have a call with Apple to verify that they can agree to Apple’s Terms & Conditions on behalf of your company.

This allows us to enroll your new purchases to Apple Business Manager when the order is placed.

What is Apple Business Manager?

Apple Business Manager is what enables you to enroll and manage devices purchased through Computer Advantage. When we say “manage” we’re talking about mobile device management, or MDM. In essence, MDM systems allow IT administrators to define “profiles” that specify your company’s settings and policies. Those might be particular to a user, such as configuring email login credentials, or they might be general to everyone, such as security policies that require all iOS devices to use a six-digit passcode and Macs to turn on their screensavers after 2 minutes and require a password to unlock. And, of course, an MDM system lets your company control when to install operating system updates, ensuring that nothing happens before you’re ready.

You use Apple Business Manager to associate a new device purchased from your Apple Custom Store with the employee who will be receiving it. When the device arrives, the employee unboxes it and turns it on, and your MDM system goes to work downloading apps and configuring settings. Once the employee signs in with their credentials, the MDM system continues to configure the device for that person. No one from IT even has to touch it—hence “zero-touch” configuration.

Enrolling your devices in your MDM system via Apple Business Manager doesn’t just help with initial deployment. Employee turnover is a fact of life, and with a device in Apple Business Manager, you can use your MDM system to redeploy a device quickly by wiping it and re-enrolling it for the new employee.

We recommend that all Apple-using businesses use Apple Business Manager to tie those devices to the company’s MDM system. Contact us for more information about what’s involved, and for our MDM recommendations.

(Featured image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

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