VPP Without an Apple ID? Yippee!

Apple’s WWDC is always full of surprises – especially surprises buried in the release notes of a product and not paraded on stage during Tim Cook’s, Forbe’s 25th most powerful person, opening Keynote.

According to the release notes for the beta version of Server; education institutions, healthcare organizations, and retail outlets should be jumping for joy.

While details are not clear as to which platforms will support this new feature (iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan for sure), new functionality has been added to Profile Manager in which, as stated in the document, “you can assign VPP apps to devices instead of a user’s Apple ID. This allows for the installation of VPP apps on iOS devices and Mac computers without configuring an Apple ID or sending an invitation”

This truly is the application deployment nirvana; VPP without an Apple ID!

Without question, the primary complaint I receive from Apple device administrators, particularly those in education, is around the app distribution workflow Apple has previously allowed. While nearly every device management vendor can push an application to a device, including LANDESK, the restrictions from Apple required an end user to consent to installing the application; essentially tying it to an individual Apple ID.

While large inroads have been made by Apple in recent iOS and OS X releases, such as allowing the business to reclaim the license from an Apple ID if purchased through the volume purchase program, which saved businesses a lot of money in lost software, it still required the app to be tied to an Apple ID.

In controlled environments where the devices are utilitarian in nature (think schools, retail, or health care), in which the devices are setup for a specific function with no specific device owner, attempting to push an application was inefficient and very difficult to manage.

Think about it, what end user is sitting on the kiosk iPad eagerly waiting for their shiny new application to be pushed from IT? Not. One. User.

Apple, thank you for unshackling the app from the Apple ID – the Enterprise, Education, Healthcare and Retail worlds have just received a productivity “merit” increase.