Apple hopes to bolster its position in the enterprise mobility management (EMM) market in September with its new iOS 9 software, which packs key features and overdue enhancements for IT administrators. Apple's Volume Purchase Program (VPP), a specialized App Store and service that lets businesses purchase software licenses in bulk and then distribute apps to multiple users, will soon give admins more options to install, update and remove business apps.
Organizations will also be able to assign apps to specific devices, so IT could send an app to a user's corporate iPhone and not her personal iPad, for example. Apple is removing the requirement for every employee in an organization to have their own Apple ID, so admins will no longer have to worry about staff installing the same business apps on multiple devices. Enterprises will still be able to use the old model when it makes sense or if they don't mind if employees have the same apps on their iPhones, iPads and Macs. However, the new managed-distribution option lets IT departments pick the paths that work best for their organizations.
Apple first launched VPP in 2010, and the program has since evolved from long spreadsheets of code designed to be used for one-time app purchases into something much more modern and IT-friendly. Here are five things enterprises need to know about the program, along with details on how it can help them find, purchase and distribute enterprise apps across organizations small and large.
What is Apple VPP, and are there eligibility requirements?
Apple VPP is an App Store and framework that lets businesses purchase bulk licenses for iOS and Mac apps so that they can then be distributed to multiple users. It is one of the three primary components of Apple's Deployment Programs, and it gives IT more enterprise-application distribution and management options.
Any business is eligible to enroll in the program, and it is available in 26 countries. Interested organizations must provide a valid email address, phone number, work address and have a Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) number that matches the corporate information they provide during the enrollment process. (There is no cost for a business to register with D&B, and the approval process usually takes less than five days.) The individual involved in the enrollment process must also provide documentation that proves they can act as an agent for the program on behalf of their company. Apple will make a determination fairly quickly after it reviews the information and verifies it against the D&B database.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.