Taking control of iPads....
April 9, 2012 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Setting up 20-40 Apple iPads at my company. We'd like to have these "locked down" to some extent. Also, setup standardized logins. Details inside......

I've read a number of articles online about the current situation with iPads and the corporate world. Most of them essentially say "it's a goddamn mess". Regardless, we are moving ahead with a rollout of ipads.

Our situation:

1) We currently have about 15 iPads in the wild. All for sales people. We'll be expanding to possibly 50 in the next few months. Replacing laptops for most.

2) They all have to run this app. Which, of course, doesn't offer volume licensing anymore. Currently, we're simply having people expense the app on their own iTunes account.

3) We're looking at a support/inventory tracker. We already use this company's program for our RF guns, so we're inclined to use this software. Any experience? Alternatives?

4) We're a strictly MS shop, but we're not averse to setting up a Mac if it will help with any of this.

5) We'd LOVE it if there was a way to sync their AD account logins somehow in place of this iTunes BS, but I'm guessing that's impossible.

6) Not horribly worried about security as Dropbox and the emulator both require independent logins. I believe every software offering we've looked at has "remote wipe" functionality.

7) We don't really care if people are running Angry Birds or whatever, but since we are paying for these we feel we should at least have the ABILITY to pick what they can and cannot install.

Extra info:

-No special setups on the iPads. Just VPN, the 5250 Emulator and Dropbox.

-Everybody is currently using the built in email client for Exchange sync. So far we haven't had any need for more powerful apps like Touchdown.

-These are sales people. Almost all consumption/presentation. They don't do much typing or producing of documents.

So, basically, I'm looking for experience IT folks have had integrating iPads into their existing infrastructure.

Thanks in advance.....
posted by lattiboy to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Basically, what you want is MDM: I know our parent organization uses LANdesk, but there are a few other options as well.
posted by Oktober at 9:50 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Along with what Oktober said, Apple has a configuration app but you need a Mac.
- Configure up to 30 devices at a time
- Update devices to the latest version of iOS
- Create and restore a backup of settings and app data
- Import apps into Apple Configurator and sync them to new devices
- Use the built-in editor to create and install iOS configuration profiles
- Enroll devices with your Mobile Device Management solution for remote management
posted by FreezBoy at 10:11 AM on April 9, 2012 [5 favorites]

I recently sat in on a nice presentation by JAMF, another MDM provider. But their software (IIRC) runs on a variety of platforms. No mac required!
posted by sbutler at 11:06 AM on April 9, 2012

Seconding the recommendation for Apple Configurator...it's free (although if you don't have a Mac, you'll have to buy one). It's dead simple to use, can preset all your exchange info, as well as pre-install the app for you.

It's MUCH better than the previous enterprise tools that Apple provided for this stuff, and works well.
posted by griffey at 11:20 AM on April 9, 2012

Best answer: Frasier Spears did a deployment of iPads to primary school in Scotland, and blogged about it. It's a very locked down environment so you might find it useful. A few sample posts:

Profile Manager in Practice
App Management and Sync
iTunes accounts
posted by smackfu at 12:17 PM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

I recently implemented JAMF in our shop and have been really happy with it. We're using it primarily for OSX configuration and management, but we have deployed a few iPads and several iPhones with it. It doesn't have a support desk attached, though.
posted by wearyaswater at 6:28 PM on April 9, 2012

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