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    What Are the Types of iOS Device Enrollment?

    Apple has come a long way, and so has iOS, fundamentally transforming the way we perceive mobile phones and their capabilities. Renowned for their robust security features, user-friendly interface, and extensive app ecosystem, iOS devices (primarily iPhones, as iPads have iPadOS since 2019) are being used at workplaces more than ever before. This trend is not here to fade away!

    As the adoption of iOS devices continues to rise within the corporate sphere, the need to manage Apple devices becomes essential. Enrolling iOS devices in a mobile device management solution is the first and most important step in Apple or iOS device management.

    iOS Enrollment
    Different iOS Enrollment Options

    This blog provides an overview of the various iOS device enrollment options available via MDM platforms, offering insights on how they can be effectively utilized to meet varied organizational needs. 

    So, without further ado, let’s get started on point! 

    Automated Device Enrollment via Apple Business Manager

    Automated Device Enrollment (ADE), previously known as Device Enrollment Program (DEP), in conjunction with Apple Business Manager (ABM), is the mainstay for enterprises wanting to deploy and manage iOS devices efficiently. This method is designed to streamline the enrollment process, significantly reducing the manual effort involved in setting up each device. ADE is particularly beneficial for organizations with a large Apple device fleet. 

    ADE offers several advantages;

    Efficient Initial Setup: ADE enables the automatic enrollment of devices into the MDM solution upon activation. This automation eliminates the need for hands-on configuration, as devices are immediately equipped with predefined settings, policies, and essential applications. Hence, organizations can have their IT teams deploy a large number of iOS devices quickly and efficiently, ensuring a smooth onboarding experience for users.

    Mandatory MDM Enrollment: One of the most significant benefits of ADE is the enforcement of MDM enrollment, which prevents users from removing their devices from management. This feature is crucial for maintaining the security and integrity of corporate data, as it ensures all devices comply with organizational policies throughout their lifecycle.

    Activation of Supervised Mode: Supervised Mode unlocks a suite of advanced management features and security settings unavailable in standard mode. ADE facilitates the activation of Supervised Mode on devices, granting administrators greater control over device functionality and security. This heightened control is particularly important in environments where stringent security measures are necessary.

    Supervised Mode via Apple Configurator 2

    Apple Configurator 2 is a powerful tool for organizations that require an even higher degree of control over their iOS devices. By enabling Supervised Mode through Apple Configurator 2, administrators can access a wider range of iOS management features, including:

    Robust Restrictions: Supervised Mode allows administrators to disable or limit specific functionalities on iOS devices, such as the App Store, camera, and AirDrop. These restrictions are vital for preventing unauthorized use of device features that may pose security risks or distract users from their work.

    Network Configuration: Supervised devices can be configured to route all internet traffic through a predefined proxy server. This capability enables organizations to monitor and filter network traffic, ensuring device usage complies with corporate policies and security standards.

    Enhanced Content Filtering: Supervised Mode offers advanced web content filtering options for environments where internet access needs to be strictly controlled, such as schools or certain workplaces. Administrators can block access to specific URLs or categories of online content, creating a safer and more focused digital environment for users.

    Implementing Supervised Mode via Apple Configurator 2 does require physical access to the devices and a connection to a Mac, making it more suited to settings where devices can be centrally managed and configured before distribution.

    Apple ID-driven Enrollment

    There are a few MDM solutions that support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) enrollment for iOS devices utilizing Managed Apple IDs. This method allows users to enroll their personal iPhones and iPads into the organization’s Apple management platform.

    Apple ID-driven enrollment reinforces modern BYOD management and aligns with Apple’s outlook on employee privacy. The benefits include:

    Secure Segregation: Data separation on the user’s device isolates work data and applications from personal information.

    Granular Data Control: Policies can be implemented to restrict data movement between work and personal applications, ensuring data security.

    Simplified User Management: An MDM solution also facilitates user import from platforms like Google Workspace or Microsoft Entra, enabling the creation of Managed Apple IDs for BYOD enrollment. This streamlines the invitation and enrollment process for employees.

    Over-the-Air Enrollment (OTA)

    Over-the-air (OTA) enrollment addresses the needs of organizations with remote or distributed workforces by allowing iOS devices to be enrolled into the MDM solution remotely. This method is characterized by its convenience and flexibility, offering several key features:

    Remote Setup: OTA enrollment enables administrators to send enrollment invitations via email, SMS, or QR code, guiding users through the enrollment process without the need for physical access to the device. This capability is particularly useful for enrolling devices that are directly shipped to employees’ locations or for adding devices to the MDM solution when in-person setup is not feasible.

    BYOD Compatibility: For organizations that support BYOD policies, OTA enrollment provides a seamless way for employees to enroll their personal iOS devices. This method ensures corporate policies are applied to devices used for work purposes. However, managed Apple ID-driven enrollment offers better work and personal app and data separation.  

    Manual Enrollment

    Manual enrollment offers a straightforward and flexible solution in situations where Automated Device Enrollment (ADE) is not applicable or for smaller deployments. This method involves a few simple steps:

    Profile Installation: Users manually install a management profile onto their devices by downloading it from a link, email, or QR code provided by their organization. This profile contains all the necessary settings and configurations required by the MDM solution.

    Credential Authentication: To complete the enrollment process, users must authenticate themselves using their organizational credentials. This step links the device to the MDM software, allowing it to be managed in accordance with the organization’s policies.

    While manual enrollment is less efficient than automated methods, it provides a viable option for adding iOS devices to an MDM solution without the need for bulk processing tools.

    Which iOS Device Enrollment Option to Choose?

    As businesses continue to leverage iOS devices to drive productivity and innovation, effective management of these devices is a must. MDM solutions offer a range of enrollment options, each designed to meet specific organizational needs and challenges. 

    Choosing the right enrollment method is crucial for achieving efficient and effective device management. Determining factors include the scale of deployment, the need for advanced management features, and the ownership model of the devices (corporate-owned vs. BYOD).

    By carefully selecting the most appropriate enrollment method, organizations can maximize the potential of their iOS device fleets, safeguarding corporate data and supporting the modern workforce requirements.

    Get Multiple iOS Device Enrollment Options with Scalefusion MDM

    An MDM solution like Scalefusion offers multiple iOS device enrollment options, along with an extensive feature suite to manage and secure everything Apple. Most importantly, Scalefusion supports Apple ID-driven enrollment to enhance corporate data security without any compromises on employee privacy.

    Speak to our experts and get a free demo to witness the iOS device enrollment and management capabilities of Scalefusion. Sign up for a 14-day free trial!

    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.

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