Apple enterprise and iOS: how would you want it to work?
I got asked a bit recently about some info on ipads and managing them and it got me thinking, how would/could/should they work in an environment such as ours?
My biggest bugbear, is annoying and seemingly pointless restrictions.
-5 computers per account
-5 accounts per device
-10 devices per account
This is such a useless restriction in our environment. Even if you follow 'Apples advice' and use multiple accounts for different device banks, these numbers are so abritrary. The average home user might not have more than 5 computers/devices or whatever, but we do! I have approximately 20 teachers with staff ipads, all wanting the same apps, and all want to be able to sync their work. So to use the devices I need 2 accounts, and I need to gift each app to myself 9/10 times. Great, except now I've got the restriction on computers, therefore I need to find shared-computers for them to sync to. This means they can't be used individually, since your now sharing your account and your syncs with 9 of your peers. So you need another account per device to handle the 'teachers' individual work which they can sync to their own computer.
Now you have 40 more ipads used by the students in loan sets. So that's 4 more accounts you need, each of which need a machine to sync to. But the teachers need access to these accounts so they can get at the work themselves, so now you've passed the account-per-device restriction.
The limiting factor here, is the 'personal computer'. Each device NEEDS one, and doesn't really work without it. So I'm hearing some chirping in the background about 'iCloud'..... Great! cloud based syncing, apps, mails, calendars, files! But ah, do you setup one per student? if so, expect a bill worth millions by the time you buy each app 500 times ( I recently passed 250 apps in the store, at least 40 of them are paid for, meaning I would be looking at £20,000 if each of the 40 apps only cost £1, which they did not!)
Not going to happen, so you setup your 6 school accounts to work with iCloud.. Problem solved! Except ah, now class 1 used set 1 last week which had account 1, and now they are using set 2 which is based on account 2.... So they need to login to iCloud account 1. This then REMOVES all the apps on the device, and ADDS the account 1 apps, files etc. (If anyone wants to correct me on this feel free, I've not tried iCloud as I don't own any personal Apple devices, but i've been told by people who have that it does this)
You've got 8gb of apps and files on your ipads, there's 10 devices, and you've got a 10mb internet connection. Assuming you're using 100% of the connection, you're going at 1.25mb per second, which if I'm right, will take 18 hours to download.... You've got 45 minutes of a lesson.
So say goodbye to iCloud here, it's not going to work.
Ok, so enough ranting.
What do I want it to do?
I want firstly a single-account volume licensing model, with no arbitrary limits on devices per account, be that computers or iOS devices.
I want iCloud to be able to pull down 'new' things and allow syncing, but don't touch what I've got on the device already you little bugger. What I'd like even more, is for them to work 'like computers do' and allow the ability to control the apps seperate to the login accounts, ideally with domain login ability.
I want a server based app-repository, which I can dynamically push out, recall and deploy apps from and to. Therefore, if an app is purchased on a device, it is then syncing to the server, and can if allowed be then pushed out via the server to all devices.
I want to tailor access to the App store on the Apple ID's, one for getting what is already purchased on the account, and another for 'adding new apps'.
What do you want, what would make this apple gear friendly enough to bring it into your environment and not cause you headaches from restrictions?