Managing iPads in the DET environment. Listen to our informative and up-to-date Podcasts Click Hereexplaining, in simple terms, what it's all about. Whether you're a tiny regional school with 5 iPads or you're a K-12, secondary or Uni with hundreds, management of your iPads and iOS devices has never been easier than with jamF School ( formerly Zuludesk ). jamF School is a Mobile Device Management solution, or, MDM.
Management of your iPads no longer needs to be done using Apple Configurator or done manually. Over the past few years, what's known as the Apple Device Enrolment Program or 'DEP' means that when your school buys new iPads - whether from your EdConnect or from your local Authorised Apple Reseller, those iPads will be enrolled in DEP before you even receive them. Once activated, they automatically configure to your jamF School MDM with little or no input from you at all.
All iPads are then centrally managed using a simple dashboard - from any computer any time. From changing the lock screen image to sending Apps and features at a moments notice to some or all iPads simultaneously - finding lost iPads, locking them down and basically anything you can think of can all be done remotely.
So, how does it work? Firstly, when you buy new iPads they are assigned to your own Apple Schools Manager account. Most Schools will already have this, ( especially if they're already being managed by us for example ), those that don't will have been contacted by the Department to get this set up, so next time you buy iPads from them, they are 'assigned' to your Apple School Manager Account - or 'ASM'. And this is where the magic happens as mentioned above.
Automatic Configuration of your iPads
Now that your new iPads are assigned to your School in Apple Schools Manager, you have control of them. 2 parts of the 'ownership triangle' are complete. You purchase the iPads, they're assigned to you and connected to Apple (even before they're turned on and activated). The next bit here, ties your MDM - jamF School or jamF Pro for ewample, back to Schools Manager. The 'ownership' triangle is then complete. Here, we 'assign' those iPads to your chosen Mobile Device Management solution - or MDM -such as jamF School which we have already set up for you. There are a few different MDM's available that Schools have chosen to use such as Airwatch, jamF Pro, Meraki - but by far, Zuludesk ( now jamF School ) is the favourite as it's the only solution that was designed solely for Education. Each of these MDM solutions give you a 'dashboard' from which you can visually manage your iPads from a single interface. These interfaces are what's called 'platform agnostic' - put simply, you can use pretty much any device to access your 'dashboard' and manage your iPads - Mac, PC, Linux etc.
The DoE and jamF Pro / jamF School MDM
As is always the case, it is the School's choice as to what MDM you use and where you purchase your iPads. You do not need to buy from the DoE if you prefer to maintain a local relationship and take advantage of local support. All new iPads now come with a jamF Pro or jamF School 4 year license. As jamF as a company are now tied in with Apple and the DoE, when you order your new iPads, they'll come with either jamF Pro or jamF School licenses automatically as jamF know which schools are using which platform. It's worth noting here that if you're not using either jamF Pro or jamF School and you buy your iPads through your portal, you're being charged for a 4 year jamF license irrespective of whether you intend to use it or not, so please be aware of that.
Do Island I.T. Support jamF Pro and jamF School?
Yes. If you prefer to have us manage your jamF Pro ( and you'll certainly need a lot of supoprt with jamF Pro ), should you choose to use it, we're happy to do so - this is in the same way as we already manage many Schools in Zuludesk / jamF School who want instant, friendly, local, expert help with no delay and with a single point of contact each time. We offer this service as the majority of Schools do not have the time or resources to not only learn these technologies, but to maintain them. We make it simple.
Should our School choose jamF School instead? It's confusing.
Yes it is confusing as it's hard to work out what's best unless you have the experience we do. The DoE will try and push for jamF Pro ( as this is now their preferred MDM ), but you can choose ; and the DoE fully support a decision of any school to go with jamF School. It's down to your School and your principal. Our support and accessibility remains the same for either, jamF School, or jamF Pro. You are free to choose jamF School - which is the better platform by far, and recommended in the T4L newsletters. If you choose jamF School, which you certainly should, then your new iPads will ship with jamF School licenses insetad of jamF Pro.
Our School has a support contract with Island I.T. - What happens if we want to move to jamF Pro?
Island I.T. are committed to support your choice. We will simply migrate your support to the MDM you choose within your existng contract. We will not recontract you into another 12 month agreement, we'll simply switch support within your existing contract to the MDM of your choice. This, we feel, will completely alleviate any anxiety, stress or confusion over whether you should move or not and allow you to see if jamF is for you. We'll support you 100% either way.
We're considering jamF Pro as the Department offer full support. How is this different to yours?
jamF Pro in very complex. Support is therefore critical. There are a couple of 'major' differences between Department Support and Island I.T. Support. The most important is speed of contact and problem resolution. Island I.T. are, in most cases, immediate. One point of contact with us directly. The vast majority of issues resolved within the hour. Local, friendly and years of experience is something our schools love. Department support is very different. It's a ticketed system where you'll have to lodge support requests. You're not dealing with, or supporting local experts and each time you make a request you'll deal with different people, rarely one that understands your school, its infrastructure or how you use your iPads. Island I.T. on the other hand know your school as we've been there. We know you and your staff that are involved in your MDM solution. We maintain professional, direct and a very relaxed expert dynamic, that allows you to focus on what you're there to do and not spend hours on support calls, waiting for requests to be resolved and all the time becoming more and more frustrated.
So, does your support cost additionally?
Seems to be an obvious question but we do get asked as things have become a little confused with ordering iPads, licensing and support. In short, yes. We are a certified jamf partner but are independent of the DoE. Our services are expert grade and gained from years of experience supporting all schools - big and small. Support costings reduce with volume and cost as little as just over $2 / month per device. Now that's not much considering the time you'll save over a year by having Island I.T. manage your iPads - not to mention peace of mind. Relax, you're with Island I.T.
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