Making The Grade: is the Apple K-12 device management strategy wrg?

Create the rank is a weekly series by Bradley Chambers about Apple in educati. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an educatial envirment since 2009. Through his experience in the implementati and management of 100s Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will point to ways in which Apple's products work extensively, from trenches of IT management and ways Apple improves its products for students.


When it comes to enterprise device management, every platform company (Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.) has its own management style. Google (with Chromebooks) has built a complete end-to-end soluti for the management of its devices. When I say from start to finish, I mean that when you buy Chromebooks, you are also buying the management tool that is being sold by Google.

Backblaze

In the K-12 envirment, most schools look at Google or iPad. As I said, when you purchase Chromebooks, you also purchase the Google management system. When you purchase the iPad, you must purchase a third-party system to manage the iPad. Yes, Apple has a soluti called Profile Manager in macOS server, but it is not a comparis of apples with apples with something like Jamf. In my opini, it is more a proof of ccept that people can use when testing. macOS Server also receives functis every year.

In a world where Apple makes the chips in its own smartphes, is not it strange that they have completely outsourced the management of their devices in the company? Was this a mistake, or was it a moment of clarity for Apple, where it admitted that other companies could do things better?

The Apple model

e of the things that Apple can often do in the company is that they do not serve IT departments like Microsoft and Google so well. For years I have heard jokes that when IT departments have to have their first Mac repaired that they are appalled, they have to bring it to the mall versus somee who picks it up. Although Apple offers business recovery software, external resellers often fill in the gaps (as often with Dell, HP, etc.). Apple provides technical support for its products (especially for problems related to the Volume Purchase Program, Apple Cfigurator, etc.).

e of the things I realized about looking at mobile device management systems (MDM) is that each has its own taste or how it presents informati. They all use the APIs that are built by Apple, so they play in a certain way a level playing field. the other hand, when Apple releases new APIs, they depend said MDM providers to update the compatibility (and to support new APIs). Around the run up to macOS Mojave there has been a lot of unrest in the macOS admin community about some of the changes and what role MDMs can play in helping.

Apple's room app, although very well de, was initially slow to be deployed in schools due to the complicated start-up process with MDM. With 10.3 teachers could finally use it without needing to use IT (making their own e-mails, etc.).

Versi 2 of the app brings with it a number of new functis, including the possibility to make es in the app and invite students in the neighborhood. That means that it no lger needs a Mobile Device Management cfigurati to cfigure es, making it easier for smaller organizatis without IT help to use the app.

Not ly was IT involved in the roll-out of the app, but your MDM also had to support it. When Apple released its Schoolwork app earlier this year, they ce again followed the strategy of relying third-party integrati.

So with Apple you buy hardware from Apple, you buy your management from another company, you get student e-mails from another company, you possibly use Apple's room tools (as the apps you want to use), and Imagine your managed Apple in IDs that are yet another set of sign-ups that everye should remember.

Google & # 39; s model

The emergence of Chromebooks in K-12 is well documented. Everye thinks it is just as good as the price. Although the price is a csiderati, I would like to say that it is just as much about end-to-end integrati.

When you purchase Chromebooks, you purchase the Google management system. You set up your student email accounts in Google & # 39; s G-Suite. Teachers can set up their rooms in Google space. Students then Apple: apps with their Google account data. From the first hardware login, to initial cfigurati, to device management, to e-mail accounts, to document management – that's it All Google.

Is Apple & # 39; s device management strategy wrg?

With Apple you have a lot of choice how to cfigure and manage your devices, but Google has solved the scalability problem. Not ly are Chromebooks cheaper in most situatis, but they are also easier to use and manage. Yes, you have to be Everything in Google as a school, but if so, there are many advantages. The strange thing about Apple's K-12 strategy is that it completely ctradicts their approach elsewhere.

A few parts of Tim Cook's teachings go against the Apple model:

We believe that we must own and ctrol the primary technologies behind the products we manufacture and ly participate in markets where we can make an important ctributi.

Is Apple & # 39; s device management strategy in K-12 wrg? Device management is a crucial part of the iPad in K-12 and in enterprises, and they have actually outsourced it. Every new K-12 strategy that they have debuted in the past few years depends other suppliers to integrate. Apple has a healthy ecosystem around the iPad (and Mac) in schools and businesses, but I think they have made the wrg decisi in the lg run. It goes against why people like Apple products.

Imagine that Apple had not offered iCloud, and they told the users that they should get a Hotmail or Gmail account? In my opini, this has been their K-12 strategy in recent years. Yes, it is a more open ecosystem, but it makes their products more difficult (and more expensive) to implement and manage.

People love Apple products at home because it is an end-to-end soluti. They have their Macs, Apple TV & # 39; s, iPads, iPhes, iTunes Store, iCloud, etc. Schools want the same. They want scalability and easy management. At the moment, Google's model is easier for IT departments to manage and implement.

Every time Apple releases new announcements for K-12, external suppliers must provide support and IT can set up something new because the iPad can not be integrated into existing SIS or identity management systems. When Google publishes something new, it works with your existing G-Suite and hardware management. Which sounds more attractive to you?


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