Why DEP and VPP gave way to Apple School/Business Manager


puzzle pieces connectingEvery industry has its fair share of acronyms and you may have heard terms like DEP, VPP, zero-touch deployment, etc., but what does it all really mean?

Well, wonder no more! Today is the day we clear up the Apple vernacular and help you leverage the right programs to get the absolute most out of your Apple devices.

Traditional Apple programs

What is the Device Enrollment Program (DEP)?

Apple’s Device Enrollment Program is a service that automates the configurations of new Mac, iPad, iPhone or Apple TV devices and enrolls them into a device management solution. Commonly referred to as zero-touch deployment, DEP takes the time-consuming task of imaging machines and manual device configurations and drastically streamlines.

Without ever touching the device, IT can tailor Apple hardware to each user. The user simply unboxes the new device, powers on, and after walking through the Setup Assistant, all the appropriate settings and management are in place without them needing to do a thing.

What is the Volume Purchase Program (VPP)?

Apple’s Volume Purchase Program allows organizations and schools to buy apps in bulk from the App Store. When paired with a device management solution, VPP empowers organizations to manage apps to organizational standards and easily distribute them directly to a Mac, iPad, iPhone or Apple TV — all without requiring an Apple ID.

Plus, it’s a budget saver. As needs change, simply reassign and redistribute apps.

That was then, this is now

For years, these Apple deployment programs empowered organizations and schools to quickly ready devices for their users and (pre) load them with all the apps and resources necessary to be productive.

But, in typical Apple fashion, good enough is never good enough. Why require two programs when one will do the trick? Enter Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager.

Modern Apple programs

What is Apple School Manager?

With the power of DEP and VPP rolled into one education service, along with a few new bells and whistles, schools can use Apple School Manager and:

  • Create Managed Apple IDs and dynamically update user information for students, teachers and staff, as well as organize classes through integration with their Student Information System (SIS).
  • Automate device enrollment, iPad and Mac deployment and app configuration so students are equipped with the learning tools they need the minute they turn on their education technology.
  • Set up iPads for shared use and allow students to log in to their device by tapping on their photo. Upon logging in, students pick up right where they left off and enjoy a personalized experience on a shared device.
  • Give teachers the ability to utilize Apple’s Classroom app and guide students to the appropriate learning resource or website, share work to an Apple TV and perform routine management tasks such as password resets.

What is Apple Business Manager?

With substantial expansion in the enterprise through employee-choice programs, Apple created Apple Business Manager (a combination of DEP and VPP) to make it easier than ever to manage the influx of Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV devices hitting organizations around the globe. Through the power of Apple Business Manager, organizations have one portal to:

  • Automate device enrollment and configuration so employees can get to work as soon as they power on their device.
  • Find, purchase, personalize and distribute apps and books in volume directly to macOS, iOS and tvOS devices — with or without an Apple ID.
  • Set restrictions and leverage built-in Apple device security to keep content and apps from being utilized in unmanaged destinations.
  • Delegate admin privileges and manage content across locations.

Original article written by Daniel Weber, Jamf 


Topics: Enterprise Mobility Management, security posture, MDM, device deployment