Managing iPhones more easily

The iPhone continues to increase in popularity and it’s been more suitable for business since the launch of the 3GS, which added hardware encryption. However, configuring and deploying devices remains an issue. Apple’s iPhone management tools are primitive at best, and awkward for any business trying to manage a fleet of devices.

Trust Digital’s Enterprise Mobility Management tools aim to replace Apple’s, offering your customer either a local server for device management or access to cloud-based management services that you or a Trust Digital partner run for multiple customers.

With EMM, you set up all the device certificates and profiles in advance (tying them into Active Directory users, groups and roles). You can also set up VPN access and Wi-Fi permissions.

Device configuration uses a simple self-service over-the-air process. Users download a simple application from the Apple App Store, which authenticates them with the EMM service platform using their email address and password. The device then downloads appropriate certificates and device profiles, as well as setting up Exchange Active Sync management profiles. Once a phone has been configured, the EMM application ensures compliance. A self service portal helps users keep devices up to date, simplifying support tasks (and even allowing users to wipe lost or missing devices).

If you’re planning on supporting several businesses from one location, it might be economic to invest in an EMM starter kit at around $6,000. Alternatively, Trust Digital licences Managed Service Providers to host the system and manage smaller groups of iPhones as a service. According to Trust Digital, typical monthly fees for such a service are around $5 per device managed, which could give you an attractive service model.


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