There are three big topics that generate the most frequently asked questions for our support team and they revolve around VPP, DEP and APNs. I like alphabet soup as much as the next person, but it can get pretty confusing when you are trying to understand how those terms relate to Apple mobile device management. Let’s take a look at these acronyms and what they mean:
APNs stands for Apple Push Notification service. An APNs certificate allows Bushel to communicate with your devices. When MDM commands need to be sent to your managed devices, APNs tells your devices to check in. The MDM then sends any new commands or notifications to the devices you have enrolled. APNs maintains a constant connection with your devices, allowing Bushel to manage your devices collectively.
VPP stands for Volume Purchase Program. VPP allows you to buy apps in volume from the App Store, sync them with Bushel, and deploy them to your devices. Apps purchased through VPP are owned by the company that the VPP account is associated with. The company retains the licenses for the apps and can redistribute them to new employees or devices. VPP can be used to deploy apps to users with an Apple ID or directly to devices without an Apple ID.
DEP stands for Apple’s Device Enrollment Program. Using DEP, your Mac and iOS devices will automatically enroll in Bushel the first time they are turned on. DEP also enables over the air Supervision for iOS, which is a special mode that unlocks deeper device management capabilities. Devices might be eligible for DEP when ordered through Apple or authorized resellers who support DEP.
To be a successful small business owner, you don’t need to be an accounting expert; you can outsource that. But you do need a solid grasp of basic accounting concepts. As a small business owner, you need more than an intuitive feel for the performance of your business. Understanding a few basic Accounting 101 concepts goes a long way towards keeping the goals for your company in alignment with your performance. Here are 5 accounting concepts to get you started:
The balance sheet
A great place to start, when evaluating the performance of an organization is how to decipher a balance sheet. At a minimum, you should understand assets and liabilities, and how they relate to one another. Assets are what you own, which includes contracts you haven’t taken payment on. Liabilities are debts, as well as goods and services that you have taken payment for that you must contractually deliver.
A basic equation to calculate the worth of your company is to take your assets and subtract your liabilities, with what’s left being your equity. Putting this on paper results in a balance sheet. This provides you a quick overview of your organization. Lots of cash on hand and little debt means a strong balance sheet. High debt and low cash means a weak balance sheet. The balance sheet drives long term decisions on where to invest your resources.
A Profit and Loss statement (or P&L for short) provides a good idea of how you’re doing at any given point in time. The P&L indicates the cost of sales, margins on each product, and costs that impact margins. Those costs include inventory, shipping, manufacturing, etc. The more granular these become, the more data-driven you can get with establishing the cost of products. Every P&L includes net income. The net income is a statement about the profit you made; you know, the reward for your investment!
The cash flow statement
For small business owners, cash is king. Cash is a cushion for when, not if, your business suffers a setback. Cash should cover the operational costs of running a business for a period of time (each organization has a different outlook on how long that might be). The key to understanding cash flow is the statement of cash flows.
Consider the statement of cash flows as the connection between a balance sheet and income statement. The statement of cash flows explains how your net income transformed into net cash over a given amount of time. The statement of cash flows divides activities into three categories: operations, investment, and financing. Initially organizations have cash from ongoing operations, but as you grow, you’ll also manage cash from investment and operations. You usually pay taxes on at least some of that cash and take deductions from those investments and operations.
As a small business owner, you need to understand taxes. Most organizations need to minimize their tax burden as much as possible and that’s where your knowledge of accounting can really pay off – you’ll understand the tax advantages of different legal structures (e.g. a corporation vs. a sole proprietorship), and about the potential tax savings that are available to small business owners.
Pro forma projections
Accounting is a story of the past and the present. The pro forma is a projection of future performance based on past performance. Pro forma projections enable you to project how your business will do in the future. Projections are critical, as they allow you to make informed decisions about staffing, delivery, and the value of lines of business.
At the end of the day, most small businesses will outsource accounting so don’t get too hung up on all the accounting jargon or the finer points of different depreciation methods. But if you have a basic understanding of the three core financial statements, and have a good idea of what they tell you about future performance, you’re on your way to becoming a successful small business owner!
Lost Mode is Bushel’s latest security feature and is available to all supervised devices. Lost Mode allows a Bushel admin to change the status of a device if it is ever lost or stolen. Furthermore, a message of your choice is displayed on the device’s lock screen and Bushel captures the devices current location. This can improve the chances of recovering lost or stolen devices by remotely locking a device and collecting its location—all without compromising employee or student privacy.
For example, if you misplace your iPad and would like to put it into Lost Mode, you would navigate to that device in Bushel and click on the menu box (…) on the far right. In the dropdown, select ‘Enable Lost Mode’.
A modal window will pop up asking what you would like to display on the lock screen of the device. Enter a simple message, a phone number, a footnote with additional details and click ‘Enable’. Once Bushel is able to push that status command to the device, it is remotely locked and displays the message you entered on it’s lock screen.
On that device in Bushel, you will see a new card show up that displays the current information regarding it’s lost status. That card will look something like this:
This card allows you to disable Lost Mode once the device is found, update the location of the device and get a history of where the device has been while in Lost Mode. Once Lost Mode is deactivated, location information is purged from Bushel.
In order to take advantage of Lost Mode, your devices must be managed. This can be accomplished in one of two ways; using Configurator 2 or through Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP). Apple’s DEP not only manages your devices, it also ensures that an end-user does not remove the Bushel MDM profile from the device. To learn more about DEP, Supervision and Lost Mode, visit our Help Center.
With our latest release, Bushel now makes it easier to manage your app deployment with Blueprints in the same way you already manage settings, restrictions, and wallpaper. That means that deploying an app will be as easy as adding it to a Blueprint!
One of the best things about Blueprints is how they allow you to go hands-off when it comes to managing your Apple deployment. You can spend the time up front to define how you want your various devices configured, building a unique Blueprint for each type of configuration.
When it comes time to enroll devices, employees can use Open Enrollment and select from available public Blueprints. Open Enrollment is the easiest way to enroll all of your existing iPads, iPhones and Macs into Bushel. This will deliver all of the correct settings from the selected Blueprint, including apps!
Take your deployment to the next level by integrating with Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) for streamlined device enrollment. With DEP, you can pre-assign different Blueprints to your new hardware, even before it arrives. When those new devices show up at the office, simply turn them on. They will automatically enroll into Bushel and each device will receive the appropriate configuration from your various Blueprints.
Easily Repurpose Devices
Thanks to Blueprints, changing the complete configuration of a device has never been easier. The simple step of moving a device to a new Blueprint kicks off the entire process automatically. Everything from Email settings to Wi-Fi networks and Wallpaper change when a device moves between Blueprints. Now, with our latest release, Apps will automatically change to reflect the new Blueprint configuration as well.
Getting Started with Blueprints
While you still have a library of apps within Bushel, you will now use the Apps tab on Blueprints to deploy apps to your iPads, iPhones, or Macs. Take your app deployment to the next level by integrating with Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP). In addition to implementing free apps, VPP integration allows you to purchase and deploy paid apps. You can even deploy apps directly to devices, no Apple ID required! Talk about simple.
Blueprints offer a great way to deploy the standard set of apps that all of your employees need. There may also be devices that require some individual customization. Don’t worry, you won’t need to build a bunch of one-off Blueprints to accommodate these situations. If there are apps that only belong on one or two devices, you can deploy apps individually by clicking on any device and using the Apps tab on the individual iPad, iPhone, or Mac.
In February, we released Two-Step Verification (two-factor authentication) abilities within Bushel, along with a few other security enhancements. You might also know this feature as two-factor authentication — a great tool to secure critical accounts. To get you started, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to get up and running with Two-Step verification.
Like almost all applications that offer two-factor authentication, an authenticator app is required to utilize this extra layer of security. There are many authenticator app options out there and Bushel works will the majority of them, so go with your favorite. If you are new to two-factor, check out Authy or you can do a quick search in the App Store for ‘Authenticator app’. Keep in mind you will need to have this app present to login, so we recommend adding it to a device that will be accessing your Bushel account. Let’s get started!
Within the Security section, locate Two-Step Verification and click ‘Enable’.
A modal window will appear explaining the benefits and changes that will occur once you enable Two-Step Verification. If you are ok with everything this window says, click ‘Continue’.
For this next step you will need your authenticator app ready. A QR code will pop up. Within your Authenticator tool, scan the QR code or manually enter the code into your authenticator app.
Once you have successfully added Bushel to your two-factor authenticator app, click ‘Continue’ in Bushel.
The last step is to verify that your authenticator is working correctly. Bushel will ask you to input the 6-digit code that your authenticator app is currently displaying. Once you have typed in the code, click ‘Enable’.
Voila! You have successfully set up Two-Step Verification within your Bushel account. Now, each time you log in to Bushel, you will now be asked to input your code that is displayed in your authenticator app for increased security.
Important: Enabling Two-Step Verification on a device turns it into the only “key” that can access your account. Losing the device or wiping it will result in you getting locked out of your account.