Here are a few best practices so that you get started down the right path with Bushel:
•When you create an account, you’ll create a company url for enrolling devices in the future (i.e. company.bushel.com). Just keep in mind that this address is what you’ll share with employees if they need to enroll devices so shorter is better than longer but logical is also helpful.
•When you activate your account, you’ll link with Apple’s Push Notification Service (APNS). Whatever Apple ID you use to link with APNS will be required to renew annually. You may choose to link it to a company email address instead of an individual email address. Many people create a company email for this purpose, something like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Just know that whatever Apple ID you use for APNS will be needed each year to renew.
•When you create a free Volume Purchase Program (VPP) account with Apple (http://www.apple.com/business/vpp/), you will create a separate Apple ID. Apple requires this ID to be unique for the Volume Purchase Program. It cannot match any existing ID used for iTunes so I recommend creating your VPP Apple ID while signing up for the program. Again, you may choose to use a company email vs an individual email because there’s annual renewal here as well. Many companies create an email that looks something like firstname.lastname@example.org for this purpose.
While these aren’t deal-breaker details, they can definitely make your life a lot less stressful once you roll into the deployment and you happen upon that first year of renewals with Apple’s various programs. We have a number of video tutorials on our YouTube channel as well: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfJ5xon9jky9fM12vhdYj2A
There are a staggering amount of smartphone thefts each year. Apple is prepared. They have addressed the growing trend by releasing groundbreaking features to secure not only your device, but to take a long-term approach to securing the ecosystem with Activation Lock. Activation Lock is meant to greatly reduced the number of iPhones stolen each year by making devices devoid of value if stolen. Activation Lock ties an Apple ID to a device, so if the device is stolen, the device is useless. This can be an annoyance when businesses get locked out of their own devices once an employee leaves their organization. This means they are not able to reuse the devices and must suffer the associated costs or have someone go to an Apple Store to get devices unlocked.
With Bushel’s latest update, this challenge businesses face is a problem of the past. Bushel now supports Activation Lock Bypass, a feature allowing businesses to reactivate these locked devices and put them back to work. We are happy to support this new feature at no additional cost. And to outline the why of Activation Lock Bypass, we’ve created this infographic!
Deploying Apple devices in your business is exciting but can also be a bit intimidating. We’re here to help. Below, we’ve listed a step-by-step guide to deploying Apps to your iPhones, iPads and Macs the right way. Adopting some simple best practices will help you avoid headaches down the road and will take about 20 minutes.
Here we go!
Sign up for Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and Device Enrollment Program (DEP). It doesn’t take long to do this and your Apple Business Team will be able to assist you. We recommend starting with VPP (you’ll want to create a generic company Apple ID for this): vpp.itunes.apple.com. Work with your Apple Business Team to find out if the DEP is right for your business.
Purchase your business Apps in the VPP store. Even free Apps should be “purchased” this way (it’ll make things easier, trust us). Be sure to select the “Managed Distribution” option.
Sign up for Bushel. This takes about five minutes and it’s completely free to sign up: signup.bushel.com.
Upload your VPP token from Apple to Bushel (this file is available for download in the “account” section of your VPP account).
Invite users to take advantage of the Apps you distribute with Bushel in VPP section of the Account tab. You only have to do this once and you don’t need to know their Apple ID. Just put in any email address they use and they will receive an invitation which asks them to log in with their Apple ID.
Rest easy. Your users can use their own Apple ID, get the Apps they need and your business maintains ownership of the Apps.
So you’ve been through our features page and you’ve seen our marketing messages. You’re sold. But you have someone else that needs to approve this whole Bushel thing: the owner of a company who decided to buy Macs, the director of your department who tasked you with locking down your iPads, investors who are funding your initiatives and want to see devices secured. So really, what are the benefits that Bushel provides that these people care about? And how do you describe the total cost of this initiative?
Let’s address the benefits first. The four areas most decision makers care about tend to include the following:
You need to quickly setup devices. This includes adding devices to your Bushel account, pushing apps to devices, automatically configuring email accounts and automatically configuring settings on the devices to make them as secure as possible.
You need to be able to lock down a Mac, iPad or iPhone if that device gets lost or stolen. When devices fall outside your control we give you the ability to secure them. Remove your data, lock a device or wipe.
You need to be able to be able to make a quick report on what devices are floating around out there. This inventory includes warranty status, serial numbers, capacity, model and other information (including IMEI if you’re doing enterprise app distribution). We keep track of all that. And we let you export it to Excel, Xero or Quickbooks so you can quickly report information to your boss.
You need to consistently know that your devices have the appropriate apps. You have loaded up devices with apps only to have staff turnover and wiping devices cause you to have to buy a whole new set of apps. We let you smartly manage what apps go to what Apple IDs.
A lot of people make decisions based on cold hard cash. So consider this, if you setup 10 iPads by hand, it’s likely to take about half an hour each to load them up with apps, configure security settings and get your inventory of serial numbers and the such into a spreadsheet. That’s about 5 hours. Bushel costs $2 per month, per device. And after the devices are in the hands of your coworkers, you can remotely control them, saving you tons of time when you decide to start using new apps, move your email to a new mail service, add a new wireless network to the office or one of the other many, many things that our customers do on a monthly basis.
In short, Bushel saves you time, makes you more nimble and gives you oversight over all of your devices. Because as a small business, we love small businesses and want to help see you spend your time building an awesome company, rather than get mired in the monotony of setting up and managing Apple devices.