We are always working hard to enhance Bushel. Sometimes the changes are subtle. Sometimes, like today, the changes are much more substantial. Today, we released Blueprints and Bushel will never be the same – in a good way.
One of the biggest feature requests we receive is to be able to deploy different settings to different devices. While you can use Bushel to configure settings like Email, device security, and Wi-Fi networks, those same settings have always been applied to all devices.
We’ve heard your feedback and we’re doing something about it! With the new Blueprints framework in Bushel, you can now define different settings for different devices.
Configuring a Blueprint is (nearly) identical to what configuring Settings was like in Bushel of yesterday. In fact, your existing Settings have been automatically converted into “Blueprint 1.” All of your currently-enrolled devices are linked to this single Blueprint. That means nothing has changed for your current deployment.
With a click, you can create a second Blueprint. Or third, or more! Name it, customize it, deploy it. You can add devices to your new Blueprint. Mix and match Settings to your heart’s content. But we didn’t stop there.
Blueprints can be selected by new users during Open Enrollment, giving flexibility to your deployments out of the box. You can also make certain Blueprints private, hiding them from Open Enrollment and make them available only via a direct Open Enrollment link. You can even preassign Blueprints to devices before they come out of the box by integrating with Apple’s Device Enrollment Program.
To illustrate the potential of Blueprints, consider a scenario where some devices need a passcode and others do not. Or the scenario where some devices need the secure Wi-Fi network for the San Francisco office while other devices need the secure Wi-Fi network for the Cupertino office. With Blueprints in Bushel, you can mix and match settings to build as many different configurations as needed to support your deployment.
In short, Blueprints provide a flexible framework that makes Bushel even more helpful in more environments. We are excited to see how Bushel’s new Blueprint feature can help even more organizations transform their business with Apple technology.
Login to your Bushel account to explore Blueprints. You can also read more about Blueprints at our Help Center.
I’ve yet to see the perfect expense system. But I’ve seen some really bad ones that can crush a small business. These days, you should basically be able to make a report, review a report, export a report and track any potential violations to a policy that you make regarding reports. And you should be able to do all of this from an iPhone or iPad. The workflows can be pretty advanced or super-simple, according to the size of your team and the complexity of their needs. So here, we’ll look at a few recommended expense tracking apps and when you might use them.
As with many app-based workflows, I’d strongly recommend that you download an app, test it out, see what pain points still exist after you’ve used it and then move on to another minimum of two apps before communicating with your team that you’d like them to use a specific app. Then you should spend a little off time every year looking for a better mousetrap. To put things in perspective, when we were tracking expenses on spreadsheets in a consultancy I was at for a long time and moved to an app, it took the team about the same amount of time to track expenses in the app. But they turned them in faster, and it took me half the time to review the reports, allowing me to invoice customers. When we moved to Expensify, and people linked credit cards, they were doing reports in half the time and it again cut the time it took me to process them in half. Adding bill.com to the workflow meant they emailed the reports to <companyname>@bill.com from the Expensify app, I did a quick review and hit approve and sometimes same-day, the money showed up in their bank accounts. Then the bill.com data went to QuickBooks and I smiled. Great workflow. When we had 20 people on the road, it meant a day or more per week were recouped! Awesome sauce!
Expensify: Expensify is one of the best expense apps I’ve used. It’s free for many, with paywalls existing to do things like OCR integration (scan an expense and have the information automatically updated – which they call SmartScan). You can link your credit card to Expensify and use it as a stand-alone tool making simple reports. Reports can be accessed on the Expensify website, etc. You can also use Expensify to manage a team, with some pretty cool workflows. Expensify integrates with GPS and tracks mileage as well. As one who sometimes reviews and approves expense reports, I’ve also always really liked emailing the pdf of a report from in the app to a tool like bill.com for quick and easy review and payment of the reports. All of the workflows can be done on iPhones, thus enabling a lot of management of such things from airports while you’re on the road so when you get home you can focus on the kiddos! If you don’t have any expense management systems in place, I’d start reviewing here.
ExpenseCloud Mobile: ExpenseCloud Mobile is one of the easier expense tracking apps to use and integrates with QuickBooks, NetSuite, Intact, OpenAir and FreshBooks. ExpenseCloud Mobile. ExpenseCloud can import from credit cards and also allows for defining attendees, clients, receipt images, etc. You can also define policies and track violations. Nice and simple, with a clean UI. And if you are a small business outsourcing HR to TriNet, all the better, as they make it!
Concur: If you use Concur for booking travel, then this is the tool to use for tracking expenses. When you purchase tickets, book hotels, etc, the information flows into Concur pretty naturally. You can scan receipts, integrate with credit cards, track mileage, use policies, etc. It’s a good system and comes with lots of bells and whistles.
XpenseTracker – This app doesn’t have a ton of features. It can scan a receipt, categorize expenses, break expenses out into multiple reports and track mileage. But this is all a lot of people really need to do. It’s a nice, simple little app and easy to get your team up-to-speed on if they’re new to tracking expenses on an iPhone or iPad.
Expense Management Premium – This is very similar to XpenseTracker, but built for tracking any type of expense (not just to make an expense report) and can also build cute bar charts on the fly. Good stuff.
And the best part of all these apps, is that you can distribute any of them through the Apple VPP portal. Most are free, so you can distribute them whether you have a VPP token or not. Many also integrate with back-end cloud services, so you can log in from a desktop for a larger screen to do your number nerding. Enjoy!
Bushel brings a key set of MDM features to organizations that couldn’t embrace the technology before. So many tools that are available today require an IT department and significant resources to support a deployment. We wanted to change that landscape with Bushel by building a simple interface around a critical baseline set of Apple management features without some of the technical complexity. Let’s take a look:
Bushel integrates with Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) to enable zero-touch enrollment. That means that when your organization purchases DEP devices from Apple, you can associate them with your Bushel account in advance and they will automatically enroll when your end user turns on the device for the first time. And for any non-DEP Apple technology you have, we’ve built a simple Open Enrollment process to allow your employees to enroll into Bushel anytime, anywhere.
Bushel integrates with Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) to make App distribution painless. That means you can purchase Apps centrally and distribute them to employees, whether they own the hardware or you do. And if an employee leaves, or you decide to repurpose a device, you can reclaim and reassign that App to another person in the future. Note: you will need your organization’s DUNS number to setup a VPP account.
Bushel delivers critical security policies to all of the enrolled devices. That means you can ensure all devices interacting with company data are passcode-protected and encrypted. It also means that you can do a selective wipe of any company data that was delivered to an employee’s device without touching other content, like the camera roll or other apps.
Bushel allows you to enter company email settings once and automatically distribute them to all enrolled devices. Sometimes email settings can be hard to keep track of but with Bushel, your users will simply be prompted for their username and password; Bushel will take care of the reset. It means that your employees can gain access to essential work information immediately upon enrolling their devices into Bushel.
It’s important to keep an updated inventory of the technology that your organization has deployed. Bushel makes it easy to see all of your Mac, iPhone and iPad devices enrolled at any given moment. Bushel also integrates with Apple’s Global Service Exchange (GSX), which allows you to see current warranty information of any devices you have enrolled. And now that you have all of this information centrally available, you can export that data to your favorite accounting platform as well.
Sometimes your employees need an assist with their technology while on the go. Now you can remotely action an employee device anytime, anywhere. With Bushel, you can remotely reset a device passcode, lock or wipe a device. And if an employee leaves your organization, you can remotely un-enroll the device, immediately removing any company information that was delivered to that device.