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How to best manage company iPhones and iTunes accounts?

Posted on 2013-01-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-02-12
Our company is about to change from BlackBerry devices to iPhone's

I need suggestions how to best manage all the devices and itunes accounts.
My primary concerns are:
1) iTunes software installed on company workstations.
2) Installation of Apple services running on the workstations / slowing the PC down.
3) Can I have one itunes account for the company or department, then authorise multiple iphones?
4) How to I control apps purchased for business and apps they purchase for personal or leisure (music).
5) Rolling out installation of business apps?  (wirelessly?)

I'm sure there is a sensible and efficient way to roll out iPhones in a corporate environment.

Please advise.
Question by:Mchallinor
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Assisted Solution

alphaphaedrus earned 750 total points
ID: 38806260
1) you can disable the itunes store through blocking the site on webfiltering.
2) Bonjour services typically do run on startup, but hindering a workstation's performance I have not seen yet.
3) For each iPhone you will want a separate itunes account. You can activate each iPhone with one itunes account, but you will need to give each iPhone their unique name.
4) Controlling company and personal apps, I am unaware of this, but there maybe some kind of management console for this.
5) If you have each user's itunes account and password, when they are on your wireless network privately you can push the app through itunes.
LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38806294
Looking at number 2 and number 4 together, I would be inclined to have iTunes on each computer. If you wish to allow personal items, the user could have an account for that, and then the "corporate account"  for that user would be for company material. You could also dis-allow personal purchases at work on company phones. It could be a grey area. Certainly users should pay for anything personal.

The issue with blending personal and company purchases is "Who owns the stufff?"  The company owns the phone and the user may lose control of it. So while I still think iTunes on each computer is best, once again, you may wish to disallow personal purchases for company phones.

So then to number 2 (Installation of Apple services running on the workstations / slowing the PC down.)  - That has not happened to me (my computers or client computers). Apple software does not seem to slow things down.

With respect to rolling out apps wirelessly, it does work. I always make certain to purchase and update apps at iTunes and then sync back to iPhone. That ensures iTunes knows about all the purchases. You can sync wirelessly. I still like the reliability of the USB cable supplied.

.... Thinkpads_User
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

choward16980 earned 750 total points
ID: 38806299
This is what you want:

LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 38806498

If these are corporate devices, you could consider forcing a connect all policy and use a VPN to terminate on your network boundary. You can then configure Safari to use your existing web-proxy/content filtering to restrict what they can access via the web and through the device.

By specifying a tunnel all policy on the device, they won't be able to 'split out' except for the push notification services which bypass the VPN anyway.

You can then block the relevant services, device drivers and applications on your work PCs to prevent them running itunes on those.

You can even enable restrictions on the device before handing it to users and disable options that way - without the passcode they cannot re-activate them?



Author Closing Comment

ID: 38879715
The work PC's don't need iTunes.  The phones can be controlled by loading "Configuration Profiles" with the iPhone Configuration Utility http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1466
This makes easy set up and deployment of iPhones if you have > 10 phones to roll out in a corporation.  The Configuration Utility is great for setting up your office Wifi hotspots and the  MS Exchange details for connecting Mail.
All the phones have been set up with an iTunes account so that business apps can be loaded on by the IT department.  If the user wants games and non-business apps they can create their own iTunes accounts.

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