Apple School Manager

Posted on: April 6, 2018

Next week marks Student Appreciation Week on campus. We have several initiatives underway that support students, and in the coming days we will see the launch of a new education support service, the Apple School Manager project. In addition to this sweet new offering, which makes connecting to campus easier with an Apple device, the week will be filled with sweet surprises for our student workers.

The “Apple School Manager” project is underway at our UT Service Desk. Apple School Manager is a service integration platform that ties point of sale data to end point management. When eligible Apple products are purchased, they can have an institutional identifier attached that automatically enrolls them with Apple School Manager. As products are enrolled within Apple School Manager, assignments to the Mobile Device Management infrastructure can be made by IT managers. Deployment of Apple devices and applications can then be automated and the following goals achieved:

·         Streamlining out of the box experiences for customers receiving new Apple devices

·         Securing inventory records for purchased products

·         Enforcing device configuration for compliance with security policies

·         Mitigating damage from loss of enrolled devices

  • Managing distribution and retention of app licenses       

Some other features of Apple School Manager also make it flexible enough for use in our federated IT environment. For example, the tool has role-based administration that facilitates delegation of duties among IT shops. Additionally, the tool uses Managed Apple IDs, which can be used to sign in to a personal or shared device and access Apple services. These IDs are designed to meet the needs of educational institutions, are owned/ managed by the school, and will help reduce use of personal Apple IDs for University business.

Colleges, schools, and units that wish to participate in Apple School Manager will gain the most benefit from this program if they already have a Mobile Device Management solution, such as Ivanti LANrev or Endpoint Manager. Fortunately, use of MDM solutions has become common on campus, and we plan some functionality testing when the Apple School Manager project reaches that stage of readiness.

Both ITS and our campus community are eagerly anticipating the launch of Apple School Manger as a service managed by the UT Service Desk this summer. The project is being led by Tier 2 Help Desk Specialist Thomas Pearce, with oversight from his Tier 2 IT Manager Scott Richardson.  Current penciled-in projections are for the Apple School Manager project to wrap in June.  Keep an eye out for updates!  If there are any questions about the Apple School Manager project, please reach out to Thomas Pearce (thomas@austin.utexas.edu; 512 475 9692) for answers!

In addition to making it easier for our campus partners to use their multiple Apple devices on campus, we are also celebrating our students next week. Throughout the week, our student workers will find many sweet treats and surprises as they come and go from work. Our students are invaluable, and we are so grateful for all they give to our IT environment. As Connie DiVincenzo notes: “Working with the students helps me to remember why I am here; I love the higher education environment, and teaching and learning doesn’t stop at the classroom door.  My students bring a fresh perspective on things, and I enjoy mentoring them, helping them to become ready for their life after college.” Couldn’t agree more!!

 

Thank you to all of our students!