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3 Best Practices for Migrating your MDM

Check out these tips about Installing Apps, Network Infrastructure and DEP that will make your MDM migration a breeze!


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Changing an MDM solution in the school environment creates specific challenges for IT Staff. We’ve already mentioned how important it is to build a plan for MDM migration. We’ve been learning a lot while working closely with our schools to support iPad deployments - and it’s certainly been a delight!

Working side by side with IT Staff and Technology Coordinators and Directors we’ve noted some best practices when switching MDM solutions. Obviously there are many specific details pertaining to the particular environment of each school – which is why we offer personalized support, to help promote the ideal MDM migration.

But, there are some best practices that apply to a wide range of educational institutions. For this reason, we’re sharing 3 best practices to make MDM migration a breeze!

1. Pay Attention to Application and iBook Licenses

Installing apps can be a headache when deploying iPads in school environments due to some changed game rules when running iOS 9.3 (or higher) - especially with the introduction of Managed Apple IDs and VPP (Volume Purchase Program).

In the past, many schools used Student (Under 13) Apple IDs to purchase apps directly from the App Store, or made use of redemption codes when purchasing apps through VPP. However, when transitioning to a new MDM a wipe/restart of the device is typically required.

Don’t be afraid! There’s a way to migrate these licenses to recover the paid-for apps, ensuring you do not lose any previously purchased content or licenses. When enrolling devices into a new MDM server, iPads will be restored back to factory settings.

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If redemption codes were previously used, you can contact Apple to request migration of your redemption codes to managed distribution. Since Apple provided the option for managed distribution of apps, many MDM solutions are no longer supporting redemption codes. Managed distribution provides users with the best possible management of app and book licenses - with the ability to assign and revoke licenses directly to/from users or devices when necessary. This ensures all licenses remain in the school's possession. To learn more and request migration, visit: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202863

2. Test your Network Configuration

Yes, the MDM solution uses WiFi connection to communicate with the iPads. By testing your Network Configurations, you can drastically reduce the possibility of devices getting stuck during the migration process. Of course, bandwidth matters when talking about network performance, but paying attention to proxy configurations is even more important. With your proxy, be sure you are allowing all required ports and domains so your firewall does not block the MDM.

3. Using DEP: Be Prepared to Wipe the Devices

The Device Enrollment Program (DEP) simplifies enrollment and supervision procedures, as well as device activation. There are many benefits of using DEP if your school is an Apple environment, but to highlight two of the most important benefits – with DEP, the MDM profile cannot be removed and IT Staff can take advantage of a zero-touch setup and configuration, saving a tremendous amount of time and energy!

But you need to be prepared – as well as teachers and students. When enrolling in an MDM using DEP, a wipe of the device is required. DEP profiles are only applied after the first reboot of the device, therefore if the device is not wiped and rebooted, the DEP profile will not be applied and the devices not enrolled in the MDM.

Due to compliance and security, we always recommend to select the option to not allow students to remove the MDM profile as well as a wipe of each device before enrolling.

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