Migrating to a new MDM provider is thought of to be a painful and tedious process. Of course, it’s not easy for IT Staff during iPad deployment as they need to understand how to assemble the big picture of school’s EdTech environment, while also managing and keeping track of all the small pieces that impact the process of switching MDM providers.
Which is why it’s so important to develop a migration plan! No worries, we’re happy to help you. Following these 3 simple steps and best practices, you’ll be able to develop your own customized MDM migration plan for your school or district. Be sure to invest time to build a strong plan – it will be well worth it in the long-run!
By closely supporting many schools and districts migrating from other MDM providers over the past few months, we’ve noticed the most successful educational institutions developed a strong migration plan based on 3 factors: Analysis, Testing, and Deployment Support. Check out the most successful IT Staff procedures to experience the most streamlined MDM migration:
This first step might be the toughest, as you need to evaluate your entire current mobile device landscape and identify the expectations of teachers and students before beginning. The analysis will provide you with guidelines for the best migration process, enrollment method, and management framework. The list below can help you remember the elements which may require more attention:
Take time to learn about the different methods of enrollment and registration, as well as the benefits each could offer. Don’t just try to use the easy way out. Sometimes the time invested up front is well worth it in the long-run.
If you chose an MDM solution offering a free trial period, enjoy it as much as possible! This is the time to test out the technical implementation in your school environment. Try small pilots with representative devices and users to explore the features of the solution. Get a feel for how everything will work by sending and applying different commands to the iPads of your test group.
Great tip: Simulate the application of commands in a regular classroom environment. You can follow a flow similar to this: the teacher creates a list of Study Apps and applies it to student iPads; they then open the Apple Classroom App to monitor the student iPad screens; towards the end of class apply App Lock in the subject-area app to provide students with extra practice.
During this time, also test your Network Infrastructure. Since the MDM uses the internet to communicate and send commands to the iPads, you will need to make sure your network is configured properly for the most efficient management. Through tests you might identify some issues and consider ways to resolve them before scaling your iPad deployment. By planning and conducting these tests, you’ll be able to effectively deploy your fleet of iPads within days.
After all of your testing is done, it’s time to scale the MDM migration. This moment is crucial: taking management from a few test iPads to the big picture of your entire school environment.
Remember: Follow all procedures that were validated during the analysis and testing phases. Be ok with investing the time to successfully complete the migration. After all, it’s important to make sure all of the school devices are setup to meet the needs of the school. Balance the timeline of your deployment with the ability to troubleshoot any issue that may occur.
You should plan to have the right amount staff needed to support and deal with any migration issues. These professionals must be able to report devices pre- and post-migration. This will help when trying to identify the problem during the migration process.
If the MDM provider offers personalized support, this can definitely help you during deployment. Support teams are well equipped to provide personalized best practices to accommodate your specific school environment. This type of support will be even more necessary if you’re needing to customize the configuration of various types devices, or if you’re deploying 1:1, BYOD and Shared devices simultaneously.
The schools with the most successful MDM migrations carefully plan the migration process based on the 3 steps outlined in this article. Remember: it’s ok to go back to the beginning to make sure all of your devices are setup just the way you want. And most importantly, balance the speed and the ability of IT Staff to solve any potential issues.
Lastly, the MDM solution will impact the results of the migration. Be sure the MDM provider is the right one for what you want to accomplish, has a high level of success with implementing commands, and ample amount of support for iPad deployments!
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