Previous 1 2 Next 18 Replies Latest reply: Nov 26, 2012 3:40 PM by Stan53
JTChal Level 1 (0 points)

I do not fully understand the "Supervise" aspect of Apple Configurator.


Does supervising a device give you Over the Air capabilities you do not have without supervision? Can you then push apps to supervised devices accross the country that you could not otherwise do without supervision?


The Apple Configurator Manual reads:


"Set Supervision to Off if you want to configure a device once with Apple Configurator. Set Supervision to On if you intend to maintain control of a device on an ongoing basis by reapplying a configuration regularly."


What does it mean by "intend to maintain control of a device on an ongoing basis"? I plan on centrally configuring many iPads and shipping accross the country. I want to have the ability to track them and it would be nice if I could have them install apps from afar if need be...


But  I also read "when you configure a supervised device, you can't supervise it or sync it with any other computer running Apple Configurator or iTunes."


Does this mean that if I supervise a device and send it thousands of miles away to a teacher only to discover it is missing a few apps, the teacher will not be able to download the necesary apps?

iPad 2, iOS 5
  • gyrhead Level 3 (785 points)

    If you wish to do distributed OTA deployment  Configurator is not your tool .  You might want to look at the soon to be released Apple Mountain Lion server, the current Lion server profile manager, or a commercial MDM too.

  • JTChal Level 1 (0 points)

    My greatest concern remains being able to initially centrally configure new iPads on a mass scale. But, really, I suppose it would be better if at the begining of every subsequent school year, the teachers be able to update their own devices with new apps.

  • gyrhead Level 3 (785 points)

    Supervision in Configurator is designed for cart type classroom and lab deployments.

    Currently I use Configurator to prepare devices for teachers  and then I add them to a free cloud MDM (meraki) so I can manage them from afar.  Lion profile manager is also a reasonable low cost solution.  It really depends on how much control you want to exert over the devices and how you deploy paid apps.   I currently supply teachers with school created apple ids that both they and I control, so they can install free apps, and I provide them with redeem codes for additional VPP paid apps that they request ( after an approval process).  The initial prep step in Configurator applies wifi, vpn, etc. settings and also installs the generic apps we require on all the tablets. Student iPads are a different matter, with most being Supervised except where students are in a one to one scenario in which  the deployment is similar to the teacher set up.

  • JTChal Level 1 (0 points)

    How do you like Meraki and how does it compare to other MDM Solutions?

  • gyrhead Level 3 (785 points)

    It is free, easy to use, and allows me to remotely track installed apps, apply policies, locate devices, device usage and storage, remotely clear passcodes, set passcodes, etc. Again, it is free and very easy to use.  I have looked at Airwatch and Mobileiron among others and Airwatch looks very nice and there is a free trial but it will cost you hefty annual fees. 

    I plan on looking closely at Mountain Lion Server when it comes out in a few days. You might want to invest in a macmini and Lion - less that $1K.  

  • JTChal Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much. So far I've been asking about MDM in the context of a prolonged program. However, right now I am also confronted with a short term problem that I could really use your knowledge for:


    I deployed 28 iPads yesterday to one location. We configured them manually and only installed 3 apps on each one, all of which were free. We did not use VPP or Apple Configurator with it, because we do not have a mac yet and are only at the beginning steps of the program.


    However, those 28 iPads will now need to have potentially 300+ apps on them, and we need to send them redemption codes via the VPP.


    Sending them URLs via email and requiring them to click each one would be devastatingly burdensome.


    Is it possible for me to create a meraki account on my PC, have my teacher "enable Systems Manager on his devices" allowing him to "securely connect to Meraki’s cloud, enabling me to deploy applications."? In other words, will Meraki be able to use VPP codes and send entire packages of apps to all 28 devices without Apple Configurator? What would the teacher have to do on his end on his iPads?

  • gyrhead Level 3 (785 points)

    I am assuming the teachers have a unique apple id. You will have to set up an organizational account and obtain a push certificate ( free) from Apple and upload to Meraki. You will get a Meraki id number and you could have the teachers go the site and enter the id number for you organization to install the basic Meraki profile.  You will also have to set up your teacher profile with a tag.  You can then go to the app management part of the Meraki dashboard and add apps you want installed, both free and VPP, that will be installed on any device that has that tag in the profile.   You can copy and paste the VPP codes into the field from your VPP spreadsheet.

  • JTChal Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, as the program is in its infancy, we only have so many iPads and my initial thought was we would have our VPP ID and our company iTunes ID, at least at the beginning for this one 28 bunch of iPads...


    So the VPP code sharing is not automated?

  • JTChal Level 1 (0 points)

    The process of setting up a push certificate: how long does that take?


    The website instructs you to "Upload your Certificate Signing Request signed by your third-party server

    vendor to create a new push certificate."


    Would meraki be able to sign that and apple confirm the certificate in a day?

  • gyrhead Level 3 (785 points)

    The certificate process is online and automated.  If you run into errors Meraki should work for you without the certificate, it did for me.   When the teachers enroll the devices using the Meraki code you will receive you can assign their iPads "tags" and associate any apps, free and paid, that you want on their devices with that tag.  They will then get an automatic pop up saying that Meraki .... wants to install appXYZ, you will not be charged.

    They will have to enter appleid and password, and the app will install.  If it is vpp one code will be assigned each time.  When you set up the apps make sure you check off the setting to get the code back if the profile is removed.  You can see the inventory on each ipad with this service.

  • JTChal Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much for your continued support.


    Just to be clear, when you instruct me to check off the "get the code back" option, you are referring to an operation within Meraki, correct? For the current situation, we are not using Apple Configurator.

  • gyrhead Level 3 (785 points)

    That is correct - Meraki. 

  • cehl146 Level 1 (0 points)

    We enrolled our devices in Meraki but our serial #'s and LAN IP's etc.. are not showing up. Do you have any idea what I'm failing to do or the problem might be? We use Apple Configurator for the main setup and then apply Meraki Profile. Thanks for any info.

  • gyrhead Level 3 (785 points)

    Did you get a signed MDM push certificate from Apple for the Meraki profile? Go to Organization -settings in the Meraki dashboard to get the push certificate.

Previous 1 2 Next