Apple Ups Its Game In The Enterprise With Business Features In iOS 7

Apple Ups Its Game In The Enterprise With Business Features In iOS 7

In a bid to solidify their offering for the Enterprise, Apple have added a number of features aimed for its business customers in their latest update to iOS.

The business features in iOS 7 focus heavily on improving security for corporate data and privacy for users, as well as making configuring and deploying iOS devices easier for IT. Improved methods for purchasing, distributing and managing apps have also been included, to help IT departments handle both corporate and third-party apps.

To see how iOS 7 improves the management and end user experience of iPhones and iPads, check out our summary below!

Security and Privacy

Managed Open In

iOS 7 aims to improve the protection of corporate data by allowing IT to control which apps and accounts are used to open documents and attachments. This feature helps IT address the difficult issue of keeping personal and corporate data separate, by ensuring work documents are only accessed in corporate apps and personal documents are kept out of managed apps.

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Per app VPN

For those apps that require Virtual Private Networking (VPN) functionality, IT can configure these apps to automatically connect to VPN when they are launched. This feature also gives IT more control over how iOS devices access the corporate network. It ensures data transmitted by managed apps travels through VPN and other data such as an employee’s personal web browsing activity does not.

Third-Party App Data Protection

Continuing with the data protection theme, iOS 7 provides IT with peace of mind that corporate data is secured without additional configuration using the user’s passcode. The user’s passcode is leveraged to create a strong and unique encryption key, which protects information stored in App Store apps until the user first unlocks their device after each reboot. All third-party apps automatically have Data Protection active.

Mobile Device Management

App Store License Management

Once again focusing on corporate or managed apps, iOS 7 allows IT to assign apps to users while retaining full ownership and control over app licenses via the App Store Volume Purchase Program.

After purchasing app licenses through the Volume Purchase Program website, IT can assign these apps to employees over the air via their MDM solution. For the end user, they can enroll with their personal Apple IDs without providing it to their company, with the apps being placed in their purchase history for self-service download, or automatically installed through MDM. IT can retain control of which users apps are assigned to, by being able to revoke and reassign apps at any time.

Mobile Apps

New MDM Configuration Options

To further improve IT’s ability to manage a fleet of mobile devices (whether corporate issued or BYO), the MDM protocol in iOS 7 includes a number of new commands, queries and configuration options to enhance third-party MDM solutions. The new MDM configuration options allow you to set up managed apps, install custom fonts, configure accessibility options and AirPrint printers and whitelist AirPlay destinations.

Streamlined MDM Enrollment

iOS 7 also makes it easier to enroll corporate owned devices in the MDM solution. During activation, corporate owned devices are automatically enrolled, which, for IT, means that they can skip the basic setup steps and fully configure the devices with corporate settings and policies quicker. For users, this means they’re up and running faster so they spend less time on the phone to or in the IT department. It can also supervise devices over the air, which provides additional controls for highly managed deployments.

User Experience

Enterprise Single Sign On

To streamline the user’s experience, iOS 7 offers Enterprise Single Sign On (SSO). SSO allows user credentials to be used across apps, including apps from the App Store, which each new app configured with SSO verifying user permissions for enterprise resources. This also means users are not required to reenter passwords, saving time and possible frustration.

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Improved Mail

It’s no secret that many enterprise users spend a lot of time in the Mail app on their iOS devices. So, any improvements to the experience are always welcome. Mail has been totally redesigned and makes use of new systemwide gestures to streamline the experience. The Mail app includes new features such as being able to add and recognise smart mailboxes in the mailbox list and view PDF annotations. The search function has also been redesigned to make finding the information you want even easier. If the organisation is using Microsoft Exchange 2010, users can also now sync notes with Outlook on their Mac or PC.

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