Do you really need Apple Business Manager? | Blog

At Jamf, we often hear the question, “Do I really need Apple Business Manager (ABM) to manage my Apple devices if I already have mobile device management (MDM)?” While it depends on your current situation and what you want to achieve, the short answer is yes if you want to get the most out of your Apple devices.

To get into the long answer, ABM not only adds useful security options and supervision possibilities, but the overall user experience out of the box is unmatched. In addition to your MDM solution for filling the gaps, ABM (as well as Apple School Manager or ASM) provides a solid set of features to make managing your fleet easier.

When do i need an ATM?

For example, think about these 3 different scenarios where Apple Business Manager could help you:

  • Buy new devices or refresh old ones
  • The opportunity to refresh the device may not present itself for some time
  • The Apple hardware in your business is constantly increasing or you expect a big increase in the near future

All 3 scenarios can be reasons to combine Apple Business Manager and MDM to mitigate IT issues, control and support issues, create effective onboarding experiences, and improve end user productivity. Apple Business Manager alone is not a magic wand, but it integrates useful solutions and add-ons to save time, stress and effort.

What can it do?

Additionally, ABM is a free tool that functions as a database of your Apple purchases. It not only keeps track of devices, but also keeps track of your App Store apps and Apple IDs. For this reason, you can deploy apps to any Apple device without needing an Apple ID or having a Managed Apple ID on those devices (a standard Apple ID also works).

All new devices show up in Apple Business Manager right after purchase, and those devices can be assigned a name, user, groups, apps, and more, even before they’re shipped to your location, or better yet, directly. at the home of the end user. The end user then receives their new device, unboxes it, and starts it up – all without you ever having to touch it. Apple Business Manager will have already transmitted the serial number to your MDM and the rest is like magic. Apps, restrictions, settings and even PDF files will install seamlessly while the end user logs in for the first time and they can start working immediately.

Even if you aren’t investing in new Apple hardware right now, you can still request Apple Business Manager, set it up, configure it, and link it to your MDM to prepare for future additions to your fleet. Remember that if a device is erased, it will still reconnect to your Apple Business Manager after reinstalling the operating system, and therefore, will still be under your business control and equipped with the right tools.

Maybe a device has disappeared? If it is on and reinstalls the operating system, it will automatically add itself to your MDM instance and be under company control again.

Think of a business that continually grows its workforce and, in turn, increases its number of devices. With Apple Business Manager, they don’t have to manually add each device to their management system – it shows up right after purchase.

Note that iOS devices can also be added to ABM later through Apple Configurator 2 (a Mac app). This is not the preferred method, but it helps get older iOS devices or iOS devices purchased before Apple Business Manager is created with the same security and management options as the new ones.

So, at the end of the day, yes, you can use an MDM tool without ABM, but you’ll be missing out on a ton of useful features. It’s also a two-way street: you can have ABM without MDM, but then Apple Business Manager will only function as a database of serial numbers. In short, a combination of the two will give you the best experience.

Do you realize that you are missing Apple Business Manager? Contact your Apple representative to set things up.

Or maybe you have ABM and are looking to fully empower yourself with mobile device management?

Mary H. Martino