The Opus hotel in Vancouver made a somewhat shocking announcement last week. The hotel was ripping the landline phones out of its rooms and replacing them with iPhones. While that seems extravagant, it’s actually a rather brilliant plan.
The hotel, which already offers guests an iPad that can act as a concierge service, points out that offering guests, particularly international guests, an iPhone adds a lot of value. In addition to the value for customers, Apple’s free iOS management tools could make implementing such a program simple and relatively inexpensive – beyond the cost of the iPhones themselves anyway.
Apple quietly updated its Apple Configurator utility that businesses and schools can use to manage iOS devices. The update brings with it relatively little new functionality to the free tool. Instead it focuses mainly on reliability and performance improvements. The update does, however, introduce some options for handling user content and user-installed apps.
One of the ways that working in education is different from almost any other industries is the annual summer break. The summer break let’s schools and districts tackle large projects in ways that simply aren’t possible in other fields. Deploying a brand-new network, building an expansion, and taking part in professional development programs are just a few examples.
With the end of the school year, Apple is taking the opportunity to remind schools and educators about a free professional development program that it’s offering. Called the Tune In Series, the program is a series of webcast events covering the iPad and many of the technologies that Apple introduced during its education event in January. The series is running every week through the end of August.
May is Mobile Management Month at Cult of Mac, where we will be profiling a different mobile management company every weekday. You can find all previous entries here and read our Mobile Management manifesto here.
JAMF specializes in Apple management technologies. The company Casper Suite is a full featured Mac client management solution as well as an iOS device management product. Being devoted specifically to Apple technologies, JAMF is able to include features not found in other products at this time including the ability to integrate with Apple’s enterprise sales and warranty system known as GSX, the ability to distribute ebooks to iOS devices, and deployment workflows that integrate with Apple Configurator.
While Casper Suite is an excellent option for organizations that are predominantly or completely Apple-based, organizations with a mix of desktop and mobile platforms may find the product somewhat limiting. In addition to Casper Suite for Mac and iOS management, JAMF also offers Mac enterprise deployment and asset management tools. Finally, it’s worth noting that JAMF offers significant licensing discounts for education institutions implementing Casper Suite.
Apple has released the first update for its free iOS Apple Configurator tool. Configurator, which we’ve covered in-depth since its release last month, allows organizations to mass configure and deploy iPads. The software works best as a stand-alone management solution for iOS devices that are shared among multiple users but it can also be part of a wider mobile management strategy.
The update includes a handful of bug fixes as well as a couple or major changes to the ways that Configurator works with app and ebook purchases.