My take on Mobile Device Management (aka MDM) changes with iOS 10

Yesterday Apple has shown what new capabilities are planned (it’s still beta, so things may change as we know) in the Mobile Device Management space for iOS 10.

 

My personal takeaway is: all focus is on education and less on enterprise this year.

And this is nothing unexpected. Anyone remember the massive launch of Apple for School in spring? Apple introduced major changes to iOS and supporting systems – outside of a major release. That was huge. And WWDC shows the benefits and the future enhancements of this initiative.

 

But what I’m mostly interested in are the general MDM capabilities, those which are used at companies of any size. This year there aren’t that many changes.

Here’s a list of the – in my opinion – most notable ones:

  • Per PIM data account (like ActiveSync, Google, LDAP) one can define a default application for outgoing voice. Means you can set your favorite VoIP app here. It doesn’t affect incoming calls AFAIK (see “The missing change” below).
  • PPTP VPN won’t be longer supported. So if you’re using it – make sure you’ve an alternative ready in September.
  • Same applies to the support of MD5 for SCEP-Servers. It’s probably not longer valid for most MDM vendors – but you should change to 3DES or AES asap.
  • Again Apple is moving some restrictions from “for all devices” to “supervised devices”.

You can watch the complete session or read the slides for free.

 

The missing change

Those companies which have decided to use a separate app for their PIM data, i. e. SalesforceIQ or IBM Verse, are facing the challenge that also the included contacts are not available on incoming calls. It’s a big inconvenience for the users – the price for securely containerized data.

I had hoped for this to change with iOS 10 when I heard the first rumors about the above mentioned “default application for audio”. It is a first step though – hopefully the second one with a “back-in-the-app” integration for voice will come later.