As you many have heard, Apple now offer an online management service for your iPad deployment. Known as Apple School Manager, it’s a free service that hooks into your mobile device management (MDM) solution to provide exciting new functions, and replaces two Apple solutions you may already be using: Volume Purchase Programme (VPP) and Device Enrolment Programme (DEP).
Depending on whether you’re using either, both or neither of these services, the route to enrol in Apple School Manager is slightly different. It’s important to be absolutely certain whether you’re using VPP, DEP, both or neither before you begin your upgrade, as any forgotten VPP and DEP accounts cannot be merged into School Manager at a later date. If you’re not sure which group you fall into, give us a call and we’ll help you work it out. If you’re certain you know which accounts you use, here’s how to upgrade.
What are the changes?
The Volume Purchase Programme (Apple’s bulk app purchasing portal – a kind of App Store for schools) and Device Enrolment Programme (a much faster way to set up iPads than the original method of using a Mac with Configurator software on it) have merged together into Apple School Manager (ASM). Using ASM, you will also be able to assign roles for students and staff members, and also create Managed Apple IDs for everyone very easily.
If you don’t have a VPP or DEP account
If you’re new to Apple’s Deployment Programmes and don’t have an account, other than perhaps a standard iTunes Apple ID, then the process is simple:
1. Go to the Apple School Manager portal.
2. Click the ‘Enrol your institution now’ link at the bottom of the log in window.
3. On the next screen, fill in all of the fields and click ‘Continue’.
4. If you are looking after this application for your school, add your own contact details in section two. If this is not your job, enter the details of the person who will be looking after the iPad deployment.
5. Section three asks for the contact details of someone who can verify that you have the authority to apply to join Apple School Manager, and who can sign the terms and conditions once the application is processed – this is typically your headteacher. If you are the headteacher, it might be best to fill out section two with someone else’s details – an office manager, business manager or IT coordinator, perhaps.
6. Submit the application and wait for Apple to contact both of you. Please be sure to check for emails regularly. If Apple email and you don’t respond, it can cause long delays.
If you already have a DEP account but not VPP
First of all, please check very carefully before doing anything. Not to labour a point, but it’s very rare indeed that a school would have DEP but not VPP (although not impossible). If you are absolutely sure you’re using DEP without VPP, then log into the Apple School Manager portal and type in your DEP login credentials. Simply follow the instructions there to upgrade.
If you already have a VPP account but not DEP
If you enrolled into VPP before February 2014, your account will need to be modified by Apple before it can be upgraded to an Apple School Manager account. If the account is newer than that, you can upgrade it immediately.
If you’re not sure how old your VPP account is:
1. Go to deploy.apple.com and see if your VPP login works there.
2. If it does work, open up VPP from there, and you should see the window asking you to go ahead and upgrade.
3. If your login doesn’t work, you need to contact Apple to perform the modification.
To contact Apple, follow the instructions listed under the ‘If your school doesn’t have an existing Apple Deployment Programmes account’ in this support document. Your old VPP account should then be added to Apple’s deployment systems.
If you already have both VPP and DEP accounts
If you have both accounts, you need to work out whether they are both registered as a single institution account at Apple, or separate accounts.
Typically, if you applied for VPP first and it was prior to February 2014, it is likely that the two accounts will be completely separate at Apple, and will need to be merged before you upgrade. If you don’t merge them, there is a risk that your VPP account will get left out when you upgrade from DEP to ASM, and you’ll never be able to merge the two.
To ensure that all existing accounts are consolidated before triggering the upgrade:
1. Firstly, write down all of the account logins which you are aware of, for both VPP and DEP. This includes all programme agents, admins, managers and facilitators. Make sure you know what they all are.
2. Next log into your DEP account at deploy.apple.com. If you are presented with an invitation to upgrade to Apple School Manager, ignore it for now by clicking the X ‘Close’ symbol.
3. Click on Admins in the top left of the window. Only the top level administrator, or ‘Agent’ for the account can see the Admin section, so if you can’t see it you are not the senior administrator.
4. Check the list very carefully. Are all of the logins you have listed there, or are some of them missing?
5. If all of them are listed, including your VPP logins, then both DEP and VPP are included in the Apple Deployment Programme, and you can proceed with the upgrade.
6. If some accounts are missing (typically these will be VPP accounts), then you will need Apple to consolidate them all before you upgrade.
– To get Apple’s assistance to merge your accounts, follow the instructions in this article.
– Head to the ‘If your school has an existing Apple Deployment Programmes account’ section and use the form here to request that Apple merge your accounts.
– On the form, use the email address for the person charged with working with Apple as the contact email, but in the ‘Please tell us more about the issue’ box, give the email address for the main DEP Programme Agent (manager or top level admin) as your DEP login, and then explain that you would like to consolidate the other account or accounts into this main one. List all of the logins which did not show up when you checked in step five above.
– Apple will send an email to the main DEP email address in order to verify that the Programme Manager approves the change, so please keep checking that inbox.
– Apple may need to contact all of the people listed in your accounts. Please remind all contacts to check for emails regularly. If Apple email and you don’t respond it can cause long delays.
7. Once Apple have verified by email that all accounts are consolidated, repeat steps two to six in the previous list to be certain all your logins are showing now.
8. Go ahead with the upgrade once all accounts are together. Log back into your DEP account at deploy.apple.com and if the Upgrade window fails to pop up, there’s an upgrade option bottom left.
During the upgrade, providing all accounts are merged in this way, Apple confirm that all VPP and DEP tokens, app licences and book licences will be ported into Apple School Manager, which should leave any MDM solution unaffected and fully operational. VPP and DEP accounts will continue to work until the upgrade is actioned by Apple, at which point all previous accounts will be active only through the School Manager portal here.
What if I’m still unsure?
We are recommending that everyone takes advantage of the new functionality offered by Apple School Manager, so if you need help to enrol or to upgrade (as well as MDM options, ways of purchasing apps without a credit card, or anything iPad-related), please do contact your Jigsaw24 Education Manager directly, or get in touch on the details below and we will advise you how to proceed.
Want to know more about Apple School Manager? Give us a call on 03332 409 290 or at education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.