This week Apple announced an expansion of the Volume Purchase Program [VPP] into eight new territories worldwide (Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Poland, Portugal, and South Africa). This opens up new opportunities for businesses, education, developers, resellers, and IT administrators.
VPP allows business and educational institutions to purchase apps and iBook content in volume and distribute them within their organizations. Developers can offer customized apps to clients who have VPP accounts. This makes it easy for large companies and institutions to purchase and deploy mass numbers of applications. If you are in charge of a number of iOS devices or Mac apps, be sure to check out Apple’s Distribute Apps in Volume page.
Apple hopes to bolster its position in the enterprise mobility management (EMM) market by expanding the VPP program which allows IT the ability to assign apps to specific devices. Apple has removed the requirement for every employee in an organization to have their own Apple ID, so admins will no longer have to worry about staff installing the same business apps on multiple devices. It is now possible for IT to send an app to a user’s corporate iPhone and not a personal iPad, for example. This new managed-distribution option lets IT departments pick the paths that work best for their organizations.The requirements for businesses are any business is eligible to enroll in the program, if VPP is available in your country. Interested organizations must provide a valid email address, phone number, work address and have a Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) number that matches the corporate information they provide during the enrollment process. Approved program members get access to a custom App Store with thousands of paid apps in categories such as business, productivity, finance and travel. Some books from Apple’s iBooks Store are available for purchase through the program, as well.
Apple allows multiple administrator accounts that give individuals the authority to purchase apps on behalf of their organizations. Apple puts no limit on the number of VPP administrator accounts businesses can have. The admins have authority to set limits and distribute as they see fit the company’s best interest. Admins can set up redeemable codes which are the equivalent of sending your staff gift cards for apps or iBooks (the codes are single use, which means an employer cannot reassign the license to another employee or device). VPP assigns apps to specific devices instead of employees so this eliminates the requirement to have an Apple ID (all devices need to be updated to the latest version of iOS).