The iOS 7 update, released in early September 2013, had dozens of new consumer-friendly features, but it also placed an emphasis on features and functionalities for businesses. It is no secret that this heightened enterprise focus has been driven by increased corporate support for smartphone use and apps of all kinds.
Why you ask? Our white paper, The New Mobile Business Communication Landscape, suggests that businesses are adopting technologies that mirror consumer behaviors (consumerization of IT), because both mobile policy adoption and enterprise mobility are on the rise. From the IT managers perspective, business apps support both of these trends – apps are accessible on employees phones (and leverage behaviors they are already performing) no matter where they are – enabling more efficient and productive work.
The added benefit to the IT manager however, is that business apps are typically easier to deploy, implement and configure, which is a complete departure from standard enterprise software. Apple has also identified this as an important strategy for businesses, and their latest release was designed specifically with IT managers in mind. The complete list of iOS7 updates for businesses and their role in supporting the IT professional can be found below or on Apple's website:
Open in management
Protect corporate data by controlling which apps and accounts are used to open documents and attachments. Managed open in gives IT the ability to configure the list of apps available in the sharing panel. This keeps work documents in corporate apps and also prevents personal documents from being opened in managed apps.
Per app VPN
Apps can now be configured to automatically connect to VPN when they are launched. Per app VPN gives IT granular control over corporate network access. It ensures that data transmitted by managed apps travels through VPN — and that other data, like an employee's personal web browsing activity, does not.
The App Store Volume Purchase Program now offers businesses the ability to assign apps to their users while keeping full ownership and control over app licenses. Companies purchase app licenses through the VPP website, and can use their MDM solution to assign apps to employees over the air. Employees can enroll with their personal Apple IDs without providing it to their company, and apps are placed in their purchase history for self-service download, or are installed automatically via MDM. Apps can be revoked at any time and reassigned to other employees. In addition to iOS apps, VPP now supports the purchase of Mac apps and even books, so users can be provided all the tools they need to get the job done.
New MDM configuration options
The MDM protocol in iOS 7 includes a number of new commands, queries, and configuration options that make third-party MDM solutions even more powerful. Wirelessly set up managed apps, install custom fonts, configure accessibility options and AirPrint printers, and whitelist AirPlay destinations.
Enterprise single sign on
Authenticating into corporate apps is now as simple as doing it once. Enterprise single sign on (SSO) means user credentials can be used across apps, including apps from the App Store. Each new app configured with SSO verifies user permissions for enterprise resources, and logs users in without requiring them to re-enter passwords.
Third-party app data protection
Using methods that leverage the user’s passcode to create a strong and unique encryption key, data protection provides IT with peace of mind that corporate data is secured without additional configuration. All third-party apps now have data protection enabled automatically, so information stored in App Store apps is protected with the user’s passcode until they first unlock their device after each reboot.
A whole new design and use of new systemwide gestures make Mail easier to use than ever. New features like the ability to add and reorganize smart mailboxes in the mailbox list, view PDF annotations, and totally redesigned search make the killer app for business even better. Microsoft Exchange 2010 users can also now sync notes with Outlook on their Mac or PC.
Caching Server 2 supports iOS 7
By caching purchased content and software updates on a local Mac running OS X Mavericks Server, Caching Server 2 speeds up the download and delivery of content through the App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore. Your users get faster downloads of content and updates to their iOS devices directly over your corporate network.
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