Systems Manager provides administrators the ability to mass enroll devices using Apple Configurator, a Mac application. Apple Configurator allows for mass configuration of iOS devices while physically synced to a Mac computer. A USB hub can be used to configure dozens of devices at once. Pleas read here for more Apple Configurator documentation.
With v1.5 or greater of Apple Configurator, Apple has allowed the use of an enrollment URL, which can be used to further speed the process. This article will cover the process required to enroll one of more devices in Systems Manager using Apple Configurator and an enrollment URL.
Alternatively, devices that meet the requirements can be supervised and enrolled over the air using Apple's Device Enrollment Program, or devices can be enrolled using Configurator v1.4 or earlier by manually downloading and installing the profile.
During the enrollment process, it is possible to supervise a device. Supervision allows for numerous additional restrictions, as listed on the Systems manager > MDM > Settings page toward the bottom in the iOS supervised restrictions section.
Supervision also provides other benefits within Systems Manager, including the ability to near-silently install managed apps. However, supervision does require a wipe of the device. Therefore it is recommended to supervise devices (if desired) prior to performing any configuration or providing to users.
- Apple Configurator 1.5 or greater
- OS X 10.7.5 or greater
- iOS device(s) powered up and physically connected to Mac
- The Mac and iOS device(s) are not locked
- Internet access with unblocked access to Apple and Systems Manager
Refer to Help > Firewall info for a list of ports and IP addresses
Access to the Internet is critical to the enrollment process. If an iOS device is not able to contact Systems Manager when trying to enroll, it will be unable to complete the process or receive any additional profiles/apps. The process below will address this by adding Wi-Fi settings to all one or more devices from Configurator. In addition to the enrollment process.
Begin by preparing the device for supervision (if desired) and receiving profiles.
- Open Apple Configurator.
- Go to Prepare > Settings.
- Provide a base Name for the device (this will appear as the client name in Dashboard). If configuring multiple devices, check the box below to number them in sequence.
- Turn Supervision ON if desired.
- Click Organization Info....
- Provide a Name for the organization. This will appear on the iOS device as the supervising entity (under Settings > General > Name). All other fields are optional.
- Click Done.
Configuring a Wi-Fi Profile
For the iOS devices to enroll with Systems Manager, they must be able to access the internet. To avoid manually connecting all devices to a wireless network, Configurator can be used to push a profile to the devices that contains the necessary Wi-Fi settings.
- Under Profiles, click +, and choose Create New Profile....
- Provide a Name for the profile (such as Wifi Setup).
If this profile with Wi-Fi settings should remain on the device indefinitely (it cannot be removed from Systems Manager), then skip steps 3 & 4. Otherwise, the profile can be configured for automatic removal. This allows the device to get online and enrolled with these settings, but then later use a profile from Systems Manager with more secure settings that can be removed from devices remotely.
- Scroll down to Automatically Remove Profile.
- Select "After interval" from the dropdown, and enter how soon this profile should automatically be removed. Generally, 1 hour should be sufficient to allow enrollment to complete and additional Wi-Fi settings (if configured) to be pulled from profile in Systems Manager. If the device has not completed setup and successfully pulled relevant profiles from Systems Manager by the time this profile is removed, a Wi-Fi network will need to be manually selected on the device.
- Go to the Wi-Fi tab, and click Configure.
- Enter the appropriate details for the desired wireless network.
- Enable Auto join to have the device(s) connect to this network automatically.
- Click Save.
- Under Profiles, click the checkbox next to the Wi-Fi profile just created. Otherwise it will not be pushed to the device.
Once the desired settings have been configured, they need to be pushed to the iOS devices. The final steps of the process then need to be completed on each device.
- Once all devices are connected to the Mac running Apple Configurator, click Prepare.
- A progress dialog will appear and indicate once all devices have been prepared.
After devices are done being prepared, they are ready to complete the setup dialog. A user/admin will need to complete the setup on each device in order for it to communicate with Systems Manager and download any further profiles. The setup steps will vary, dependent on what was selected to be skipped during enrollment.
- When prompted to Choose a Wi-Fi Network, the SSID configured in the Wi-Fi profile should automatically be selected. If a check mark appears next to the network, tap Next. Otherwise, manually select a Wi-Fi network.
Note: Successfully connecting to a Wi-Fi network is critical for enrollment to succeed.
- On the Configuration page, choose Apply configuration, and tap Next. If this is not done, the device will not be enrolled in Systems Manager.
Once configuration is complete, continue with the setup process. The device will register with Systems Manager and download any relevant profiles/apps. It must remain connected to a Wi-Fi network in order for this to occur. If configuration fails, ensure the device has unrestricted access to the internet and the enrollment URL entered earlier is correct.