Program allows for reuse of Apple Store app licenses

Program allows for reuse of Apple Store app licenses

Brian Moore, associate professor of music, listens in on Ashley Dyer's work for an honors seminar. Moore uses iPads extensively in his classes.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Brian Moore, associate professor of music, listens in on Ashley Dyer's work for an honors seminar. Moore uses iPads extensively in his classes.

A program that procured thousands of reusable Apple Store app licenses to Nebraska Athletics and the Cornhusker Marching Band is now available to all University of Nebraska–Lincoln departments and employees.

The Apple Volume Purchase Program for Education enables bulk purchasing and remote automatic install and updates of iOS and MacOS apps. Information Technology Services is offering this service through an Apple VPP purchasing form in eShop.

The program offers time-savings, tax-free purchases and discounts of up to 50 percent on most apps with an order of 20 or more licenses.

"We were able to make a one-time purchase for each of the apps that the directors decided they wanted to include on the Cornhusker Marching Band iPads," said Jan Deaton, office associate with the Cornhusker Marching Band. "This allowed us to provide them to the students without requiring them to purchase, download and install the apps individually. Another big benefit is that because of the one-time purchase, we don’t have to re-purchase the apps each year."

Through the program, departments utilize the Apple VPP form and Jamf Pro endpoint management tools available through ITS to purchase and distribute apps to university-provided devices. Installing Jamf Pro's Mobile Device Management profile on devices allows administrators to configure devices to automatically install and update apps.

Tate Guillotte, director of video technology with athletics, said the biggest benefit has come from the time saved by using the Apple VPP and endpoint management tools.

Guillotte combined those tools with the university’s active directory to prompt automatic install of the purchased apps when a user activates the device and signs in with their My.UNL login. Users automatically receive the appropriate apps and configuration based on who they are, rather than what device they have.

Guillotte said that the program has reduced the number of accidental downloads, while streamlining the management of entire user groups.

The process has saved Deaton's team the hours of work installing and updating software on more than 300 devices, while improving the user experience for students.

"The students thought the iPads were a great asset in marching band and they were thrilled and amazed that the apps were automatically installed," Deaton said. "We can control all aspects of the iPad if needed, but we allowed our students the freedom of personal use in addition to their marching band classwork."

The program is accessible through eShop, where purchases can be made without a purchasing card using the standard requisition process.

Phil Redfern, Apple device administrator with ITS, said 462 different apps have been purchased through Apple's program at the university, totaling more than 40,000 total app installations.

Apple eBooks purchased through the program are considered consumables, and cannot be shared between devices.

For more information on the Apple VPP program, click here or contact Redfern at phil.redfern@unl.edu.