Apple Business Manager opens up to BYOD Macs

Apple opens its Apple Business Manager (ABM) to also integrate BYOD devices – and in the future without tricks. As the company writes on its developer portal, there is now a new framework that should allow administrators to add devices running macOS, iOS or iPadOS to the ABM (as well as Apple School Manager and Apple Business Essentials), even if they do not have Apple-approved devices resellers were acquired. Such devices already end up automatically in Business Manager and can be used immediately by the end user for the respective organization.

However, the new framework still has to be integrated into mobile device management programs (MDM systems). Apple explains how this works in concrete terms in its developer portal. With the help of a SwiftUI view, users with device enrollment privileges can log in via their Managed Apple ID and then add the BYOD device – which can come from any channel – to the organization.

To avoid security problems here, there are various methods for comparison. Devices that are already allowed must be nearby, with Bluetooth enabled and access to the camera available. A visual pairing PIN is then scanned over this. It is then already in the desired organization and can be further managed via the ABM. Apple states that developers must obtain an Automated Device Enrollment Entitlement from Developer Support to use the framework.

So far, there is another way to add BYOD devices to Apple Business Manager, as 9to5Mac recently wrote. However, you have to use the somewhat more complex Apple Configurator for this. With the version on the iPhone, it has long been possible to integrate Macs that were not purchased directly from Apple or an authorized dealer into Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager using only the smartphone. However, this only works on machines with a T2 security chip (Intel, from 2018) or Apple Silicon (M1 and M2).

It is currently still unclear when the first MDM programs with the new function will appear – but the framework is designed so simply that corresponding updates from the major device management specialists can be expected as soon as possible. You can also learn more about administering Apple devices on Mac & i Pro, the new platform for admins, developers and other Apple professionals that Mac & i recently launched.

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