Why Is Hardsoft’s Shepherd MDM Perfect For Apple Business Manager Clients?

14th June 2023
Blog header showcasing apple business manager and Shepherd MDM

Hardsoft’s new Shepherd MDM is ideal to use alongside Apple Business Manager. For SMEs with Apple IT hardware, these two pieces of software working together will make the deployment and management of your IT arsenal a breeze.

This streamlined system of Apple Business Manager and Shepherd will allow businesses to oversee their flock and ensure there are no lost sheep when it comes to their business devices.

What Is Apple Business Manager?

Apple Business Manager is a web-based portal that allows the remote bulk deployment of your Apple devices, as well as apps and content.

Apple Business Manager enables businesses to deploy and oversee all the company’s Apple hardware.

ABM has excellent features, including:

  • Auto deployment of Apple apps remotely
  • Registering devices as business products with Apple (otherwise they could be registered as consumer products incorrectly)
  • Auto-enrolment of devices in your MDM (such as Shepherd MDM)
  • A record of all devices and their serial number logged with Apple directly
  • The ability to utilise managed Apple IDs, so you can oversee your employee’s work Apple IDs.
  • VPP – Volume Purchase Programme – Purchase apps for your whole fleet of Apple devices and distribute them rather than giving employees your business credit card to buy apps
  • Override a locked device (great for when a staff member leaves suddenly)

These functions already give businesses more security by allowing an overview of your inventory and having it registered with Apple.

Apple Business Manager is designed to work with software like Shepherd MDM to then help you manage your Apple hardware with granular control.

What Is An MDM?

Mobile Device Management helps business to control how all the devices in their IT hardware collection are used by employees.

You can control what apps can be installed on those devices, how company data moves on your network, and even data wipe a device that is lost.

What Is Shepherd?

Shepherd is a sophisticated new MDM system. It is designed to be used with Apple hardware and is perfect for Apple Business Manager customers.

It has a wealth of features, including more security functions than many competitors yet has been created to be more affordable for smaller companies. It is only £1.95 per user per week.

Shepherd contains the following features:

  • Asset Management
  • Dashboards and Reports  
  • User and Client Management      
  • Profile Management and Deployment    
  • Supports Automated Device Enrollment (ADE)           
  • Hardware Inventory
  • Self Service Catalog         
  • Apple Apps and Books Support   
  • Scheduled or On-Demand Maintenance Routines
  • Real-time Device Monitoring & Alerting  
  • Screen Sharing                
  • Instant Remote Command Execution               
  • Real-time Communication 
  • Live Device Shell    
  • 100% Cloud Architecture            
  • Direct Command Line Access               
  • Integrated Remote Control (Multiple options)
  • Active Monitoring with Automated Remediation          
  • Dynamic Peer-to-Peer LANCache Software Distribution        
  • Live Script Execution at a Global, Departmental or Individual Level  
  • Up-to-the-minute Software Inventory & Status

The Benefits Of Using ABM & Shepherd Together

Shepherd MDM and Apple Business Manager work brilliantly together as a complete solution to the purchase, deployment, and management of your Apple devices.

While ABM lets you order Apple devices en masse, register them and deploy them, a complementary MDM like Shepherd will let you locate lost devices and control how your hardware is utilised by staff.

Why Is Shepherd MDM Perfect For Small Businesses?

Shepherd is only £1.95 per user per week making it one of the most affordable Apple MDMs on the market. However, it contains more features and security protections than top competitors, making it especially cost-effective.

Soon, the previous go-to Apple MDM, Jamf, will discontinue its Jamf Now product. This was the lowest tier product and perfect for the budgets of small businesses.

This means that customers of Jamf Now will be auto-upgraded to the next tier, Jamf Fundamentals, which is more expensive. It is a jump of £2.20 per user per week to £2.70. Both of these are more expensive than Shepherd MDM, yet Shepherd has all the features of Jamf Fundamentals plus more and outstanding software support.

By boosting cyber security and productivity while keeping costs low, Shepherd is the perfect MDM for small businesses on a budget.