Partners: Apple Making Big Move To Fix BYOD With User Enrollment Solution

As part of iOS 13.1, Apple is launching a new device enrollment offering that automatically keeps users' personal data separate from business data.


New capabilities launching in Apple's iOS 13.1 should address many worker concerns around taking part in bring-your-own-device programs, partners told CRN.

Apple's new User Enrollment solution will allow corporate workers to easily keep their personal data and business data separate on their iPhone. As a result, employees won't have to worry about the possibility of intrusive actions being taken by their IT department—such as remote wiping of their device data or a change of their passcode.

[Related: Apple Enterprise Push Gets A Boost From Stratix's New 'End-To-End' Services Offering]

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Those sorts of concerns have hampered BYOD efforts at a time when many businesses want to see more adoption, since BYOD has been shown to increase productivity and is required for using many workplace apps, partners said.

While iOS 13 rolls out today, User Enrollment will debut on Sept. 24 as part of iOS 13.1.

The move is another sign of Apple's intensified focus on meeting the needs of businesses, in this case in the area of improving ever-critical mobile device management (MDM).

"It's probably the biggest thing to happen from Apple in the last five years regarding MDM," said Marco Nielsen, vice president of managed mobility services at Stratix, a mobility service provider and Apple partner based in Peachtree Corners, Ga. "It's a clear goal of Apple to do more in the enterprise, and this definitely is a cornerstone of that."

User Enrollment leverages another new solution from Apple, Managed Apple ID, which serves to keep personal and business data separate on iOS devices.

The Managed Apple ID represents a user's workplace identity, and can run on a device side by side with the user's personal Apple ID. Thus, users can have two separate IDs on a single device, which are walled off from each other.

Data separation and privacy are ensured by a separate Apple File System volume that is created during the User Enrollment process to house the corporate data.

Under User Enrollment, corporate IT will not be able to erase an entire device or clear the device passcode, and will only be able to manage corporate data and apps.

User Enrollment should help to eliminate the fear of "big brother" with BYOD programs, Nielsen said.

"We might see a new wave of BYOD coming along with this, specifically within the Apple realm," he said.

Glenn Gruber, senior digital strategist at solution provider Anexinet, an Apple partner based in Blue Bell, Pa., agreed that User Enrollment should have a "very positive impact" on BYOD efforts.

In many cases, he said, there has been a misunderstanding among workers about how much control IT would actually have over their devices in BYOD programs. The introduction of User Enrollment is therefore a fresh opportunity to reintroduce BYOD to workers, Gruber said.

"I think it's a good opportunity to go back to everyone and kind of educate them on, 'Not only have we not been doing this, all these things that you're worried about, but now, we absolutely cannot, because of the way that it's being implemented in iOS 13,'" Gruber said.

Hopefully, he said, “it's a way to ameliorate the concerns of users, so that they are more likely to partake in the mobile program—and therefore get all the value out of all the applications that we're trying to build for them so that their job gets easier.”

Additionally, to help ensure ease-of-use, managed apps will run automatically with the Managed Apple ID, so workers will not have to be logging in and out between the two IDs.

User Enrollment is already helping to spur new conversations for solution providers with customers, partners said.

"A big part of what we do is come in and give the client a summary [of technology changes]—and then when something is interesting, and they want to learn more, then we can help guide them further on that," Gruber said. "It's just giving them visibility to the things that are happening, that they may have missed."