In a variety of different industries, Apple TV is helping provide better guest experiences and increase user engagement.
Educational environments around the globe, including classrooms, hallways, and entire campus structures, are becoming more technologically integrated. Apple TV is a common tool used by instructors to share information. Teachers are able to better engage with students while seamlessly sharing content from their iPads to on larger screens, enabling easy collaboration and spontaneous sharing between students.
In the hospitality sector, making the guest experience an “at-home” experience has always been a top priority. Today it is more common to see technologies like Apple TV provide a platform for proactive and efficient communication. Employees can easily share relevant information with guests and other hotel staff, resulting in simpler and more automated hotel operations. Local recommendations, amenities, and seasonal offerings can be featured in guest rooms and around an entire hotel, allowing guests to constantly be in the know, without it interfering with their stay.
Having received a ton of requests for Apple TV support from our customers, Cisco Meraki is happy to announce that Systems Manager now fully supports Apple TV (tvOS). With the addition of tvOS, Systems Manager now supports six operating systems, with tvOS joining iOS, MacOS, Android, Chrome OS, and Windows.
The new Systems Manager feature allows customers to manage Apple TV-enabled devices similar to mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and other endpoint devices.
With the way these verticals are using Apple TV and how it contributes to their business, any downtime on these devices can be costly. Not being able to get alerted when an Apple TV is offline, locate and erase a lost device, or enroll hundreds of devices at the same time results in a stressful and inefficient experience for IT admins.
In order to optimize technologies like Apple TV for better student engagement, larger revenue streams, and improved customer experience, managing these devices needs to be intuitive, fast, and to-the-point.
Systems Manager caters to these needs by:
Supporting new out-of-box enrollment (OOBE) capabilities using Apple DEP for easy Apple TV onboarding
Providing remote troubleshooting tools (such as locking devices, selectively wiping, erasing a device, and rebooting)
Allowing device restrictions — now made easier with an updated user experience and more security for AirPlay and Single App mode
Enabling easier addition and synchronization of tvOS apps via VPP
The list doesn’t stop there — if you are familiar with Systems Manager, the experience is built to be on par with the management of other Apple operating systems such as iOS and macOS.
iOS 11 goes live today around 10 am Pacific Time. Although the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus are exciting for many, they won’t change the everyday activities and workflow for everyone. However, there is a lot baked into iOS 11 itself that extends the current state of excitement around Apple to organizations in both education and the enterprise.
The list of many helpful new additions to iOS 11 includes a big win for the Device Enrollment Program, Multi-Touch with drag and drop, file exploration, a new dock, updates to app switching, and an all-new Control Center, among others. Let’s go through a few of these to stay in-the-know with what’s new and noteworthy.
Add any device into the Device Enrollment Program (DEP)
The Device Enrollment Program (DEP) allows for organization owned Apple devices to be enrolled over-the-air for better control and visibility as well as simple, zero-touch management. Previously, only devices purchased directly from Apple, an Apple authorized reseller, or an authorized carrier could be added into DEP. Now with iOS 11, any device will be able to be added to DEP using Apple Configurator 2.5 or later. After devices are included, they join provisionally for 30 days, during which users can opt out. This is to protect personally owned devices from unintentionally being added. Adding any device into DEP will be especially useful for businesses with multiple buying centers or entities as well as schools who have devices donated, for example.
Earlier this year Apple TV was also added into DEP. So, there is now excitement around DEP for those already invested in iOS as well as those with management aspirations around Apple TV.
Multi-Touch with drag and drop
iPad, and especially the iPad Pro, has recently become much more of a productivity powerhouse. There’s a keyboard, there’s a pencil, and there’s a lot more processing potential. Efficiency and accessibility are getting even better for iPad with iOS 11. Multi-Touch with drag and drop may seem like a small addition, but it makes a big difference in the day-to-day. Being able to split screen and drag and drop files makes a more compelling reason to use iPad for work in both business and an educational context. Adding attachments to an email is much smoother and quicker than it once was and even when adding photos to a blog—as I personally tested for this post with an iPad Pro—has become a better way to get work done on the go.
Files is a new native app for iOS that is integrated directly into iOS 11. Whether searching through local files, iCloud, Box, or Google Drive users can organize, open, and delete files from the comfort of their iOS devices. Technically, this functionality was available 3rd party through the different storage services’ apps, but now it is tightly integrated into the fabric of iOS. This is a win for those used to navigating through file structures and is again focused on enabling users and enhancing productivity. Meraki recommends enforcing iOS open-in management with Systems Manager enterprise mobility management (EMM) to ensure that only authorized users can access managed content and data from managed apps and containers.
A new dock, app switcher, and Control Center
Swiping up from the bottom of an iPad running iOS 11 shows the app switcher similar to the photo shown above. The new dock in this view makes switching between apps much faster and is the basic hub for multitasking on iPad. The actions seem to intentionally mirror the user experience found on macOS, and even for those not used to a Mac, they are pretty quick to pickup. Pressing F4 on a Mac shows what’s called Mission Control. A way to think of this is that the app switcher brings a similar Mission Control experience to iPad. It shows the recently used apps and offers access to the also new Control Center. Swiping up on previously used apps will clear them until they’re opened again.
iOS 11 will be available for iPhone 5s and later, all current iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later, and the iPod touch 6th generation.
For those new to Systems Manager, start an instant 30-day trial here.
Prior to Oreo’s release, Cisco Meraki Systems Manager teams had already tested dozens of possible variations of customer use cases with Android Oreo. This includes updates that can be utilized by customers using G Suite Education and Business–also known as Android for Work. Systems Manager is certified for all the Android EMM protocols and is ready to go with Android Oreo. See below for a few example use cases:
Enable Work Profile on employee-owned BYOD devices to isolate personal and work apps and data
Place education, payment, or healthcare devices into single use mode or Kiosk mode (COSU)
Enjoy all the necessary control with Android Device Owner mode for corporate-owned devices
Android Oreo also brings many device advantages and improvements including better battery life, picture-in-picture, and increased stability for apps. See below for a list of some of the new functionality with Android 8.0:
System optimizations around better app stability
Background limits including battery and memory optimizations
Picture-in-picture for multitasking on Android
Notification dots for streamlined access of activity and notifications
Autofill framework to simplify new device setup and password synchronization
A complementary Android Vitals dashboards containing exciting new visibility for developers
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins took the stage at Cisco Live! this week to talk about the next phase of the Apple Cisco partnership. Part of this next phase will be the Cisco Security Connector, which will completely change the story when talking security on iOS. It can be deployed on enterprise supervised iOS devices using Systems Manager, Cisco’s enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution. See below for an excerpt from David Ulevitch’s Cisco Blog.
“Expected to be released in the fall of 2017, the Cisco Security Connector is designed to deliver the deepest visibility, control, and privacy for iOS devices. The Cisco Security Connector offers organizations the most granular view of what is happening on enterprise-owned mobile devices and provides the best protection for users, anywhere they travel. With the Cisco Security Connector, businesses will now have the ability to meet risk and compliance requirements from auditors and ultimately expand iOS adoption in new ways.”
With the Cisco Security Connector, organizations gain the following:
Visibility: Ensure compliance of mobile users and their enterprise-owned iOS devices during incident investigations by rapidly identifying what happened, whom it affected, and the risk exposure.
Control: Protect users of iOS devices from connecting to malicious sites, whether on the corporate network, public Wi-Fi, or cellular networks.
Privacy: Safeguard corporate data and users by encrypting internet (DNS) requests.
With the mammoth growth of mobile device availability and capabilities, virtually all industries have been affected. This includes the creation of new IT processes, new teams, and new categories of solutions like mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM). Mobile devices offer leaps in productivity and automation, but there are not many products that truly make it manageable or scalable for an administrator and end user. That is where Systems Manager comes in. Last month, we went over some of the overall benefits of using Systems Manager in EDU. Today, we will talk about some practical examples of mobility with app management.
Mobility – Apps are one of the major ways end users interact with devices. They are also one of the ways businesses provide their products to customers. Imagine everything from mobile websites and Gmail to the SalesForce or even a calculator app. There are three main considerations when venturing into mobile application management. How to push apps, how to manage app licensing, and how to implement containerization. In the following three sections we will show more about each of these contemplations.
Pushing Apps – Nothing makes it as straightforward as Systems Manager in regard to pushing apps. If it is a public app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, then search for the desired app and push it to managed devices. If it’s an installer or private application, then upload it to the Meraki cloud or point to where it is hosted. With the steps being 1) pick an app, 2) select a group that needs the app, and 3) push the app, it is literally as easy as 1-2-3. See below for an example of some of the top apps customers are pushing to their devices today.
Manage App Licenses – App licensing and software inventory are critical in managing a successful app deployment, but they can be tedious without the right solution. The right solution is something that greatly increases visibility while streamlining the entire process. To accomplish this, Systems Manager not only removes complexities by combining inventory over many devices and device types (e.g. Windows, iOS, Android, etc.) but it also integrates with Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and Google’s G Suite in order to simplify bulk licensing and distribution. In addition, Systems Manager alongside these solutions provides the ability to silently push apps to iOS and Android devices. This means easier management for administrators and less disruption for end users.
Containerization –Finally, there is a great need to decide on a strategy for containerization. This may sound complicated, but it comes down to one simple question: should managed apps and data be allowed to talk to unmanaged apps and data? In the Systems Manager world, if you don’t want private apps like an unmanaged Dropbox application or personal file storage to communicate with managed apps like a managed Box app or even a managed email account, then you want containerization. For an example of how simple something this powerful can be, see the configuration options for containerization in iOS below. It only takes deciding on checking or unchecking two boxes.
Hopefully this provided some insight into the simplicity Systems Manager brings to mobile application management (MAM).
To start an instant 30-day trial and see things first hand, click here.
Most administrators are aware of the challenges that come with managing mobile devices: the sheer number, the lack of visibility and security, and the difficulty provisioning or configuring them, to name a few. As we approach the end of another school year in the US, let’s review some of the reasons tens of thousands of customers in education chose Systems Manager to manage millions of mobile devices and PCs.
Before talking about a specific feature, it may help to know some of the general reasons people choose Systems Manager. For one, it takes something as complicated and cumbersome as navigating a flood of mobile devices and makes it manageable while keeping the advantages of mobility. Simplifying powerful technology to free passionate people to focus on their mission is at the core of the Cisco Meraki vision. This is fundamental to how Systems Manager addresses enterprise mobility management (EMM) and mobile device management (MDM).
People also love SM because it continues to grow. For years, Systems Manager has flexed its cloud-managed and software-only muscles by rapidly iterating on ideas and support. This isn’t just about Systems Manager’s consistent zero-day support for new OS versions. It’s also about its consistency in adding brand new features and functionality. A great example of this is the Systems Manager Teacher’s Assistant.
A real life teacher’s assistant (TA) can make a difference by reducing stress, workload, and disruption in the classroom. Unfortunately, TAs are not always available for all teachers and classes, and they’re not necessarily able to help with everyday tasks for a large number of devices or complex digital technology. When automation, scalability, and simplicity are needed, SM has many solutions. There have been quite a few tools for education added since the May 2015 launch of the Systems Manager Teacher’s Assistant, and for those interested in a free trial check out the link at the bottom.
Stayed tuned in the coming weeks to learn more about the specific tools that make Systems Manager so popular in education.
The latest ‘dot 3’ release with Apple iOS 10.3 brought quite the buzz again. With Systems Manager, Cisco Meraki’s EMM, we are excited to continue to support iOS releases day one and take another opportunity to talk about what’s new. Below is a breakdown of some of the more interesting 10.3 features now available.
More WiFi control is a popular topic and request from administrators spanning many industries. Whether mobile devices are in a retail shop, an educational institution, a government facility, or somewhere else, it can be crucial to ensure they are joining the right wireless network. Not only can joining the wrong network affect security, especially when open and other compromising networks are in proximity, but this can remove critical access to network resources which devices sometimes need. Systems Manager and iOS 10.3 now bring you the ability to whitelist only the managed SSIDs a device is allowed to join. This ensures the right access for mobile devices wherever that device may be.
Next up is support for additional managed restrictions. With the previous dot 3 release, iOS 9.3, there was a huge emphasis on education and classroom support. Continued technological advancements in the classroom are helpful not just for IT management but to aid teachers in directing and guiding students. Alongside iOS 9.3 we added the ability to share iPads as well as have teachers show student devices on AirPlay enabled screens. Now with iOS 10.3, there is the ability to automatically grant observation permission to teachers using the Classroom app. Other managed restrictions include disallowing or allowing Bluetooth modification, dictation, remote screen observation, and the modification of diagnostic submissions.
On the email security front, Apple is also adding OAuth 2.0 support for the native mail app. When using Microsoft Exchange services with Office 365, this brings token based security that goes well beyond simple username and password. Paired with improvements around S/MIME, which uses certificates for signing and encrypting email, there is now a compelling native solution for secure email which creates a better and familiar experience for mobile users.
Finally we have tvOS, which requires almost no introduction. This brings some of the features found in iOS, which are already loved across millions of mobile devices managed globally, and will expand it to Apple TVs. This includes the ability to restart devices, deploy network configurations, and more. EMM controls on tvOS mean more endpoints simply and effectively managed in the Cisco Meraki cloud. New controls are available in tvOS 10.2 and later.
Systems Manager legacy customers interested in these powerful features can find out how to take advantage of them here. Start an instant 30-day trial here.
Today is an exciting day for our enterprise mobility management (EMM) customers. We’ve revamped Cisco Meraki Systems Manager, our EMM platform. This represents the single, most significant addition we’ve made to Systems Manager since introducing the solution in 2010. And, for those not familiar with the Cisco Meraki licensing model, when we add new functionality to a product all existing customers automatically get access to the new functionality–for no extra charge.
Per-App and Always-on VPN
Android for Work – fully certified
Systems Manager API
Brand new UX tools to simplify onboarding
Managed app configuration
Cellular data tracking
User authentication w/ Google, Azure, or any OAuth
New features. New capabilities. And (maybe most importantly) a fresh, new approach to enterprise mobility management.
Simplifying Management and Access
At Cisco Meraki, we are driven by our mission of simplifying powerful technology. That’s why we’ve added so much to our EMM platform. We continue to learn about the different ways customers around the world want to manage their mobile devices, and the features they need to run their businesses effectively. We’ve rethought the way mobile devices and PCs check-in, when and why they are updated, and how they are configured in the first place.
Cisco Meraki Systems Manager provides a simple and effective way to manage the apps and access for endpoints in any organization. Specify the right apps and access for mobile devices, who should be receiving them, and when they should have them. Cisco Meraki takes care of the rest.
New features, new capabilities
With Systems Manager 2017, customers can enjoy a host of new features, including:
– VPN: Per-App and Always-on VPN bring more flexibility, security, and control. Per-App VPN means only the apps that matter are secured and connected to home base. Always-on VPN automatically and on demand creates a secure, private tunnel to a security appliance from wherever a device may be. This is supported in the certificate-based VPN solutions, including Cisco AnyConnect and IKEv2.
– Android for Work: Android for Work provides a way to enable apps, add containerization, and bring security without needing to manage complicated SDKs or application source code. Meraki enables Android for Work to provide major business benefits and secure work-ready apps with minimal setup required. With this launch, we are certified on all of the currently available Android for Work protocols. Popular use cases include:
Work Profile: maintain BYOD use cases with native containerization and mobile application management
Kiosk Mode: point of sale and kiosk mode at the click of a button
Organization-owned: lock down the entire device for maximum security and control
More settings, restrictions, and support than ever before with Android
– New API: The Systems Manager API extends the power and visibility of the Meraki Dashboard to the platforms and infrastructure you already support. Trigger a device wipe when removing an employee from your internal database. Automatically assign apps to users where you already manage them. For those with a Cisco Meraki Dashboard account, see the API documentationhere.
– UX tools to simplify onboarding: This one hits particularly close to home for us. Our mission is to simplify powerful technology. There are a lot of benefits that come with mobile devices and PCs, but there can also be complexity. Whether it’s setting up an Apple push certificate, an Android EMM domain, or what is needed for a Windows laptop, the new onboarding flow makes it just a couple clicks.
We’re excited to announce a new customer-initiated free trial program for Systems Manager, Cisco’s Enterprise Mobility Management solution. This program enables anyone to get started with Systems Manager right away through a more managed and supported experience and replaces the previous SM Free 100 device program.
After visiting the Systems Manager signup page, enter basic contact details and device count and a fully support 30-day free trial will automatically be provisioned. This also includes access to Meraki support for 24/7 questions.
For more information or to get started immediately with a trial, please visit the signup page or contact your Cisco Meraki representative.
As everyone starts to wrap up the calendar year, it seems like a good time to rap about some of the things Systems Manager, Cisco’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution, has added in 2016. In case a rap isn’t intriguing, then maybe we can call this a poem.
Systems Manager Rap/Poem: 2016
About a week before Christmas and recapping this year
There was security spreading – amidst all the fear
OS updates and patches, in one easy click
No adding viruses to Windows, through USB stick
iPad, iPhone, and Mac are bringing much more to do
Also wallpaper and homescreen, are things to edit now too
There’s a vault for your files, and you’re seeing CYOD
Which means you choose what you get, it’s not just BYOD
For the Fast lane at work you want Apple and Cisco
First to help were your friends, here in San Francisco (‘Meraki’ – backup vocals)
We’re on the Gartner MQ (Magic Quadrant) because we’re big in the mix
For all your EMM needs, and not just one, small fix App config brings settings fitted for all the users
Making a custom experience and a choice for your choosers
We have an API for this and we have one for that
GET a device you need and PUT a lock where it’s at
We launched tools for teachers with peace of mind to us all
And ways to guide the students – even in study hall (‘hall pass!’ – backup vocals)
Track the cellular data to manage all of the mobile
Keep that LTE in line, when it’s feeling too noble
With Sentry VPN you keep security teams happy
While making CIOs thrilled and the UX (user experience) not crappy
User experience is the best and even more than before
Just go to MDM > Settings and see it’s never a chore
SM for the win (FTW), that’s what they say
We use it all the way East, and back to the Bay
Cisco’s enterprise mobility, so you know it’s great
With SM you get features, with none of the wait
SM for the win (FTW), that’s what they say
We use it all the way East, and back to the Bay
Cisco’s enterprise mobility, so you know it’s great
With SM you get features, with none of the wait
This is only a fraction of the things we’ve done this year.
To check out the buzz and start a instant free trial, click here.
If you like this and want more, then let us know on Facebook or Twitter
– maybe we’ll even add a recording. 😏