IT admins at businesses of all sizes have been forced to grapple with the consumerization revolution led by the Apple iPhone and iPad. Now, Apple is making it simpler, and more cost effective for organizations to rely on iOS devices with discounted apps in a new volume purchasing program.
Apple hasn't been very aggressive in chasing business customers, but it has taken progressive steps since the launch of the original iPhone to make iOS devices more manageable, and more secure for use in a business environment. One thing that has still been lacking, though, are the kinds of volume discounts that businesses are accustomed to for other technology investments.
When it comes to technology in business, the retail list price is virtually meaningless in most cases. Thanks to various volume discounts and licensing programs, IT admins are able to maximize purchasing power for most hardware and software, and now iOS apps.
According to a PDF Apple published to explain the program details, "Whether you're purchasing apps for iPhone, iPad, or both, the Volume Purchase Program offers a simple and efficient method to purchase iOS apps from the App Store in volume for distribution within your organization."
Companies that are enrolled in the program are able to buy apps in bulk at discounted prices. Rather than paying $34.99 each for the Garmin StreetPilot app for every salesperson, the company can buy in bulk and save a few bucks in the process.
In addition to savings, the Volume Purchase Program also simplifies app distribution and management to make it easier on IT admins. Redemption codes can be emailed to specific individuals, posted on an internal company site to be claimed as needed, or managed through a third-party Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform.
The Volume Purchase Program also fosters the ability to purchase custom apps written by third-party developers specifically for your company. The apps still have to go through the Apple App Store approval process and must meet Apple guidelines, but Apple has mechanisms in place to identify your company as an (or the) authorized purchase of the app.
To enroll, visit www.apple.com/business/vpp and provide the necessary information. You will need contact info for the business (phone and email), a valid business address, and a D-U-N-S number--a unique number assigned to businesses by Dun & Bradstreet to prove to Apple that you are a company and not just a big family or group of friends looking for a discount. If your business doesn't have a D-U-N-S, go to iupdate.dnb.com to get one.
If your company has more than a handful of iPhones or iPads in use, you should get registered for the App Store Volume Purchase Program for Business and take advantage of what it has to offer.