Businesses that gave employees iPhones and iPads often struggled with managing applications across the devices.
Apple’s little-known Volume Purchase Program (VPP) streamlined buying and distributing apps and books in bulk for Apple devices.
The program was developed for large businesses but was also available to SMBs. It was best suited to SMBs with at least seven employees, said Clinton Cowin from cloud software consultancy TradiePad.
Large enterprises or SMBs could purchase, customize, manage necessary apps in bulk from a range of categories, such as business to travel, finance to utilities and distribute them to employees on iPhone and iPad devices.
“We used to have to buy iTunes gift vouchers. But now with VPP, I can buy several copies of one app and distribute it to Apple IDs for each employee,” Cowin said.
VPP was free to join and use. However, businesses needed to first register with Dun and Bradstreet’s global company register, a process which took at least 48 hours.
Business owners could buy apps through the VPP program to distribute to their staff and retain control and ownership of the apps when an employee left the company.
The VPP could also be used to control licences for custom applications. Custom apps for iOS were distributed securely through the VPP program and could be free or paid.
“It depends on the size of the business and what their intentions are in regards to using VPP. It’s a bit much for small businesses,” Cowin said.
Smaller businesses sometimes used one Apple ID across devices for several employees, despite this being a breach of Apple’s terms and conditions. The VPP program required each employee to have their own Apple ID.