iOS 12 and Stratix streamline business operations

Start planning now to drive efficiencies and streamline business operations with iOS 12 and beyond

By Marco Nielsen – Vice President, Managed Mobility Services

As the leaves get ready to fall, we are all anticipating the new release of iOS! Apple offered a glimpse at the upcoming iOS 12 operating system back in June at its annual developer conference. I have been running beta iOS 12 for several months and have been impressed, especially with the speed, refinements and enhancements, such as with grouped notifications.

The new iOS 12 release is a mostly a performance release that holds some interesting new features for the enterprise user:

  • Group FaceTime. Up to 32 active participants can share a video feed. Powerful showcase of the abilities Apple has in these devices.
  • Grouped notifications. Small but important tweak on iOS that will quickly get noticed by enterprise users. Message threads and notification topics are grouped together, so it’s easier to see what’s important at a glance. Also, a new feature called Downtime can set a time period for apps and notifications to be blocked, further helping focus on what’s important.
  • Siri improvements. This opens the door to a new wave of abilities for the user to incorporate workflows with the new Shortcuts app. Siri can also make intelligent suggestions about your alerts based on how you interact with them. And with the new SiriKit API, app developers can tap into the power of Siri to run shortcuts as well.
  • Security enhancements. Important for many enterprises is the continued urgency of security and support around it. Restricted USB mode can help protect against physical attacks on devices.
  • Two-factor authentication. In a great move, Apple has reduced the need of copying and pasting codes required for two-factor authentication. If you receive a passcode via text, the system will automatically submit them as an AutoFill suggestion. This essentially makes your device smart enough to automate yet another task, and it could spur more usage of this authentication method.
  • Augmented Reality. With the updated ARKit 2, there could be new possibilities for enterprise support and usage of AR.

Enterprise IT

Many of these new features also have new MDM (mobile device management) policies that can help you manage these features in your enterprise. Some interesting security examples are:

  • Enforce automatic data and time on supervised devices
  • Use OAuth for managed Exchange accounts
  • Restrictions for password autofill on supervised devices

Also, a reminder to migrate your Apple DEP/VPP management accounts to the new Apple Business Manager product if you haven’t already do so.

Get ready to go to the new iOS

If your business devices run on iOS, upgrading to latest iOS comes with several considerations. Older devices may not be eligible to upgrade, and users may also need to update business applications or mobile device management solutions to be compatible with the new operating system.

The iOS beta program is available for developers, so businesses can download it onto non-production devices and start testing. It’s especially important to test business-critical applications from third-party vendors before the release goes live. Beta access is available through the Apple Developer Program or the enterprise version, which enables you to distribute proprietary iOS apps to your employees. To provide feedback directly to Apple on the upcoming release, enterprises can also apply to the invite-only AppleSeed for IT program.

For personal testing, everyone has access to the public beta release cycle, which provides a very simple step-by-step process to install the beta on any supported Apple device.

Your rollout checklist

To ensure a smooth rollout as you migrate to any new iOS release:

  • Prioritize your apps. Determine which ones to test first and coordinate with third-party developers to identify bugs sooner rather than later.
  • Test your IT systems. Make sure everything is compatible with the new operating system before you go live.
  • Prepare your employees. Let team members know what prompts they can expect on their devices, new features they’ll be using and other need-to-know information. If you have a help desk, ensure that the staff has been part of the testing and know what to do.
  • Think about upcoming initiatives. If you’re rolling out additional iPhones and iPads this fall with older operating systems – keep in mind that Apple has in the past, prohibited users from reverting to older operating systems after the September release.
  • Upgrades. There is currently no way back if an employee upgrades accidentally. Communicate policy and expectations for the upgrade and if enterprise application will function.

A unified approach

Thoughtful planning and testing before any new iOS release goes live is essential to a seamless transition. A managed mobility services provider can help you ensure your devices, operating systems and applications work together seamlessly, and provide ongoing support to overcome any difficulties with availability of iOS 12. By taking the right steps now, you can take advantage of new operating system features to improve business productivity and customer satisfaction.