What’s New in Parallels Mac Management 8.5? Apple Mobile Device Support Has Arrived.

In version 8.5, Parallels Mac Management® for Microsoft SCCM has made another big push into enterprise mobility management by adding the ability to administer Apple mobile devices in Microsoft SCCM. Parallels Mac Management continues to be the only option for managing Mac devices on Microsoft SCCM, and the newly released version 8.5 now makes it truly a single central inventory for all Apple devices by enabling administrators to manage iPhone and iPad devices as well—at no additional cost until the end of 2020. 

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll be getting in the latest Parallels Mac Management.  

Manage Apple mobile devices on Microsoft SCCM 

With Parallels Mac Management 8.5, you’ll be able to use Microsoft SCCM to manage iPhone and iPad devices alongside Mac computers and, of course, Windows devices. The following iOS-related features are supported in version 8.5: 

User-initiated MDM enrollment of Apple mobile devices 

This capability enables users to enroll their iOS devices by themselves into SCCM through the Parallels MDM. Instead of enrolling each individual device manually, admins now only need to provide users with a link which they can then select to proceed with the enrollment process on their own. 

Reporting Apple mobile device inventory 

Once iOS devices are enrolled, Parallels Mac Management can start collecting device inventory information on a predefined schedule and feed that into SCCM. Admins can then use this information to generate reports and create targeted device collections. This is very valuable from an IT asset management standpoint because it enables businesses to get a more comprehensive and detailed inventory of the Apple devices in their network—whether laptop, desktop, phone or tablet—all from a single pane of glass. 

Deploying configuration profiles to Apple mobile devices 

The ability to deploy configuration profiles is also a big deal because it enables businesses to configure settings in advance and then distribute those settings to a collection of iOS devices in their network. These settings typically include network and security policies, so these profiles can be very handy in user/device onboarding as well as enforcing security policies and regulatory compliance requirements.  

Parallels Mac Management 8.5 enables deployment of configuration profiles for: 

True one central inventory for all Apple devices in SCCM 

Now that iPhone and iPad devices are supported in Parallels Mac Management, there’s really no reason to maintain separate device management solutions. The majority of endpoint devices in most business networks are still Windows-based.  

Since SCCM is the de facto solution for managing Windows endpoints, it would be more practical to simply manage all Apple devices (i.e. Mac, iPhone and iPad) from the same familiar administrative user interface (UI). By managing all endpoint devices in SCCM, you can have one true central inventory and easily get a 360-degree view of your digital assets.  

Securing enterprise mobility practices 

These new features are perfectly suited for the growing adoption of enterprise mobility or the practice of using mobile devices to remotely access business applications and data. Configuration profiles enable businesses to embrace enterprise mobility in a secure and efficient manner. 

User-initiated MDM enrollment simplifies onboarding, while Apple mobile device inventory reporting infuses a strong IT asset management component into enterprise mobility initiatives.   

In addition to iOS-related features, version 8.5 also includes other new features as well as substantial improvements in the underlying infrastructure. 

Redesigned MDM Server now works with Microsoft IIS 

In previous versions, the Parallels Mobile Device Management (MDM) Server relied on a built-in web server for HTTP/HTTPS operations. In version 8.5, the MDM Server has been redesigned to integrate with Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). This is a big improvement in terms of security, stability and scalability, as Microsoft IIS is an industry-standard solution.  

Deploy MDM Server and Parallels IBCM Proxy on the same host 

Previously, customers had to set up two hosts in their demilitarized zone (DMZ) in order to deploy the MDM Server and the Internet-based cloud management (IBCM) pProxy server. One host would hold MDM Server and the other IBCM Proxy. By enabling admins to bring these two components together into a single host, we’ve cut down deployment time and cost as well as reduced administrative overhead. This simplifies not only installation and configuration but also web server certificate management. You can now support wildcard certificates and consequently use a single certificate for multiple hosts.  

Uninstalling applications from Mac devices 

Last but not least, Parallels Mac Management 8.5 introduces the ability to uninstall applications, including Volume Purchase Program (VPP) applications, from Mac devices. This ability improves device compliance management by making it easy to remove previously deployed applications and even unnecessary or forbidden applications from corporate Mac devices.  

With these new features, Parallels Mac Management not only strengthens its grip as the best solution for managing Mac on SCCM but also widens its hold by including the management of other members of the Apple ecosystem. Give the free trial of Parallels Mac Management a test run now. Customers who purchase Parallels Mac Management in 2020 will enjoy the new additional iPad and iPhone management features for free until the end of 2020. Parallels Mac Management will have an increased price point in 2021, but current and new customers in 2020 maintain their current pricing moving forward.