Log in

So where are schools at with Volume Purchasing?

Started by Jacqui Sharp 06 Nov 2012 4:44pm () Replies (119)


I have one school that has it set up on 90 iPads. It seems to be working ok except for finding certain apps. Have any other schools out there started it? I would be interested to hear how it is going, any problems or hints to help out other schools?


  • Mark Edwards (View all users posts) 20 Mar 2013 8:19am ()



    Does Meraki have the ability to retrieve/call back apps from an iPad to

    re-deploy to another iPad like Apple Configurator can do through VPP?



  • Graeme Hood (View all users posts) 20 Mar 2013 9:36pm ()

    Not to cut the discussion short on Meraki, but we have deployed 200+ iPads using Apple Configurator and the VPP. Our internet access is somewhat slow and I fear that if we use a cloud based solution it will slow down more or stop altogether. 

    No major issues that haven't been solved with a bit of "google advice" and emailing apple support takes 48+ hours to come back with advice that may not be what you are looking for (our experience only). Frustation is that there is no help line we can call an expert to get a quick answer.

    After not having the students iPads locked down the last couple of years, and seeing all sorts of apps downloaded on their own accounts (they quiclkly learned how to create free accounts), its been great to have the iPads locked into supervised mode this year - and shut out the downloading of apps. Even turning off facetime has been great - the students now need to talk to their friend in the same class rather than facetime them !

    I set up the apps (perhaps 2 minutes per app to add, a bit longer for $ ones), and teacher collects their class set of iPads and plugs them in. We have one dedicated computer that will connect to 21 iPads and by the time they have plugged in their last iPad the first one is normally finished configuring. 

    However don't connect any other apple devices to this computer as it will erase and configure the devices according to the settings - learnt the hard way when plugging in an iPhone to charge it via USB.

  • Mark McLay (View all users posts) 27 Mar 2013 10:34pm ()

    This is a really helpful set of advisory notes Carol. 

    One thing our IT support expert has recommended is NEVER running configurator at the same time as itunes or VPP store.  It seems to trip up when I've inadvertantly done that.


    I've created a flow diagram to explain to teachers how our Confugurator|iTunes|VPP 'configuration' is set out. I hope it helps in some way.


    iPad Apps Mgt Process Map

    I've also created an excel spreadsheet to track the numbers of licences, apps and our budget-to-date (as well as predicted spend if requested apps are purchased).  I'm still fine-tuning that but if anyone's interested, let me know.


    Mark McLay

  • redbeard45 (View all users posts) 09 Apr 2013 11:13am ()

    Hi Mark, I also made up a spreadsheet with the VPP pricing for single and 20+ copies as I think it is an important part of the decision making with teachers as to whether that App is really needed on a number of iPads or whether it is just a ' nice to have'. I think the cost thing is an interesting one. If you are using the VPP, basically I guess we are trying to be honest and do the right thing. The thing is, back in the early 90s with ICT, or IT as we knew it then, you used to have to set aside a reasonable amount of your IT budget for software. Then with the Ministry picking that up as part of the ICT Ministry developments of the early 2000s we didn't need to worry so much about setting aside money for software. Now when you start buying large numbers of copies of Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, Garageband etc under the VPP, the numbers start to have a few zeroes attached!!!

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 16 Apr 2013 9:10pm ()

    Has anyone else tried to do UPDATES of apps under VPP yet? How are you coping with the multiple updates for each app? Especially for apps like Garageband and iMovie. Check David's posting about the initial download of apps on Apple Support, but my concern is more about updates when you later need to do them through iTunes.


  • Charlotte Corfe (View all users posts) 21 May 2014 12:59pm ()

    Mark is there any chance you would share your spreadsheet regarding costs as I am having trouble getting VPP pricing and only single pricing.  I have 30 new iPads to sort out and I would love to be able to accurately work costings out.



  • David Haythornthwaite (View all users posts) 29 Mar 2013 7:36am ()

    Have been trying to work out how to update paid apps with Apple Configurator

    This is my current workflow for updating paid apps. If anyone else has a different solution please post.

    Phase 1
    Notification received that app has update available
    Update app
    Quit iTunes
    Empty Trash to delete the old version of the app
    Phase 2
    Apple Configurator (AC)
    Open AC
    On Prepare Page
    Open App pane
    Click +
    Choose updated version of app
    Click ok in dialogue box to overwrite original version
    This will make new version available in AC
    Phase 3
    As a change has been made a hollow circle will appear next to name of each iPad that has the app is applied to to indicate that it is waiting for a connection to make the appropriate change.
    Waiting for connection
    Turn off any profile in settings pane if it prevents installing/deleting apps
    Turn off tick next to updated app (recovers redemption code)
    Plug in device
    Warning message will appear - Can’t install app
    Click apply / refresh to remove profile
    Tick new version of app
    Tick profiles to be applied
     App should be installed and redemption code used.
  • redbeard45 (View all users posts) 09 Apr 2013 10:19am ()

    Interesting discussion. I have got one school hopefully up and running okay but not without a long and stressful journey and learning lots along the way. It seems to me that even after going to our course David H, there were still lots of things that were not fully explained or that are glossed over / not mentioned in the Apple Vpp videos - little 'gotchas' that can be quite frustrating. It seems all good when you get there but it can be quite a journey. Remember this is early days folks and it will probably get much easier with version 2, 3, and 5. You need lots of Bandaids where you are at the bleeding edge!

  • Kate Friedwald (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 5:03pm ()

    Hi all

    Thanks so much for all the informative posts.  We have been running 20 ipads off 1 itunes account for the past year.  We have just acquired 40 new ipads and signed up to VPP so am very insterested into the best way to manage these.  What i would like to do is.....

    • 5 PODS of 10 iPads with different Apps on each POD (for different levels throughout the school)
    • 1 iPad (along with an iPod) in each class managed manually by teachers itunes account (used to trial apps before purchased by VPP and added to PODS)
    • 1 dedicated MAC for VPP and Apple Configarator use.

    A couple of questions:

    Am i right in beleiving i can set up different profiles using Apple Configurator to allow for setup and management of different PODS ?  These will be in sync carts and all devices are school owned.

    What is the actual limit of devices that can be legially synced to an personal itunes account?  Some classes may find it eaiser to do this in teams (6-9 devices) but i want to make sure it is above board?

    Thanks for your help

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 5:13pm ()

    Yes you can set up different profiles for different iPads or groups of iPads.

    At school you are legally allowed to synch one iPad to an iTunes account.

    If you mean personal to mean like a teacher has her own account, not a school one, they can have as many devices as they like synched- eg an iPad, IPod touch, iPhone etc.

    It's only at school that there are issues around the number of devices!!

  • Innes Kennard (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 5:35pm ()

    Just adding a wee bit to Allanah's notes.

    With the teacher's own account I understand she can have 5 devices synced and that is her own device or one that the school has dedicated to her plus her iPhone plus a family members etc , not that one plus 4 other school ones. That is wriggling around the thing you sign.

    Remember if you have some core apps purchased through VPP you can supply the teachers (or students) with a redeem code that they can apply through their iTunes account - it uses up one of your codes 8-} A good idea to use these in blocks - with teacher names beside the ones they use and KEEP blocks for use with Configurator. I would also suggest supplying those teachers who have agreed to trial apps with a iTunes card which they can use on their 'personal' iTunes account to purchase apps to check them out. Regard it as good R&D.

    When teachers leave they may hand the iPad back but they can take their account with them and transfer to another device (so they 'take' a few school apps - get a life) - they should not use their school email address to sign up to iTunes - it changes when they leave!!

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 6:07pm ()

    Here is a copy/paste from the iTunes Terms of Service....


    (i) If you are an individual acting in your personal capacity, you may download and sync an App Store Product for personal, noncommercial use on any iOS Device you own or control.

    (ii) If you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, you may download and sync an App Store Product for use by either

    (a) a single individual on one or more iOS Devices used by that individual that you own or control or

    (b) multiple individuals, on a single shared iOS Device you own or control. For example, a single employee may use an App Store Product on both the employee's iPhone and iPad, or multiple students may serially use an App Store Product on a single iPad located at a resource center or library. For the sake of clarity, each iOS Device used serially by multiple users requires a separate license.

    (iii) You shall be able to store App Store Products from up to five different Accounts at a time on a compatible iOS Device.

    (iv) You shall be able to manually sync App Store Products from at least one iTunes-authorized device to iOS Devices that have manual sync mode, provided that the App Store Product is associated with an Account on the primary iTunes-authorized device, where the primary iTunes-authorized device is the one that was first synced with the iOS Device or the one that you subsequently designate as primary using the iTunes application.

  • Kate Friedwald (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 6:24pm ()

    Ahh that is clearer, i was reading the itunes terms and conditions and getting confused.  So bascially as a "class device" only 1 can legally be synced to each account.  Thanks for that.

  • Andy Parker (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 7:38pm ()

    There's another clause in the VPP addendum at http://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/volume/nz/terms.html#ADDENDUM

    Apple agrees to permit you to use a single code to sync an App Store Product to multiple devices, up to the number of codes you have purchased (instead of having to redeem a separate code for each license), provided that you meet the following terms:

    •  You agree to sync no more copies than the number of codes you purchased.
    • You agree that you shall be fully responsible for any use of and any loss or harm to Apple or third parties arising from the codes you purchased.
    • You agree to keep complete and accurate records of all uses of the codes you purchased.
    • You understand that this accommodation may only be available for a limited period of time and Apple makes no guarantee regarding forward compatibility with future versions of iOS or the availability of this accommodation for new product versions.
    Reading this with the iOS7 Education page at http://www.apple.com/ios/ios7/education/ may give us a way to avoid the headaches of Apple Configurator now and in the future.
    What will be needed in the future is a good MDM solution (Airwatch, Casper, Meraki or similar)
  • Kate Friedwald (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 5:37pm ()

    Thanks Alanah & Innes.  I mean the class iPad & iPod would be synced to a teacher/class itunes account (run by the teacher so using the teachers email).  So counldnt really be classed as personal as the devices are for student use.  Wondering what would be ok - syncing just 1 class (an iPad & iPod) to an account or a teams (6-9 devices) to one?  Just looking for a way for teachers to eaisly trial apps before purchasing school wide.

  • Neil_V (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 8:38pm ()

    Hi guys!

    I've been watching this develop really closely, as we busy working though these issues ourselves right now... does anyone have info on VPP and "free-for-a-day" apps?

    I am part of a group called TCEA (http://www.tcea.org/) where i regularly get new apps that are free for just that day, can I just VPP 'buy' 50 licences and assign the codes?

  • Daniel Alcock (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 8:50pm ()

    I'm not sure how they feel about it or what the legality of it is but when I get a good free one i whack it into  apple configurator straight away so it's free for distribution to all the devices configured.

  • Peter Eaton (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 8:51pm ()

    No, but you must buy the (free) app and import from itunes into Configurator immediately ON THE DAY THAT IT IS FREE.  When you import an App, it checks with the iTunes store WHEN YOU IMPORT IT to see if it is free.  If you do this, you can deploy it to all ipads for no charge.


  • Neil_V (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 9:12pm ()

    Thanks for the quick replies!

    Just for clarity, once it's imported to configurator it stays there free? or must it be pushed out while still free to retain the 'free' for all instances?

  • Elizabeth K (View all users posts) 26 Jun 2013 9:13pm ()

    Regarding updates of apps in iTunes (I'm talking about the iTunes account that you use with Apple Configurator);

    I noticed in our school account information, in iTunes, I had 102 downloads...oh and I accidentally clicked to update ALL....oh...ten downloads of iMovie...  I would have had to wait for all these downloads to have finished before I could even update the apps that needed updating in iTunes (ie had the word UPDATE over the icon).   This has happened once before with a backlog of around 500 downloads cued (that was caused by having to set up a new Account user on the Mac itselft as something had corrupted..that's another story).

    So if this happens to you...and you accidentally click update ALL and find some large random number to downloads just quit iTunes, pour yourself a coffee or something stronger and contact Apple Support.  The link is below, and ask then to remove/clear the cue of downloads.  I have to say they were extremely efficient and both times cleared the cue promptly.  Then you can update the apps needed when you click on "... Updates Available" then re-import these into Apple Configurator.  


  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 13 Nov 2013 12:58pm ()

    I'm wondering if anyone has thought about the impact on how you set up your school's iOS devices, of Apple's decision to make some of their key apps free recently (with new iPads and iOS7 etc, and I think also for current users) - iMovie, Garageband, iPhoto, and Pages, Keynote, Numbers.

    • Do we no longer need to purchase these apps through the VPP?
    • What is the status of the licences of these key apps we have already bought through VPP
    • What happens when you purchase new devices with these apps freely available, or do an update and get them, but then try to sync with VPP etc through Apple Configurator

    I don't think I want to do any iOS updates on our school iPads till I have this all clear - but need to be thinking about it as we begin to prepare for the new year, and purchase new iPads to be set up with our system (currently iTunes or Apple Configurator).

    My brain's getting scrambled!


Join this group to contribute to discussions.