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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?


  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 06 Dec 2013 4:57pm ()


    could someone please give me a crashcourse in VPP and in Meraki? We are trying to set up 2 classes with 1 iPad to 2 students and hoping to make manging the devices as painless and reasonably priced as possible.

    Many thanks, Monika

  • Amy McCauley (View all users posts) 07 Dec 2013 6:45am ()

    Hi Monica,

    VPP and Meraki are great and easy to use once they are set-up.  Here is an overview of Systems Management in Meraki - thats the system that manages devices within Meraki:


    Here are the VPP instructions, if you haven't looked at this yet http://www.apple.com/education/it/vpp/

    If you are deploying paid apps within Meraki, you will get a prompt for the VPP codes, which you enter and the apps are deployed. 

  • Andy Parker (View all users posts) 17 Dec 2013 6:07pm ()

    Apple have released updated instructions for VPP in New Zealand.

    It looks like the changes include;

    • Credit for the VPP store can be purchased directly from Apple, or from resellers (No more need to use credit cards)
    • Mac OS apps are now included
    • A new VPP guide is available

    Read more at http://www.apple.com/nz/education/it/vpp/


  • Cindy Nielsen (View all users posts) 27 Jan 2014 10:07pm ()

    Has anyone had any success with buying credit either locally or from Apple? I called our tech guys and they (authorised resellers according to apple's website) knew nothing about it.  We don't have a school credit card and I am looking for a way around this. I was also wondering about using a loaded card. Does anyone know if they would work? What are people using if they don't have a school card?

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 27 Jan 2014 11:23pm ()

    I phoned apple support yesterday and was told that the only option for NZ at this stage is credit card (I had been enquiring about whether we could use an iTunes card too). I hadn't thought about a loaded card. We use a credit card.

  • redbeard45 (View all users posts) 28 Jan 2014 7:59am ()

    Some of the schools I work at have a debit credit card, but some school accountants / auditors are very anti these. Other schools use the Principal's credit card and reiumburse. Horses for courses? One thing to watch when you start using the card is watching the card hasn't got a limit on it, and you inform the bank you will be making lots of small purchases. When we've started making App purchases, I've had purchases blocked automatically after 30 or so Apps because the bank's computers are set up to look for lots of small purchases thinking these were fraudulent use of a card. Once it happens, you can ring the bank and they can unblock it, but it can take an hour or so and it is wasted time...

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 27 Jan 2014 11:26pm ()

    My understanding is that the new credit options don't apply in NZ - that information seems to have been part of general release, and terms vary in different countries. :-(

  • Jo Fothergill (View all users posts) 01 Apr 2014 4:57pm ()

    Hi All - have just purchased istopmotion and imovie to go on some of our ipads - can anyone tell me where i'll find the receipt for billing - my boss paid with credit card and needs the receipt - but it hasn't gone to the email address used and i can't figure out where to look when i'm logged in at the VPP page.



  • Fraser Campbell (View all users posts) 20 May 2014 8:33pm ()

    Some very interesting stuff on here. Have set up 40+ devices through Apple Configurator successfully but don't really see it as a sustainable option once you get up to running this number of devices. Find the need to plug in to USB hub frustrating when adding apps and running updates. Also when trying to update a pod of 7 today after successfully updating another pod, these ones all failed for no clear reaason that even Google search could explain. Am very interested to read of the Meraki option and also Apple Server Profile Manager MDM solution Andrew mentioned. I think this looks to be a better option for us so teachers can get on with teaching while techies set up sustainable solutions to manage multiple devices with as little hands on as needed. Would be good to hear from anyone who has similar failed attempts with Configurator. Basically when I went to prepare, the devices wouldn't show up and then I basically had to go to Supervise and click on the apps for each device to delete and add.

  • Kirsty (View all users posts) 21 May 2014 11:44am ()

    I am using configurator and have had huge problems.  I am trying to use it for 130+ ipdas.  I also have had multiple iPads fail for various reasons and have spent hours on the phone to apple, I am currently waiting to talk to them about an issue now.  What I have found is 1) configurator would not detect a device and I had to reset the ipad and start fresh with it 2) it wont push out paid apps I get the error code 9517 3) sometimes I have to log out of configurator and log back in and it will suddenly work 4) I push out the free apps first and then the paid ones.  I too have looked into different options, the problem I had with Meraki was that you could not take paid apps off the device and then put them on another device like you can in Configurator? 

  • Claire (View all users posts) 20 May 2014 9:19pm ()


    I am certainly no expert on configurator (or confounderator as I call it) but have you turned off find my ipad.  This has caused me no end of problems with configurator.  Depending on the update and operating system you are running find my ipad appears to send bugs into the system.

    I am looking in apple profile manager as well for when we start getting more ipads (we current have 50).  Sounds like from what I have heard you need to get a mini mac server for it to run well (but again I am no expert and could be wrong with the detail).

    Good luck.  I can feel your pain 

  • Fraser Campbell (View all users posts) 20 May 2014 9:28pm ()

    Cheers Claire,

    I will check that- the fact that it was just one pod that wouldn't do its thing makes me wonder about something unexpected like that.

    Yep, the mac mini server sounds like the way to go. I like the idea of being able to run updates wirelessly and also deploy new apps that way too.

    Can't wait to ditch the whole configurator thing.

  • grahamp (View all users posts) 20 May 2014 9:37pm ()

    Hi Guys

    I am aware that one NZ wide education IT company has now made MDM of iPads/VPP etc available entirely as a cloud service.. ie they do it all for you, remotely, under your instructions.  Not wanting to do a commercial... contact me via email for more info.  This is especially targetted to take the pain/ load of classroom teachers.


  • Heather Harper (View all users posts) 21 May 2014 10:00am ()

    I am finding it hard to get my head around the whole Apple Configurator / Meraki ipad management...Currently we have about 40+ ipads and the team has just purchased a whole lot more. I am concerned about the management so have told staff at the moment to only download free APPs. We have a school itunes account for this, However I am now at the stage where I need to do it legally and easier to manage as I currently am setting them all up individually. I have my technician working on a solution   Meraki run through an imac. I will see how this goes.

  • KathC (View all users posts) 21 May 2014 7:23pm ()

    We have just started the same at our school. We were looking at getting our increasing amount of iPads (increasing from 25- 70) legal in terms of paid apps too.

    We are using Meraki on it's own, with vpp. Meraki is great(so far) it can be used on any computer, just log in (and even works through puffin browser on the ipad). Free apps can be sent out straight through Meraki To different iPads based on how you tag them. Vpp is used to buy paid apps but also to catch daily discounted and free apps. I buy 70 licences of the daily free apps that I can distribute at a later stage, no rush once it is in the vpp account.

    i recommend Meraki. It takes a little bit to get each ipad loaded in the system, but is working well so far.


  • Jamie L'Huillier (View all users posts) 21 May 2014 8:37pm ()

    Hi KathC - Thanks for the info.  How do you find the app of the day, i've googled it but end up with a bunch of random add sites.  Thanks  JL

  • KathC (View all users posts) 22 May 2014 8:26pm ()

    Smartappsforkids.com   The site itself is a little tricky to navigate and find the latest entries, but I put my email in the subscribe/join box on the right hand side, and get a daily email, which doesn't take long to flick through to see if there's anything that suits your needs. As it's generated from the other side of the world occasionally the apps is no longer free by the time I read it, but most of them are.


    another ok place to get daily free apps is an App called ' apps gone free'  but not as good as smart apps.

  • andy gorton (View all users posts) 21 May 2014 12:29pm ()

    Apple Configurator a mess IMO. 

    Easy solution, go with Meraki. Drawbacks of course but the whole idea of having a dedicated machine to deal with VPP with Apple Config (~$2000) just doesn't sit well with me.

    Any of you guys in Christchurch then we have run Meraki training sessions before now and happy to put some more on and answer questions and help with pitfalls etc (email below)





  • Kate Friedwald (View all users posts) 28 May 2014 11:03am ()

    Hi all

    After having a wee break I have just been catching up on where everyone is at.  I am currently in the process of updating 60 iPads, including 20 new.  Every time i tackle this task I have different issues with apple configrator.

    1. App codes that cause an error, needing apple to supply a new code to replace it.

    2. Devices that update but show as a new device when activated, needing a by hand activation from white new device screen.

    3. Free Apple Apps for new devices, needed apple to send a spreadsheet with free codes.

    4. Updating apps, itunes updating numerous copies of iMovie etc.  Have found another job while these download so will follow the call apple solution i have read on here in future.

    Besides these issues which besides taking time to solve are not to bad, I am feeling quite successful in using configurator.  However after reading everyones comments i'm thinking that exploring Meraki would be a good option.  Am interested to learn more about this option and see how it is working elsewhere.

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 09 Jun 2014 4:25pm ()

    Has anyone found a solution to using playlists set up in iTunes, through VPP and Apple Configurator? We have teachers wanting to continue to use their Ready to Read playlists on iPads with young students, but these will be removed from the iPads once I set them up under the new system (as I am now doing progressively).

  • Michelle Robison (View all users posts) 12 Jun 2014 6:17pm ()

    I have just found out that Learning Point are offering the following course for configurator. 


    One person who went told me it was a bit complicated for her but I would be interested to hear other impressions if you have done it or are going to do it.

  • redbeard45 (View all users posts) 12 Jun 2014 6:52pm ()

    Andy Fox is very knowledgable - usually does courses for Apple technicians, and by the look of it, I would suggest it is more for technicians than teachers, unless they feel they are quite technical - the programme is very similar if not identical to one run in Christchurch for technicians of schools on the East side, run by another in the Apple technical team, the the VPP/ Configurator was first launched - and I struggled with that! It is quite pricey and be aware, an Apple senior technician is supposedly coming to NZ in August to address some of the issues we have been having with the VPP / Configurator. It is to be hoped this one will be free!

    Just my thoughts

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