Apple's new weapon for enterprise adoption of the iPad: Configurator tool

Summary:Apple has quietly launched the new Configurator tool to further iPad deployment among large organizations.

According to PC stalwarts like Dell and HP, we just need to wait for Windows 8 to launch before the enterprise will embrace tablets. Meanwhile, Apple keeps making inroads with a market segment it never succeeded much with before -- and it's quietly launched a new tool to further iPad deployment among large organizations.

The free Configurator tool (available via the Mac App Store) allows an IT department to prepare a large number of iOS devices (30 at a time) to be deployed immediately. It lets you mass-update to the latest iOS version, and sync apps and install remote management software across your device fleet. You can further divide the devices into groups, allowing you to tailor the user experience to certain segments, and even manage check ins and check outs of iPads.

It's pretty easy to envision scenarios where the Configurator would be useful. A hospital could roll out iPads across its staff, with apps installed depending on your role and medical specialty. Likewise, a school could deploy iPads and divide them by grade levels, installing appropriate apps for the child's grade.

Apple still will never court enterprise in the way that Microsoft needs to, but at this stage of the game, it doesn't have to. With a commanding market share and customers dying to use the iPad at work, a little tool like Configurator can go a long way in making iOS devices more palatable to enterprise IT departments.


Topics: Windows, Apple, CXO, Enterprise Software, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Tablets


Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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