The following directions apply to devices that need to be manually added to Apple Business Manager (ABM). Review Apple's requirements to see if your device qualifies for this method.
You will probably need to onboard devices this way because:
- You purchased devices before you had an ABM account.
- Devices were added to your organization outside of ABM distributors.
We also offer alternative onboarding methods:
- Refer to the ABM onboarding guide if your devices are already part of ABM.
- If you don't plan on using ABM in your provisioning process, see Onboarding with Direct Profile.
- Apple Business Manager
- Apple Configurator
- A Mac computer
- A device that runs iOS, including iPadOS
- A cable to connect your iOS device to your Mac computer
- That the device is removed from any previous MDM service
In this article:
Preparing a Network Profile
While not required, network profiles can save you time during onboarding by allowing your device to connect to the internet automatically.
To create a profile, open Apple Configurator and press File > New Profile.
Go to the Wi-Fi section and press Configure.
Enter your wi-fi credentials.
Then go to File > Save to save the profile. We’ll use this profile while onboarding our device with Apple Configurator.
Provisioning with Apple Business Manager (ABM) and Apple Configurator
To begin onboarding, you will need to download the Apple Configurator app. After downloading, connect your iOS device to your Mac computer through a cable. Then open the Configurator app.
Note: You may be asked to trust the device. Press Trust.
Perform a Factory Reset at this step. Right-click in the Apple Configurator app, and select Advanced > Erase All Content and Settings. Don’t follow the prompts on the device screen at this step as this can interfere with the onboarding process. We’ll let you know when it’s safe to touch the device screen.
If the device was part of ABM previously, it must be in the Released state. See Removing an ABM Device for more information.
Right-click on the screen and select Prepare. If you’ve previously prepared the device, you’ll need to erase the previous configurations and Prepare it again.
- Manual Configuration
- Add to Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager.
- Other optional configurations
Ensure Activate and complete enrollment is NOT selected.
If this is your first time provisioning, select New Server or choose one of the options from the dropdown.
We will not be setting up the MDM server at this step. Enter any name and use the default host name. Then press Next.
Configurator will attempt to connect with the server and show an error message. This is expected. Press Next.
You won’t input a certificate at this step. Press Next.
Next, choose the organization. If this is your first time, select New Organization and input the Apple ID into the Apple Business Manager account. This account should be the same as the one for the DEP credentials you set up during Apple MDM Management.
Generate a new supervision identity or choose an existing identity.
Then, choose the steps for the user during setup or, for a seamless flow, select Don’t show any of these steps.
We recommend not selecting Passcode as it may interfere with Esper’s device management.
Then press Next. If you prepared a network profile, upload it. If not, you do not need to upload anything at this step. Then press Pepare.
You may be asked for your computer’s password. Enter it.
Then allow your device time to reset.
The Configurator app may show a loading screen at this step. There’s no need to wait for it to process.
After your device resets the second time, go to your Apple Business Manager account and select the device from Your Devices.
Click on Edit MDM server.
Unassign the current MDM server and press Continue.
You may need to refresh the page for changes to take effect.
Then assign the device to the Esper tenant and press Continue.
Ensure the MDM shows the correct server before moving on.
In Esper, go to your profile > Apple MDM Management and press Sync Devices.
The device count should change.
Now, it is safe to follow the prompts on your device screen. If you uploaded a network profile, it should connect automatically and go to the remote management screen. If not, manually connect the device to a network.
Once the Remote Management screen appears, click Next. You should receive a message the device is enrolled.
Your device is now connected to Esper!
You can add a blueprint to the device in the following ways: