Love the VPP – The Good Parts, App Distribution

So, I’ve complained a lot about the VPP but there are some good points to it as well. I’ll go over a few of them here so there’s some ying to all my yanging.

The most obvious being the volume discount. Buy more than 20 licenses of one app at one time and they are half off. Note that free apps do not show up in the VPP store. I thought it might be cool to buy 200 copies of a free app while on sale for use in the future but Apple is smarter than me… Remember that it’s 20 or more each time. You can’t buy 20 and come back and buy 5 more and get half off. So, it’s good to buy in bulks of 20 as needed. In the case of the VPP, 11 is more expensive than 20.

Another nice thing about the VPP is the 2 accounts that you will need to run it.

One account for purchasing apps and the other to redeem the apps. In this way, I have been able to purchase apps for students and staff using credit in the VPP account, that I set up at the start of the year. The account used to redeem the apps has no payment options associated with it. It is a “Free” account.

Keep the VPP account info and password in a safety deposit box and swallow the key. The redeeming account is gonna be the school account. All the staff and teachers have the password to this account. Kids can do stupid things and mine craft or music is much more important than Pages when storage space is needed. If a child has uninstalled a school app suddenly required for class. The teacher has the power to log in to the school account on the iPad and reinstall the app from the purchased apps section of the App Store.

Reinstall apps from the redeeming account.

I read a really great line in the book “iPads in Education for dummies”. It said to treat apps like office supplies. They are cheap and you don’t ask for ink back. I’ve used this approach now, for staff. In that sense the school “gifts” the apps to teachers and staff. The VPP store requires that you download a spreadsheet of all your licenses in one file. Passing out 50 separate codes via email is tough so here’s where the Mobile Device Manager & VPP comes in. Meraki’s MDM is my choice here, like I’ve said before, they all do exactly the same thing but Meraki is free.

Screenshot from Meraki’s MDM

So in Meraki I can take my 50 “Pages” licenses and paste them in to the app section and tag it with something like “Pages”. Now if I tag all staff or individuals with “Pages” they will receive a pop up notification asking them to install the app which automatically redeems one of the 50 codes generated by the VPP. The app is now owned by the account that redeemed the code, (the staff member). This sounds easy & it is but my staff was completely confused as to what was happening but soon understood after hitting Cancel on the pop up message a few times and wondering why they didn’t have the apps the other teachers had.

With the VPP there are no mistakes allowed. Please read my other posts about The VPP & Configurator to avoid some of my early mistakes. You can use the tag cloud on the side panel or search my other posts, (they’re all good;) & please comment if you know a better way or have questions. I’ll be going more in depth with Meraki soon.


6 thoughts on “Love the VPP – The Good Parts, App Distribution

  1. Hi, I just wanted to say that this blog and your comments have saved me hours, (possibly days) sorting out our school iPads. I have been assigned the task of sorting out the VPP for 30 iPads and I will use this blog as my “bible”! Keep up the good work guys.

  2. …and a quick question – so I can’t acquire free apps for my school, do they always have to be paid for apps?
    And another – sorry – do apps have 50% off 20 or more, or UP TO 50% discount?
    These may seem obvious but humour me!

    • If you use the iPad Cart Guide post you will only need one copy of the App. If you use Configurator to install the apps you will need a license for each iPad. If the App is part of the VPP,(most are), it will be 50% off of 20 or more, there is no in between. Does that help?

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