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Giacomo Balli

Innovation consultant specializing in mobile strategy

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Apple Volume Purchase Program and B2B Apps on AppStore explained

The latest data regarding apple devices (and especially iPads) being adopted as a tool by schools and businesses is amazing. However, considering how powerful yet easy to use they are, it's surprising adoption rate was faster.

Apple's winning point is making things easy. That was the concept behind the iPod (music always with you in a small device), the entire iCloud system (no manual backups necessary), buying any kind of media with one click and now also buying iOS apps (and books and B2B apps) in bulk using the volume purchase program.



The volume purchase program requires exclusive AppleIDs (you can't use your regular iTunes Account) and therefore the first step is enrolling to become a “program manager” here. Any institution can have as many program managers and facilitators as it wants (they each will have an AppleID), everything is done through the Program Facilitator account manager tool.

 

For some institutions the tricky part is that all the “users” involved in the volume purchase program have to be “new” (ie an email address not currently associated to an account on iTunes). This is usually solved by using corporate emails or even issuing new ones. This last advice is especially useful in order to keep things easy in the future. Using fresh email addresses such as volumeProgManager1@myAwesomeInstitution.com rather than john.doe@myAwesomeInstitution.com will avoid complications if some day John Doe decides to change job or is simply not in charge of the program anymore.

 

You don't need to be a volume purchase program manager in order to make purchases. That is what facilitators are for. Once they log in the Volume Purchase Program Education Store they can redeem vouchers provided by the manger (you can also pay using credit card, PCards and PayPal). Structuring a volume purchase program team depends on needs and preference of each institution. There is no one right way. However, people usually consider having one facilitator per department (in other cases even one per classroom).

 

Volume Vouchers are “physical cards in denominations of $100, $500, $1000, $5000, and $10,000 that can be used to purchase apps and books in the Volume Purchase Program Education Store. They cannot be used to purchase apps or books directly from the App Store or the iBookstore. The cards are shipped via Federal Express or UPS, so they can be easily tracked. You should receive your Volume Vouchers three to five business days after ordering them”. They can be ordered for K-12 education or higher education. Remember that although volume purchase vouchers do not expire, they cannot be split among facilitators therefore plan accordingly.

 

All paid iOS apps are available for purchase through the volume purchase program (in-app purchases not included). However, it is up to the individual developers to decide if the wish to provide a discount to you.

The books in the iBookstore available for volume purchase program are only the ones from participating publishers (you might want to check availability before purchasing vouchers).

 

After a volume purchase has been placed and the transaction was completed successfully, you will receive a confirmation with one code for each app/book you purchased. This can get large very fast therefore it's advisable to store the information in a spreadsheet or other organized system. If you're not using an MDM (Mobile Device Management) software such as Apple Configurator, you might consider distributing the codes via email or on a private website (or intranet) where all end users can grab their code. Remember that codes do not expire therefore do not be alarmed if you purchased too many, could come in handy the next semester. If your looking for solutions to distribute apps and books directly to students, you might want to check out the iOS 5 Education Deployment Guide.

#Apple, #appstore, #volume purchase
Published: Sun, 11 Nov 2012 21:25:52 +0000