I'm pretty new to deployment, and the area I'm struggling with right now is supervised mode with apple configurator. All of the devices I'm working with right now are on iOS7, and will be enrolled in airwatch. There are a list of features in airwatch that are attractive, but require the device be in supervised mode.
I'm basically wondering what are the cons to supervised mode?
Hi there, we currently have around 75 devices and they are all supervised. The ability to use many of the features that are supervision only is critical to us. What we do is a little different from what most people do when they supervise devices. Basically, we are just setting the supervision "flag" on the device, so Airwatch lets us apply the settings. We do not tie Airwatch to configurator in any way. Our process is as follows: Get a new device, connect it to a Mac VM with Apple Configurator loaded (so we can move the supervision "computer" around to another physical machine if we need to), we then basically just check the supervised box and let it do it's thing. We don't sideload any apps or enroll Airwatch through Configurator. The phone reloads with the supervision profile installed and that is the only change on the device at this point.
We then enroll the device into Airwatch as usual, again we do not have anything specified on the Airwatch "Apple Configurator" page. After the device is enrolled, we push our polices out to the device and all is good. I'm sure we could do things a little more streamlined, but in our environment all devices are corporate owned (no BYOD) and are iPhones or iPads. Also, we push certificates out for authentication to Exchange and I think there are some issues with this if you enroll through Configurator automatically.
As far as cons to supervision go, the only thing is it's a hassle to do right now. This is changing in the near future hopefully with Streamlined Enrollment. Specifically, once supervised, the device is tied to the Mac that it was supervised with and can't be plugged into another computer (a plus for our environment). Also, each device has to be manually tethered and supervised. In our environment, IT does the entire setup for each device for the user and then we give the user the finished product. If you have hundreds or thousands of devices, this would be an even bigger hassle. Then again, a lot of schools have to do this. Finally, I wouldn't think you would be able to do this with BYOD devices(again, not a problem in our environment).
Hope this answers your question...