men work in office on multiple devices enabled by Intune

Streamlining Shared Device Management

Watercare is a company that embraces technology to aid in supplying water services to the 1.7 million people in Auckland. In early 2020 the group was working to modernise their entire IT environment. A component to this project was to effectively enrol a fleet of shared iPads into an efficient and manageable MDM platform.

Since 2015, Watercare had been deploying iPads and leveraging JAMF to manually manage their fleet of iPads in the field, but their resources were running thin. The group had skeleton crew administering their JAMF environment while configuring tasks manually with the tool. As time continued to pass, their JAMF environment was becoming increasingly complex and cumbersome. The constant manual administration was becoming a burden.

In addition to the challenging situation Watercare found themselves in with JAMF from an administration perspective, the group was incurring ongoing costs for JAMF licenses.

Considering these two factors, Watercare identified their legacy approach to managing their iPads in the field as a risk in terms of sustainability, and an excessive expense.

Rebuilding to Leverage Intune Capabilities

In 2020 The team at Watercare had engaged Mobile Mentor to build their Intune environment to support and manage their Mobile devices. When it came time to migrate their iPads from JAMF to Microsoft Intune it made sense to once again use Mobile Mentor.

Intune’s automation features would allow their group to avoid resource-draining manual configurations and allow their team to manage all their mobile devices in one console. It would also ensure that Watercare would no longer have to pay license fees for each device as Intune is included in their Microsoft licenses.

The migration required a complete rebuild. This began with the configuration of Intune. To achieve this, the Mobile Mentor team took the following steps:

  • Restrictions assigned to Watercare’s iPhones also been applied to the iPads. A separate restriction profile created for shared iPads.

  •  Configured Wi-Fi policies

  • Created an Apple DEP (device enrolment programme) profile to streamline on-boarding experience

  •  Configured a lock screen profile and a home screen layout

To ensure the iPads had the apps required by Watercare staff to complete their jobs, the  Mobile Mentor team then took the following steps:

  • Confirmed the selected apps to be deployed (from JAMF)

  • Purchased additional Apple VPP (Volume Purchasing Programme) licenses to enable a smooth migration

  • Added Apps to Intune

  • Added relevant AppConfig settings to Intune

Finally, the Mobile Mentor team conducted a series of tests to ensure the Intune configuration met the full needs of the group at Watercare. This included:

  • Functional testing of the build across Watercare’s variety of use cases

  •  Testing of the end-to-end enrolment process to ensure a great user experience

  • Support testing activities with the Watercare team

To guarantee continued success with the new build, Mobile Mentor equipped the Watercare group with a customised enrolment guide, then conducted comprehensive training of the enrolment process.

Ensuring a Productive Future

The team at Watercare is now able to manage their 300+ field iPads efficiently using Microsoft Intune. Their team can now use their device management platform with automation rather than manual configurations. Their small team of subject experts in their JAMF environment can move on to more innovative projects. As a result, their group is more agile and have cut provisioning and admin time substantially. They’re also positioned to save money in the long term, as they will no longer have to pay recurring costs for device licenses.

About watercare

Watercare is an infrastructure asset management council-controlled organisation (CCO) that manages the drinking water and wastewater services of the Auckland Region of New Zealand. Watercare is registered with the New Zealand Companies Office as Watercare Services Limited, and is 100% owned by Auckland Council.