Setting up Apple Business Manager – Part 4

In part 3 of this series, I showed you how to create the Apple enrolment token and apply this in Intune.

In part 4, I will run through creating the Volume Purchase Programme (VPP) token. If you are not sure of what the VPP is, well think if it as the Apple equivalent to Microsoft’s Store for Business. With the VPP you can purchase bulk licenses for iOS and Mac apps so that they can then be distributed to multiple users.

As with our previous certificates and tokens, the VPP token needs to be renewed annually, so beware that this token will expire.

Before starting the process of downloading the token from ABM, you will need to enter VAT details for the business in the Apps and Books section of the ABM. Apple will verify these details and it states that this can take up to five days to be verified, so be aware of the timescales involved here – it is not instant!

Once verified, Apps and Books within the Settings menu will now be available to you. Click the Download link under the My Server Tokens section. This will download a .vpptoken file.

Note that you can add in Store Credit in to the Apps and Books section, should you be purchasing apps from Apple.

Login to MEM admin center and go to Tenant Administration\Connectors and tokens\Apple VPP Tokens. Click Create.

Enter a Token Name, add in the Apple ID used to download token from ABM and upload the VPP token file. Click Next.

Enter details of your Country/Region, the Type of VPP account and I recommend turning on Automatic app updates. Select the I grant Microsoft permission to send both user and device information to Apple checkbox. Click Next. Click through to complete the wizard.

The VPP token will appear in the Intune console. Before you can use app and books which have been purchased in Apple Business Manager, you will first need to sync the Apple Business manager with Intune. If you right click the token you can choose Sync. We’ll action this shortly when we purchase an app from the VPP.

As you can see, I have already purchased some apps in the VPP, but let’s add another and sync it up with Intune. Go to Apps and Books in ABM and click into the search bar at the top.

I’ve searched for the iFollow app, so my users can listen to Barnsley Football Club play their latest game over Christmas. Note, that I want to get the iOS App, if a macOS app is available it would also appear here. Make sure purchase the correct app type for your devices.

Click in the Assign to section and assign to your company. Choose the Quantity of licences which you need to deploy out the app and click Get.

You’ll see the status flip to Purchasing and then the Get button will be greyed out.

and the app will appear in the list of apps, along with the number of licences purchasesd.

Now we flip back to the MEM portal and click the Sync button to sync up the new purchase into Intune. The sync can take a little while, so give this time to process.

When the sync completes, you’ll see the new app in the Apps\iOS/iPadOS blade as an iOS volume purchase program app. This can now be assigned using the usual methods.

As mentioned in part 3, we need to create an enrolment profile for our Apple devices. I’ve held off until this point as I want to associate the VPP token with that profile.

Before you create this profile, make sure you purchase the Microsoft Company Portal app from ABM and sync it with Intune, otherwise you will get No VPP tokens found in the Install Company Portal with VPP drop down later.

To create the profile, navigate to Devices\iOS/iPadOS\iOS/iPadOS enrollment\Enrollment program tokens and click the enrolment token created in part 3.

Next click Profiles.

Select Create profile.

Give the profile a Name and, optional, Description. Click Next.

We need to choose User affinity to be Enroll with User Affinity and then we can select the token in the Install Company Portal with VPP section. Complete the profile based on how you want the enrolment to operate for your company.

I hope this helps you with setting up Apple Business Manager within your company.

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