BlackBerry announces support for Apples Volume Purchase Program

BlackBerry has announced today that BES12 now support Apples Volume Purchase Program (VPP).

The VPP provides institutions and businesses with complete ownership and control of content through mobile device management (MDM) solutions. And users get quick and easy access to purchase applications in Bulk, over the air.

Support in BES12 means you can now distribute those apps in the simple and familiar BES12 way. This includes applications wrapped to run inside Secure Work Space (SWS) and standard Apple App Store Applications.

The process is similar to distribution of applications in SWS. This addition gives you an extra choice for developers and Administrators.

All apps wrapped “for SECTOR” as well as standard apps published on Apples App store can be distributed using standard BES distribution rules, but if the app has a cost associated with it, then each user who installs it is responsible for the purchase. With support for VPP, you can now handle the purchase centrally in bulk and the user will not be asked.

For Users, they have 2 locations to choose apps from. 1) The standard Apple App Store, where they are responsible for any charge. 2) the BES controlled “Work Apps” page, where apps are distributed under VPP and the charge is handled by your company.

When you install a VPP managed app, the user will see the grey bar above with “Action required to add prepaid apps”. You simply agree to the install, and the charge is applied to the VPP, not your iTunes account.

Administrators can now deploy pre-approved apps as mandatory without having to ask the user to pay for an app individually.

Developers now have an additional option for distribution. Apps can be distributed through VPP without being public on the Apple App Store, which may be of particular interest to those wrapping apps with “for SECTOR” who don’t want to have multiple versions (ie one standard, one “for sector”, etc).

For more information check out the Managing Apple VPP Accounts docs here.