Author Archives: Rick Goody

David Moyle Joins the team

We’d like to welcome David Moyle to the team at Catalytic IT as our newest Support Consultant.

David joins us at CatalyticIT after working for the past nine years at a variety of independent and Catholic Education schools throughout WA. Most recently his role was the ICT Technical Manger of a 1300+ student Catholic College that has been continually recognised as an Apple Distinguished School.

David has a strong passion for education and providing a trouble-free technical environment for educators and students.

Outside of CIT hours David is an active volunteer at motorsport rally events.

Moyle, David

Apple VPP and Device ID

So as most people who deal with Apple iOS devices will now be aware, as of iOS 9 Apple provided the ability to deploy apps via Device ID as well as via Apple ID. This process is called managed distribution. For the many schools that are dealing with iOS devices in a shared environment, this will improve the process of getting apps on devices and keeping them up to date.

The are some small caveats

◉ Apps must be deployed via a supported MDM solution

◉ Alternatively they can be deployed via the new Apple Configurator 2

◉ The App developer must enable this feature on their App

Apple has had a way to convert apps from VPP codes to managed distribution for a long time. This process has now been been made even easier. You can request apps be converted to managed distribution via specific orders, which means you can stage your conversion based on when devoplers enable this function. The instructions for this are available here: https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT202863

But how do you know if a app is available via managed distribution to Device ID?

The iTunes Store has an API that you can either manually visit a URL to view, or do something programmatically to check this. The general URL is:

http://itunes.apple.com/lookup?id=<appstore_ID_Number>

How do you get the App Store ID number? If you search for the app in question in iTunes, it’s fairly easy. Next to the “Buy” or “Get” button (depending if it’s free or paid) click the chevron (the little downwards arrow) and click “Get Link”. Paste that link somewhere and you’ll see something like

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/self-service-mobile/id718509958?mt=8

Our ID in this case is 718509958. The app I’ve looked up is JAMF Self Service. Now pop that into the API URL format:

http://itunes.apple.com/lookup?id=718509958

If you drop that URL into a browser, you’ll get a JSON response. To find out if the app supports device-based VPP licensing, the key you’re looking for is

isVppDeviceBasedLicensingEnabled

An app that supports VPP device-based licensing will return a value of true.

This way you can check your already purchased apps to ensure that they will work with this new feature, before getting the codes converted, or before you choose to purchase a app.

Our trip to EduTech 2015

EduTech15

Michael from Catalytic IT were lucky enough to attend the EduTech conference in Brisbane early June, in order to gain a better understanding of the latest educational ICT trends.

The conference began with a visit to the NetBox National Users Group, where we learned about the upcoming changes for v30.  For those of you who are struggling with SNI challenges at the moment, this will be a welcome update.

We also got the opportunity to meet up with some local and interstate schools and get a feel for what they were doing, and the challenges they were actively facing.  We then caught up with our former colleagues (and still partners) Datacom for a catch up and a quiet drink.

Things began in earnest for us on Tuesday as we got the opportunity to listen Eric Mazur discuss his vision for rethinking assessments, as he argued that assessment methodologies in use today do not accurately reflect the skills we want to give our students.  A fascinating insight into his thought process, and certainly some implications for integrators as we look to help implement systems that support peer and self-assessment and more instantaneous feedback.

We also got to take a sneak peek into Design39 – an innovative new style of school (https://sites.google.com/site/design39campus/portrait) and it was fascinating to see the concepts that were embraced when starting from scratch.  We listened to a session by the Dell Security team and picked up some great stats to demonstrate the importance of securing your networks appropriately.  We also got to take a look into the infrastructure and thought process behind the BYO program at Kristen School in Auckland – a very well thought out approach and one we certainly picked up a few tips/tricks that we intend to put to use amongst our schools (particularly the BYO experience).  We rounded off a great day with dinner/drinks with NetBox Blue and Seqta (it was definitely the place to be on Tuesday night!)

Our final day began with an utterly fascinating presentation by Larry Johnson from NMC as he walked us through networks between the generations.  We also got to hear from Paul Lister (Scots College) as he walked through the process of finding the right partner for your school – an approach we thoroughly endorse and the values he espoused (Trust and Accountability) are tenants of any engagement we pursue.  We heard from Kevin Richardson from Immanuel College in Adelaide as he walked us through their approach to BYOT and we were quite impressed with how much they managed to achieve with relatively fewer resources.  It was also quite interesting to listen to Mitch Miller walk through their cloud strategy (they’ve moved pretty much all of their core infrastructure away from the school to Amazon), the hurdles they’ve faced and how they overcame them.

Throughout the conference we made sure we had a chat with suppliers/vendors that we thought had innovative solutions.  New connections were made and we hope to share some innovative solutions that have come from those connections as they occur.  All in all it was a great opportunity to see what others were doing, learn from their mistakes and hopefully help our customers prepare for educational ICT trends.

DEP Now in Australia

Corporate-owned deployments made simple.

The Device Enrollment Program (DEP) provides a fast, streamlined way to deploy your corporate-owned Mac or iOS devices, whether purchased directly from Apple or through participating Apple Authorized Resellers.

• Zero-touch configuration for IT.
• Streamlined setup.
• Wireless supervision.

For further information check out http://www.apple.com/business/dep/
Or if you want some help streamlining your deployment contact us

We are pleased to announce that Michael Lester has joined our team at Catalytic IT.

We are pleased to announce that Michael Lester has joined our team at Catalytic IT.

Michael has worked in technology related fields for over 13 years, more recently focusing on ICT use in education, and acting as a business to tech translator.  Michael has worked with a number of leading digital schools, locally, nationally and internationally helping deliver ICT vision through design, planning and the practical application of technology. He has delivered a number of strategic ICT reviews in conjunction with educators, applying this knowledge. Michael is actively working towards an MBA and spends his spare time convincing his wife that studying together can substitute for date nights.

Meet the team

9.4 of the Casper Suite Released

Version 9.4 of the Casper Suite is now available. From BYOD support to enhancements to the Self Service app for iOS and OS X, this newest version gives today’s can-do IT a smart and simple way to enable user productivity, reduce help desk tickets, and help ensure their BYOD program is successful and secure.

Finally, BYOD made manageable
The mobile device explosion is driving demand for BYOD programs. But cost, complexity, and user revolt are causing challenges for many of them. The Casper Suite addresses every one. Designed specifically for personally owned iOS and Android devices, the Casper Suite BYOD solution is a lightweight and cost-effective mobile device management option that lets IT enforce data security, ensure user privacy, and accelerate BYOD program adoption.

Check out the new features 

To discuss making use of these new features or implementing Casper in your environment contact us here

Catalytic Device Management Now Live

For the first time in Western Australia, Manage all your Companies or Schools iDevices without extensive infrastructure and onsite training. Catalytic IT can now offer this service as a hosted solution, backed up by fully Certified Trained Administrators, High Speed connection, High availability server uptime and Hosted in Western Australia.

More organizations are using Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV than ever before. Catalytic IT have been working with these products for over a decade. We have chosen to use the class leading JAMF Casper Suite to support an extraordinary Apple experience for the end user while meeting or exceeding organization goals and requirements.

Whether you work at a school, business, or government agency, the Casper Suite has been developed to meet your needs—because it’s supported by Apple specialists for the enterprise. Catalytic IT understand the potential of Apple in the enterprise and how to help you get where you want to be.

The Casper Suite is the leading endpoint management solution for Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV. Secure and manage devices automatically, while enabling users to help themselves using Self Service on demand.

Catalytic IT Join Apple Consultants Network

Catalytic IT is pleased to announce that we have been accepted by Apple as an accredited consultant member of the Apple Consultants Network (ACN).

The Apple Consultants Network (ACN) is run by Apple Inc. and enables businesses with specific needs to find a trained and accredited partner to deliver solutions based on Apple technology.

The process of becoming recognised as part of the ACN can be challenging, depending on the level of experience. Catalytic IT has been implementing large and complex Apple solutions since its launch. The ACN accreditation cements recognition of Catalytic IT’s capabilities with Apple technology.

The ACN Accreditation recognizes Catalytic IT for:

  • Small-Medium Businesses
  • K12 Education
  • Higher Education
  • Mobility

For more information on Catalytic IT’s capabilities around Apple, please contact us. You can see our ACN Profile here.

Note:  All brands, trademarks and logos are property of their respective owners. Catalytic IT acknowledges their ownership and respects other companies’ intellectual property.

We’re Looking for Consultants

Well what a finish to the year. After setting up Catalytic IT in August 2013 we have been non stop. It has been great to see our reputation and honest approach to supporting customers has been greatly appreciated. With a number projects completed and partnerships formed, it has been a successful year.

So to start the new year in the same fashion as we finished 2013, we are looking for like minded consultants to join us and help us support our customers and build a company which you want to turn up to work everyday.

Working as a ICT consultant is one of the most varied roles in IT. Very rarely will today be the same as yesterday, and unless you work with some of the larger companies in Australia will you have the chance to help and effect so many peoples working and education lives. Everyday is a challenge (in a good way) and everyday you will learn something new. You will continue to grow your skills and get a chance to use and play with the latest technologies.

If you are interested in joining the team at Catalytic IT please see our current Seek Ad or email employment@citwa.com.au

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