AC2 is REALLY nice, but consistency between versions is increasingly frustrating.
We use AC2 in our organization to update/restore iPads right out of the box. The previous version of AC2 was working and iOS 9.3.4 was installing fine, no errors. Star to Apple! This is a vast difference in performance from the first version of AC2, which our Apple reps insisted the problem was our WiFi……though AC2 is a wired connection. At any rate, we recently updated AC2 (iOS 10.x also came out) and restoring fails often. The problem is not WiFi, nor is it our hub, as again, it worked in the previous version of AC2. As a compliment, I do appreciate that this version supports adding a supervision identity certificate from our MDM, so now both the AC2 stations and MDM can work together. Star to Apple!
AC2 restore fails often (most important feature for us in AC2)
MDM synchronization is really nice (however this feature is so belated we’ve learned to work around it, though that belatedness may be due to our MDM provider)
For Apple, who will probably never read this:
I like the idea of blueprints but I believe there’s an issue with the way blueprints are applied. For example, we want the blueprint to restore all devices, then name them (we have a set naming scheme, e.g. smith-1, smith-2), THEN apply an MDM enrollment profile. This does work; however, iPads sometimes go into the MDM named “iPad” and some go in named how we want them to. The advantage of naming them before enrollment is to avoid having thousands of devices all named iPad. I propose that a delay is added in the blueprint when a naming scheme is invoked. This would allow time for AC2, or possibly the Hub that all the iPads are plugged into, to catch up BEFORE the enrollment profile is installed. Test this with 10+ iPads instead of one, you will see what I mean.
Really, a cure all would be for Apple to go ahead and become an MDM. Apple has everything they need in their arsenal to be an MDM (especially with the addition of Apple School Manager), but still Apple chooses to push the responsibility to a 3rd party. Clearly I don’t know everything as I’m not one of the most profitable companies in the world, but it seems like Apple wants to micro-manage their software but not accept the responsibility of deploying it.