What was previously only offered by third parties like Jamf, Apple now wants to get started: managing iPhones, iPads, and Macs in small and medium-sized businesses.
Apple has long encouraged and touted the use of the Mac, iPad, and iPhone in the workplace as powerful productivity machines, but Cupertino hasn’t really designed much software or services specifically for commercial interests. This is now changing with the new service Apple Business Essentials.
Apple Business Essentials has entered the beta phase and is supposed to be fully available in the US in the spring of 2022. Information about the start in Germany is not yet known. The new service combines device management, iCloud storage, staff setup, and service/support in one monthly subscription package. The Apple Business Essentials program targets businesses with up to 500 employees and offers three simple pricing tiers:
Single device: $2.99 per month (per user), single device and 50GB of iCloud storage.
Multiple devices: $6.99 per month (per user), supports up to three devices, and provides 200GB of iCloud storage.
Multiple devices, more storage: $12.99 per month (per user), supports up to three devices, and offers 2TB of iCloud storage.
When the service leaves beta in the spring of 2022, companies can add AppleCare+ to their subscriptions and receive priority Apple Support, training for IT and employees, and up to two hardware repairs per user per year. With Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and Office 365, Google and Microsoft offer similar storage and support for small businesses, for example, providing professional device management for Mac, iPad and iPhone Jamf Also for large companies.
Apple Business Essentials enables IT departments to easily manage systems with newly managed Apple IDs that are separate from employees’ personal Apple IDs. When users add these to devices, the service can push functionality like Wi-Fi and VPN settings, enforce important security settings like a filevault and establish a connection to a user’s Business Essentials iCloud storage.
The service also installs a new Business Essentials app, which the user can use to download the company’s customized software and request support. When a user signs in with their Managed Apple ID on a private device, different encryption keys are used for business data to separate it from personal data. (maquilt)
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