Managing employee devices can be difficult for small businesses which is why Apple (opens in new tab) has announced a new service that brings mobile device management (opens in new tab), support and cloud storage (opens in new tab) together in a complete package for SMBs.
Now available in beta, Apple Business Essentials offers device management, 24/7 Apple Support and iCloud storage in flexible subscription plans for small businesses with up to 500 employees. There is also a new Apple Business Essentials app that enables employees to install apps for work and request support.
Apple Business Essentials is designed to help save time for small businesses as they grow by supporting them through the total device management life cycle from device setup to employee onboarding and device upgrades while also providing strong security, prioritized support and secure data storage and cloud backup (opens in new tab).
VP of enterprise and education marketing at Apple, Susan Prescott provided further insight on the company's new SMB-focused service in a press release (opens in new tab), saying:
“Small businesses are at the core of our economy, and we’re proud that Apple products play a role in helping these companies grow. Apple Business Essentials is designed to help streamline every step of employee device management within a small business — from setup, onboarding, and upgrading, to accessing fast service and prioritized support, all while keeping data backed up and secure, so companies can focus on running their business.”
Apple Business Essentials
Apple Business Essentials simplifies employee onboarding by allowing a small business to easily configure, deploy and manage Apple products from anywhere.
For instance, Collections enable IT admins to configure settings and apps for individual users, groups or devices. When an employee signs in to their corporate or personal device using their work credentials, Collections automatically pushes settings such as VPN (opens in new tab) configurations and Wi-Fi passwords.
Strong security is another selling point of Apple Business Essentials as IT managers can enforce critical security settings such as FileVault (opens in new tab) for full-disk encryption (opens in new tab) on Mac and Activation Lock to protect devices that may be lost or stolen. The service also provides a dedicated iCloud (opens in new tab) account for work and business data is automatically stored and backed up which makes it easy to move between devices or upgrade to a new one.
SMBs that sign up for Apple Business Essentials also have the option to add fast and reliable service for employee devices with prioritized Apple Support. By adding AppleCare+ (opens in new tab) for Business Essentials to their plan, SMBs get 24/7 access to phone support, training for both IT admins and employees and up to two device repairs per plan each year. Employees can initiate repairs using the Apple Business Essentials app and an Apple-trained technician will come to their workplace in as little as four hours to get their devices up and running.
When Apple Business Essentials launches, there will be three plans to cover every employee and device in their organization. We'll likely hear more on the service from Apple once it exits beta and becomes fully available in the spring of 2022. Until then, interested businesses can sign up here (opens in new tab) to join the beta.
We've also featured the best MDM solutions (opens in new tab), the best workstations (opens in new tab) and the best business laptops (opens in new tab)