Apple @ Work: Why Apple Business Essentials Isn’t a Direct Competitor to Other MDM Vendors

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Apple Business Essentials is an important product for Apple. I’ve spoken to several companies that operate Macs and iPads, and they are not interested in the service. That’s a good thing though, as Apple isn’t looking to control 100% of the device management market. Companies like Kandji, Jamf, Mosyle, JumpCloud, and Addigy are doing a great job enabling Apple to do great in the enterprise. The enemy of Apple Business Essentials is not other MDM vendors. They are unmanaged devices.

About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers managed an enterprise IT network from 2009 to 2021. With his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, mobile device management system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, hundreds of Macs, and hundreds of iPads, Bradley will highlight On the ways Apple CIOs can deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories from IT management moats, and ways Apple can improve its products for IT departments.

When Apple bought Fleetsmith, I think the first reaction in the Mac admin community was rather negative. Yes, Apple made the mistake of removing the App Catalog feature right away. However, I believe that Apple’s intentions with Apple Business Essentials are to help small businesses have a better Mac, iPhone, and iPad experience. From the ease of buying in a dedicated business store to the touchless setup to easily keeping devices safe day in and day out, Apple wants as little as two to 500 businesses for a great Mac experience. Yes, Apple likes subscription revenue from Apple Business Essentials, but they like selling Macs, iPads, and iPhones.

What happens if the company goes beyond the basics of Apple Business?

If a company grows from 300 people to 1,000 people and goes beyond Apple Business Essentials, it’s not bad for Apple because it just sold 700 MacBook Airs to that company.

Apple Business Essentials is meant to help small businesses without a Mac expert continue to enjoy a great experience. As the company grows, it may make sense to bring some of this expertise in-house, and the company can use a full-featured MDM product. Apple Business Manager is designed so that a company can easily connect a new MDM server to its account and re-register all of its devices to the new MDM. All existing application licenses will be made available quickly. Apple designed its platforms so that customers are never locked into one vendor — even itself.

The enemy is unmanaged devices

As I said at the beginning, Apple’s goal with Apple Business Essentials is not to capture the MDM market. The booming MDM market is beneficial to Apple. Different vendors have different integrations and different points of focus. Institutional clients love options and want to avoid closing in on the seller. Apple designed Apple Business Essentials to take customers away from zero when it comes to managed devices and on the way to a better Mac management experience.

Instead of buying Macs from big local retailers and setting them up manually, Apple wants business customers to have an enterprise-grade experience of buying, setting up and configuring. If this is at Apple Business Essentials or another MDM vendor, Apple wins either way.

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