Apple Business Essentials now available to all small businesses in the US, Google Workspace integration coming this spring

After a beta period with thousands of businesses, Apple is ready to expand simplified device management, iCloud Drive storage, and device repair solution to all small businesses. Originally released in beta in November 2021, Apple Business Essentials is designed to simplify device management for growing organizations using Apple.

There are several plans included for IT managers and business owners to choose the best one for their business. New with the final release, Apple is allowing a single-device solution that includes 50GB of iCloud storage for just $2.99 ​​per month. Apple offers a multi-device solution for up to 3 devices and 200 GB of storage for $6.99 per user per month. For those with more demanding storage needs, there’s a $12.99 per month plan that includes up to 2TB of storage.

Apple Business Essentials helps small businesses with employee onboarding to set up, deploy, and manage Apple products. Using the Collections feature of the web portal, groups of applications can be provided to employees with just a few clicks. System settings can be automatically pushed to devices, such as VPN configurations, Wi-Fi passwords, etc.

Early feedback from customers has been strong, with many reporting the time savings they’ve seen from deploying devices, especially for remote employees.

“Apple has been committed for decades to helping small businesses thrive. From the dedicated business teams in our stores to the App Store Small Business program, our goal is to help every business grow, compete and succeed,” said Susan Prescott, vice president of marketing for businesses and the education at Apple. “We look forward to bringing Apple Business Essentials to even more small businesses to simplify device management, storage, support and repair.” Using this new service results in invaluable time savings for customers, including those without dedicated IT staff, which they can reinvest in their business. »

AppleCare+ for Business Essentials

A big part of Apple Business Essentials was the option for AppleCare+ in the subscription. The plans are as follows:

  • $9.99/month: One device, 50GB storage, one repair. credit, on-site repairs (see below on which devices) and 24/7 end-user support
  • $19.99/month: up to 3 devices per user, 200 GB of storage, two repair credits, on-site repairs (see below on which devices) and 24/7 user support
  • $24.99/month: up to 3 devices per user, 2TB storage, two repair credits, onsite repairs (see below on which devices), and 24/7 user support

On-site repairs are available with AppleCare+ plans for Business Essentials in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area to begin with, with additional locations to come at a later date. Four-hour repairs are only available for iPhones; next day appointments are available for Mac, iPad, and Apple TV at Apple Stores or Apple Authorized Repair Centers. Repair credits are also cumulative per account, so if you have 85 devices on the $19.99/month plan, you have 170 repair credits for your organization. Repairs can be initiated by the end user or by the organization.

“Espresso machines are the ultimate piece of catering equipment art and the centerpiece of every coffee shop. We are proud to be part of the international coffee community with a superior customer experience in the Milwaukee area,” said Peter Kelsch, president of Espresso Services Inc. “I started this business in 1989 on Apple products, and now iPhone, iPad and Mac are used in sales, operations and service for our coffee equipment business. Apple Business Essentials simplifies our business deployment and security as we continue to grow, will reduce our IT management overhead, and streamline our growth process. This will be a game changer for our business. »

What’s new since the beta period?

All new customers will receive two months free with registration so that IT can understand how the service works and how it will be implemented. Apple also noted that one of the most requested features was the deployment of apps not available on the Mac App Store, and Apple plans to offer this feature later this summer.

Once a business is registered, employees sign in to their work account on their iOS or Mac using a Managed Apple ID. Once signed in, they will have access to the new Apple Business Essentials app, where they can download the business apps available within their organization. Managed Apple IDs can be created by federating them with Microsoft Azure Active Directory. For Google Workspace customers, the integration will arrive later this spring.

Small businesses can sign up for the service on Apple’s Company Portal. Apple has more information in the press release.

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