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Apple now offers small businesses centralized device control and loyalty pricing

If your business relies on the power of the Apple® ecosystem, here are two free solutions that help enable next-level turnkey management of all your devices — and save you money in the process.

Apple Business Manager is a simple, web-based portal for IT administrators to assign ownership of company-owned macOS® and iOS devices, link those devices to a Mobile Device Management (MDM) service and manage cost-effective volume purchasing of apps.  By establishing ownership, Apple enables your business to have a greater level of control over your devices.

The Apple Custom Store is a way for business customers to more easily manage their Apple purchases.  Any purchases made through the custom store are automatically linked to your organization and enrolled in your Apple Business Manager account.  Additionally, Apple offers loyalty pricing discounts based on the volume of purchases made through the store.

CranstonIT can help your business establish both of these key programs.  Here are some highlights:

Apple Custom Store

  • This opportunity provides you a customized corporate store for purchasing Apple devices.  That’s important because all devices purchased through your Apple Custom Store are automatically linked to your company to save you the steps of having to manually enroll each device in Apple Business Manager.
  • In the custom store, templates can be created for systems customized for different job roles and responsibilities.  This allows purchasers to easily place orders and know they are ordering the correct equipment.
  • Starting at $5,000 in annual purchase volume, Apple offers loyalty discounts.  Qualifying purchases are tracked and available discounts are displayed using the Apple Custom Store.

Apple Business Manager

  • Apple Business Manager helps enables a business to establish ownership of macOS or iOS devices.  Apple takes privacy very seriously and by default assumes the user of the device is the owner of the device.  This may be a benefit for individuals, but it’s quite limiting in a business environment.  ABM solves this challenge.  Once Apple confirms the business owns the device, it enables the additional controls needed for more effective local device management.
  • Apple Business Manager allows direct linking of company-owned devices to an MDM service.  MDM is a separate paid service that allows for remote management of devices.  There are many different third-party companies that offer MDM services, each with a host of configuration and security settings that can be pushed to a device.  Those might be specific to a user, such as configuring email login credentials, or might be general to everyone, such as security policies that require all iOS devices to use a six-digit passcode, or macOS devices to turn on screensavers and require passwords to unlock.  
  • Apple Business Manager also manages the purchasing of apps from Apple’s App Store®.  When apps are purchased through ABM, the licenses can be assigned to users and remotely installed on their devices.  Users no longer have to use their own Apple IDs to purchase business apps.  Since the apps are owned by the business, those licenses can be reclaimed and reused by other users as needed.
  • When linked to an MDM service through ABM, devices can be shipped directly to employees.  When the device arrives and the employee powers up, the MDM system immediately goes to work downloading apps and configuring settings.  Once the employee signs in with his or her credentials, the MDM system continues to configure the device for that person.  No one from IT even has to touch it — a true zero-touch configuration.

Enrolling devices in your MDM system via Apple Business Manager doesn’t just help with initial deployment.  As employee turnover is a fact of life, and with a device in Apple Business Manager, you can use your MDM system to redeploy a device quickly by wiping it and re-enrolling it for the new employee.

Apple Custom Store and Apple Business Manager combined with MDM can streamline purchasing, deployment, monitoring and save money — making it a must-have for all accountable businesses.  Contact CranstonIT for next steps — and for our updated mobile device management recommendations — at 888-813-5558 or support@cranstonit.com