CDW, a business and enterprise solutions provider that operates in the US, UK, and Canada has announced plans to offer Apple Business Essentials to its small business customers (SMBs).
Founded in 1984, CDW provides IT solutions to business, government, education, and healthcare customers, and the move to offer Business Essentials to its SMB customers is significant, given the company’s long history in enterprise solutions.
There are as many as 33 million SMBs across the US, which account for almost two-thirds all new jobs created in the country,. So making Apple solutions consumer simple to adopt across the sector makes sense.
“Apple has a long history of helping small businesses thrive with the world’s best products and services, and we’re excited that CDW is enhancing the great work it does for small businesses by making Apple Business Essentials available to its customers,” Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of enterprise product marketing, said in a statement.
What is Apple Business Essentials?
Only available in the US and aimed at SMBs Apple Business Essentials combines device management, 24/7 support, and cloud storage capabilities on a subscription basis. The idea is to make it easier for small business customers to manage, secure, and maintain their Apple device fleets. Subscribers who add AppleCare+ for Business Essentials can get eligible devices repaired for free.
Managed devices can then be managed and provisioned using an app, and Apple has promised that if a tech support visit is required someone should be with the customer within four hours.
The solution is based loosely around an MDM product called Fleetsmith, which Apple acquired in June 2020.
What this means to CDW
CDW has offered Apple products to its customers for years, but its decision to offer Business Essentials at the same time it delivers new hardware means SMBs can get the entire caboodle in one shop.
“Offering Apple Business Essentials is a natural extension of CDW’s ongoing collaboration with Apple as we continue to expand our combined expertise and reach to serve the evolving small business market,” said Jill Billhorn, senior vice president of commercial sales for CDW.
“This new program brings considerable value to smaller organizations that depend upon Apple products to keep their operations up and running and also want the setup and ongoing management of their technology to be as turnkey and seamless as possible.”
Apple benefits from better access to CDW’s existing SMB customers, while customers get a much easier experience managing, provisioning, and maintaining Apple devices used in their business.
What it costs
For a limited time, CDW customers can get two free months of Apple Business Essentials; otherwise, prices start at $2.99 per device per month, depending on device, storage, and AppleCare requirements.
For example, you can get one AppleCare+ repair credit for each device for just $6.99. But if you pay the highest priced $24.99/month per user, the deal covers up to three devices, offers two repair credits and 2TB iCloud storage. That’s interesting, given that 2TB iCloud storage usually costs $9.99 month.
Apple in the enterprise
In a sense, the idea that an enterprise solutions provider will now offer an Apple solution to small business customers represents how far the company has moved toward meeting the needs of enterprise tech.
When Apple introduced the service, Carolina Milanesi, president and principal analyst at Creative Strategies, said: “Since the launch of the M1, I have been arguing that Apple’s biggest opportunity to grow share in the PC market rests in the enterprise. The product has proven itself to be not only desirable, but capable of addressing the enterprise needs and moving from BYOD or back door approach to IT deployed will allow Apple to grow share more quickly.”
“The weakest spot for Apple in business has always been for the small businesses who just want to get started,” Jamf CEO Dean Hager told me soon after Apple Business Essentials was revealed.
The work with CDW represents just how far Apple has moved since it began to take the enterprise markets more seriously.
Please follow me on Mastodon, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.
Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.