Apple has announced Business Essentials, a business plan for device management. It is the first time that the tech company will offer such a service. Business Essentials should be released next year.
Apple kicks off a beta for smaller US companies this week. It is unclear whether the subscription will also be available in the Benelux upon release. Because the service also includes service with telephone support and repairs, the service cannot simply be released outside the US without the company preparing for it.
With Business Essentials, companies get the option for a monthly subscription, which includes storage in addition to service. There are options for 200GB and 2TB with iCloud. There will also be options for one and three managed devices per employee. The cheapest variant costs $2.99 per employee per month, the most expensive variant is $12.99 per employee per month.
That subscription also includes management of the services and applications used, which can be pushed directly to employees’ devices. The service competes with current enterprise device management services, although they are often aimed at larger companies. Among them are Jamf, MobileIron and Mosyle. Apple already had ProfileManager for OS X Server. Business Essentials is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, up to 500 employees.
The announcement fits in with Apple’s strategy to offer more and more subscriptions in order to have a recurring revenue stream in addition to hardware sales. To enable Business Essentials, Apple bought Fleetsmith last year.