Apple and IBM love-in continues with new service offering easy Mac deployment to companies
The relationship between IBM and Apple continues to blossom after Big Blue announced the launch of a cloud service for the mass deployment of Apple Macs into corporate enterprises.
IBM is now offering new cloud-based IT services to help corporate clients quickly, easily and securely integrate Macs with their enterprise systems and applications.
Mac At Work
This new service from IBM MobileFirst Managed Mobility Services is designed to help large enterprises incorporate Apple Macs within their IT infrastructures.
Essentially, the IBM offering will allow clients to order Apple Macs and have them delivered directly to their staff, without any additional set-up, imaging or configuration. Staff can apparently quickly and securely gain network access, connect to email and download business applications.
The IBM service also supports personal Macs owned by staff members, who are allowed to use their own machine as part of a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) scheme.
IBM says this is in response to more clients adopting or allowing the use of Macs. And it also pointed out that Mac shipments have been growing faster than the industry average, and the Mac has outgrown the PC industry every year for the last decade.
IBM is drawing upon its own experience gained through its internal Mac@IBM program. That program saw IBM offering its own staff the choice of either a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or a PC when setting up a new or refreshed workstation.
“With its partnership with Apple, this presented an opportunity for IBM to commercialise this offering using its own experience in enterprise deployment and the ability to scale to clients’ specific needs,” said Big Blue.
IBM says that it has already been providing these Mac deployment services on a custom basis for a number of clients, but has now decided to include it as a standard services offering. It seems that the integration services for Mac are delivered via the cloud as a software-as-a-service solution (SaaS), but it is also available as an on-premise solution in the client’s data centre.
“Ease of adoption and use are at the foundation of every Apple product, and as these devices are used more in the workplace, people expect the same experience they enjoy with Apple technology in their personal lives,” said Richard Patterson, general manager of infrastructure services at IBM.
“IBM’s new enterprise services ensure a great user experience for clients using Macs, providing world-class support from installation through the life of the product.”
The IBM service makes use of the Casper Suite from JAMF Software. This Casper tool suite is a platform that controls the enterprise deployment of Macs, as it includes modules ranging from inventory and imaging, through to patch management and remote control.
“Today’s announcement is a powerful testament to the growing demand for Apple technology in the enterprise and to the strong relationship between IBM and JAMF to help organisations inventory, deploy and secure their Apple devices,” said Dean Hager, CEO of JAMF Software. “This is a great opportunity for us to work with IBM in helping businesses and other large organizations succeed with Apple.”
Apple Macs have traditionally been a consumer machine, but Apple has long had enterprise ambitions. Late last year Apple beefed up its assault on the enterprise market with a dedicated sales team for corporate clients.
Apple’s enterprise intentions had been clearly marked earlier in 2014, when it had entered into a close partnership with IBM to bring the latter’s cloud, analytics and mobile management services to the iOS platform, as well as supply customers with iPhones and iPads running industry-specific applications.
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