Apple Inc. has ‘Business Essentials’ subscription service for small business: Does it compete with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services or Windows 365?

Apple Inc. Business Essentials Subscription Care Onboarding Employee
Apple Inc. helping SMEs by charging them a per-employee, per-month subscription? Pic credit: Tim Trueman/Flickr

Apple Inc. has launched ‘Business Essentials’, a client onboarding and support service subscription for small businesses. The iPhone maker will offer 24x7x65 Apple Support access for members.

Small businesses that are using Apple Inc. devices and handing them out to employees can consider a new subscription service from the company. The Apple Inc. Business Essentials will help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) “easily deploy, configure, and manage Apple products from any location”.

What is Apple Inc.’s Business Essentials subscription?

There is a distinct difference between large companies and small businesses. The former has often had a dedicated IT team that ensures employees have the relevant hardware devices and software services.

Small and medium businesses often lack a dedicated IT team, or have just a few employees to manage the technological, network, IT infrastructure, and employee needs. Needless to mention, this can lead to delays and poorly configured hardware.

Apple Inc. seems to have realized that small and medium businesses could benefit from a simple subscription model that offers some of the abovementioned services. Moreover, instead of a contract for the entire business, Apple Inc. has simplified the same and is charging per employee. This gives businesses a lot of flexibility.

The new Apple Business Essentials offer management tools like setup and onboarding, iCloud storage, and much more. The subscription promises to deploy, configure, and manage Apple products from any location. Subscribers will have 24×7 access to Apple Support.

Employees who get the subscription through their employers can also download the service app. It grants access to corporate apps like Microsoft Word, and more.

Is Apple Inc. competing with Microsoft Azure or Windows 365?

It appears Apple Inc. intends to offer remote assistance, education, training, and access to services that the company offers. According to Apple Inc.:

“Within Apple Business Essentials, Collections enable IT personnel to configure settings and apps for individual users, groups, or devices. When employees sign in to their corporate or personally owned device with their work credentials, Collections automatically push settings such as VPN configurations and Wi-Fi passwords”.

“In addition, Collections will install the new Apple Business Essentials app on each employee’s home screen, where they can download corporate apps assigned to them, such as Cisco Webex or Microsoft Word.”

Apple Inc. will offer the new subscription-based product to SMEs with less than 500 employees for $12.99 per user per month. Pricing may reportedly vary on the number of devices and the iCloud storage that each user needs.

Interestingly, there seems to be no competition between Apple Inc.’s Business Essentials and Microsoft’s Azure or Windows 365. The iPhone maker doesn’t seem to be offering any product, and is instead, helping employees better access the company’s software and services, for a monthly fee.

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