Small business, MSP, Content

Apple Launches Managed Services, Onsite Support for Small Businesses

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 03:  The Apple logo is displayed on the back of an iPhone on August 3, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Apple has launched a suite of managed cloud services and onsite support capabilities to help small businesses "simplify device management, storage, support and repairs," the Mac and iPhone device maker stated. Channel partners were not mentioned in the announcement.

The managed cloud and device support services -- branded as Apple Business Essentials -- also include security, prioritized support, data storage and backup capabilities, the company said. Integrations with Microsoft Azure Active Directory and Google Workspace identity services (coming later this spring) will allow employees to log in to their device with a single business username and password, Apple indicated.

An optional add-on, called AppleCare+ for Business Essentials, offers:

  • 24/7 access to phone support;
  • training for both IT administrators and employees; and
  • up to two device repairs per plan each year.

Details: Apple Onsite Support for Small Businesses

When customers need onsite help, Apple says a trained technician can arrive in as little as four hours for iPhone support, and next-day for Mac, iPad and Apple TV support. That onsite support is initially available in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Additional regional support is planned, though launch dates for new regions were not disclosed.

Apple Business Essentials starts at $2.99 per month after a two-month free trial. Plans that include AppleCare+ for Apple Business Essentials start at $9.99 per month.

The new Apple managed services surface nearly two years after Apple acquired Fleetsmith in June 2020. Fleetsmith developer of remote monitoring and management (RMM) and mobile device management (MDM) software for Apple Mac, iPhone and iPad devices. It's unclear whether Apple Business Essentials leverages the Fleetsmith software.

MSP Software for Apple Device Management

Meanwhile, multiple companies now develop Apple device management software for IT departments and MSPs. Key options span AddigyJamf and Kandji. Also, most of the major RMM software providers (ConnectWise, Datto, Kaseya, N-able, NinjaOne, etc.) focused on small business MSPs now offer at least some level of macOS device support.

Still, the Apple universe is foreign to some MSPs. And some IT service providers are leaving money on the table by not supporting Macs within existing customer sites, Addigy CEO Jason Dettbarn explained in this recent ChannelE2E podcast:

Video link
Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.