Apple said Thursday all small businesses in the U.S. can now sign up for its new Apple Business Essentials service. Previously in beta testing, the new service brings together device management, 24/7 Apple support and iCloud storage into flexible subscription plans.
Apple also unveiled new AppleCare+ for Business Essentials insurance options. Cupertino also made a two-month free trial available to all customers, including those who used the service in beta.
Apple Business Essentials now open to all US small companies
Speaking of businesses using the service in beta, Apple said thousands of them reported significant time savings and renewed ability to focus on their mission.
“Apple has a deep and decades-long commitment to helping small businesses thrive. From dedicated business teams in our stores to the App Store Small Business Program, our goal is to help each company grow, compete and succeed,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Enterprise and Education Marketing.
“We look forward to bringing Apple Business Essentials to even more small businesses to simplify device management, storage, support and repairs,” she added. “Using this new service leads to invaluable time savings for customers — including those without dedicated IT staff — that they can invest back into their business.”
Support through device-management life cycle
Apple Business Essentials supports small businesses throughout the device management life cycle, from setup through upgrades. It provide ssecurity, prioritized support, and data storage and backup, Apple said.
Joining the service begins with simple employee onboarding. That allows a small business to easily configure, deploy and manage Apple products from anywhere.
With the Collections feature, groups of apps can be delivered to employees or teams. And settings can be automatically pushed to devices, such as VPN configurations, Wi-Fi passwords and more.
Apple devices and Apple Business Essentials app
Employees sign in to their work account on their iPhone, iPad or Mac using a Managed Apple ID. Once they sign in, they can access everything they need. That includes the new Apple Business Essentials app.
They can use the app to download work apps available to them. Managed Apple IDs can be created by federating with Microsoft Azure Active Directory and, coming later this spring, with Google Workspace identity services, Apple said. That will allow employees to log in to their device with a single business username and password.
Apple Business Essentials works with company-provided and personally owned devices. And with Apple’s User Enrollment feature, employees’ personal information stays private and separate from work data.
In addition to a streamlined setup, Apple Business Essentials provides a dedicated iCloud work account for secure storage, backup and collaboration on files.
Business data is automatically stored and backed up on iPhone or iPad, making it easy to upgrade to a new device. And iCloud Drive keeps information synced across devices.
AppleCare+ for Business Essentials
Beginning Thursday, businesses can add prioritized support for employee devices with AppleCare+ for Business Essentials.
The service includes 24/7 access to phone support, training for both IT administrators and employees, and up to two device repairs per plan — by individual, group, or device — each year.
Employees can initiate repairs directly from the Apple Business Essentials app. An Apple-trained technician can come onsite in as little as four hours to get their iPhone back up and running, Apple said.
“I started this business in 1989 on Apple products, and now iPhone, iPad, and Mac are used across sales, operations and service for our coffee equipment business,” said Peter Kelsch, president of Espresso Services Inc. “Apple Business Essentials makes deployment and security simple for our business as we continue to grow. And [it] will reduce our IT management overhead and streamline our growth process. It’s going to be a game-changer for our business.”
Pricing and availability
Apple Business Essentials is available as a subscription for all small businesses in the U.S. You can customize plans to support each user and device. Plans with up to 2TB of secure storage in iCloud start 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.
Where to sign up: apple.com/business/essentials