Apple's Business Manager provides web-based IT management, launches this spring

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2018
In a move that flew under the radar with this week's iPad launch and education announcements, Apple began the quiet promotion of a new web-based business management platform to deploy and manage iOS, macOS, and tvOS devices.




A web-based portal that lets administrators configure device settings, create accounts, and buy and distribute apps and books, Business Manager is currently in beta, but Apple says the new platform will launch in earnest in late spring.

Seemingly built on existing mass device deployment (MDM) frameworks, the new service integrates features already seen in the Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and the Volume Purchase Program (VPP). The ability to create accounts and manage devices is very similar to Apple School Manager, which first saw light of day in 2016.

Over the past few years Apple has slowly expanded the availability of its existing DEP and VPP business management programs to additional countries. A web-based portal should bring those tools up to speed with offerings from third-party firms.

Apple has been concentrating on a buildout of its business and education verticals recently, with additional education management features announced just last week. Apple started offering MDM for iOS devices back with iOS 7.1.

Another recent move to increase Apple's enterprise foothold has been their growing partnership with IBM and the MobileFirst initiative. Apple just recently added new machine learning integrations to the project through Apple's coreML and IBM's Watson.

Apple's in-house MDM solution for enterprise has needed improvements for some time, leading third-party solutions like JAMF to flourish. JAMF, which now manages more than 9 million Apple devices, saw record growth last year as Apple pushed further into the enterprise market.

Business admins can learn more about Apple's new Business Management platform in a support document published this week (PDF link). Existing users of Apple's DEP and VPP programs looking to try out Business Manager can contact the company to request an account upgrade.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    mass device deployment (MDM)”
    Did you mean to say mass device management, or did you mean to use MDD throughout the article?
    repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 18
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,146member
    This, along with the school program, have the potential to open up whole new worlds to the Apple Ecosystem.   And, with their cloud based services, security, hardware & software reliability and their ecosystem, none are better positioned to step into this role than Apple.

    Managing a business system goes far beyond the hardware device.  It's like having a kid:  simply buying him a pair of shoes is really just the start:  then you have to continually oversee and manage how he uses them and where they go -- and make sure that kid and shoes are adhering to your guidelines...

    And, I am happy to see Apple partnering with IBM -- who mastered that paradigm decades ago and became the gold standard of business systems.  Apple and IBM have the potential to do very, very well together and create products and systems that will benefit the world.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member
    “mass device deployment (MDM)”
    Did you mean to say mass device management, or did you mean to use MDD throughout the article?
    Unless the article was fixed, I only see MDM used throughout the article which I always thought meant, "Mobile Device Management". 
  • Reply 4 of 18
    vannygeevannygee Posts: 44member
    I'll be happy if this replaces OS X Server
  • Reply 5 of 18
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,020member
    This, along with the school program, have the potential to open up whole new worlds to the Apple Ecosystem.   And, with their cloud based services, security, hardware & software reliability and their ecosystem, none are better positioned to step into this role than Apple.

    Managing a business system goes far beyond the hardware device.  It's like having a kid:  simply buying him a pair of shoes is really just the start:  then you have to continually oversee and manage how he uses them and where they go -- and make sure that kid and shoes are adhering to your guidelines...

    And, I am happy to see Apple partnering with IBM -- who mastered that paradigm decades ago and became the gold standard of business systems.  Apple and IBM have the potential to do very, very well together and create products and systems that will benefit the world.

    This is one reason why I think Apple should eventually buy IBM. If Apple wants to push further into the enterprise, buying IBM would give them the "in" they haven't quite been able to obtain themselves - although Tim Cook has been doing a fairly good job so far. Not to mention they could finally bring their data centers and cloud services completely "in house" removing their dependency on Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Then there's Watson AI and, of course, their world renowned research and development division.

    If there's one thing I've noticed with Apple is that they tend to release products and services with a lot of fanfare, but some of them they let fall by the wayside. Watching the recent education event was exciting, but at the same time, I remember the last one... Everything announced then eventually fizzled out.

    I think if Apple had IBM under the roof, a lot of these initiatives and services wouldn't languish as they seem to do.
    edited April 2018 JinTechpatchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 393member
    mjtomlin said:
    This, along with the school program, have the potential to open up whole new worlds to the Apple Ecosystem.   And, with their cloud based services, security, hardware & software reliability and their ecosystem, none are better positioned to step into this role than Apple.

    Managing a business system goes far beyond the hardware device.  It's like having a kid:  simply buying him a pair of shoes is really just the start:  then you have to continually oversee and manage how he uses them and where they go -- and make sure that kid and shoes are adhering to your guidelines...

    And, I am happy to see Apple partnering with IBM -- who mastered that paradigm decades ago and became the gold standard of business systems.  Apple and IBM have the potential to do very, very well together and create products and systems that will benefit the world.

    This is one reason why I think Apple should eventually buy IBM. If Apple wants to push further into the enterprise, buying IBM would give them the "in" they haven't quite been able to obtain themselves - although Tim Cook has been doing a fairly good job so far. Not to mention they could finally bring their data centers and cloud services completely "in house" removing their dependency on Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Then there's Watson AI and, of course, their world renowned research and development division.

    If there's one thing I've noticed with Apple is that they tend to release products and services with a lot of fanfare, but some of them they let fall by the wayside. Watching the recent education event was exciting, but at the same time, I remember the last one... Everything announced then eventually fizzled out.

    I think if Apple had IBM under the roof, a lot of these initiatives and services wouldn't languish as they seem to do.
    I’ve been saying Apple should buy IBM for years. It would be a massive purchase but they would gain so much and would still have plenty of cash left over. Imagine though, if Apple did buy IBM, Steve Jobs would be laughing hysterically. From competitor, to chip collaborators to being bought out. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 18
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member
    vannygee said:
    I'll be happy if this replaces OS X Server
    There's really no reason to have macOS Server unless you need Open Directory for user accounts/groups. I think this is the very reason why Apple hasn't really touched it in years other than minor updates here and there and, its only $20 for those who do still need it. At least they're not charging $299/499 like they used to. 

    The days of imaging are numbered with newer Macs being released and APFS also being out there with limited imaging support. Everything is going the way of DEP and MDM with internet restore as your "reimage". 
    edited April 2018 h2pwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 434member
    “mass device deployment (MDM)”
    Did you mean to say mass device management, or did you mean to use MDD throughout the article?
    It's "Mobile Device Management,"  not "mass."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 18
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 434member

    macxpress said:
    “mass device deployment (MDM)”
    Did you mean to say mass device management, or did you mean to use MDD throughout the article?
    Unless the article was fixed, I only see MDM used throughout the article which I always thought meant, "Mobile Device Management". 
    You're correct.  It's "mobile," not "mass."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,146member
    mjtomlin said:
    This, along with the school program, have the potential to open up whole new worlds to the Apple Ecosystem.   And, with their cloud based services, security, hardware & software reliability and their ecosystem, none are better positioned to step into this role than Apple.

    Managing a business system goes far beyond the hardware device.  It's like having a kid:  simply buying him a pair of shoes is really just the start:  then you have to continually oversee and manage how he uses them and where they go -- and make sure that kid and shoes are adhering to your guidelines...

    And, I am happy to see Apple partnering with IBM -- who mastered that paradigm decades ago and became the gold standard of business systems.  Apple and IBM have the potential to do very, very well together and create products and systems that will benefit the world.

    This is one reason why I think Apple should eventually buy IBM. If Apple wants to push further into the enterprise, buying IBM would give them the "in" they haven't quite been able to obtain themselves - although Tim Cook has been doing a fairly good job so far. Not to mention they could finally bring their data centers and cloud services completely "in house" removing their dependency on Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Then there's Watson AI and, of course, their world renowned research and development division.

    If there's one thing I've noticed with Apple is that they tend to release products and services with a lot of fanfare, but some of them they let fall by the wayside. Watching the recent education event was exciting, but at the same time, I remember the last one... Everything announced then eventually fizzled out.

    I think if Apple had IBM under the roof, a lot of these initiatives and services wouldn't languish as they seem to do.
    Good thought...
    But, (this being Easter and all) I think we would see Steve rising from his tomb faster than Jesus!
  • Reply 11 of 18
    Apple shouldn’t buy IBM. Their corporate cultures are vastly different.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    flydogflydog Posts: 340member
    JinTech said:
    I’ve been saying Apple should buy IBM for years. It would be a massive purchase but they would gain so much and would still have plenty of cash left over. Imagine though, if Apple did buy IBM, Steve Jobs would be laughing hysterically. From competitor, to chip collaborators to being bought out. 

    Will never happen. Ever. 
    macxpress
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Notsofast said:
    “mass device deployment (MDM)”
    Did you mean to say mass device management, or did you mean to use MDD throughout the article?
    It's "Mobile Device Management,"  not "mass."
    Well then, they really hosed it :/
  • Reply 14 of 18
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 167unconfirmed, member
    flydog said:
    JinTech said:
    I’ve been saying Apple should buy IBM for years. It would be a massive purchase but they would gain so much and would still have plenty of cash left over. Imagine though, if Apple did buy IBM, Steve Jobs would be laughing hysterically. From competitor, to chip collaborators to being bought out. 

    Will never happen. Ever. 
    IBM is already an Apple partner and the company would add no value to app vs the money spent.
    edited April 2018 patchythepirate
  • Reply 15 of 18
    sailorpaulsailorpaul Posts: 298member
    macxpress said:
    vannygee said:
    I'll be happy if this replaces OS X Server
    “There's really no reason to have macOS Server unless you need Open Directory for user accounts/groups....”

     
    The other reason to have OS X server is for businesses that have confidential files that cannot be put up on iCloud.

    Apple still will not sign HIPPA agreements for iCloud – and that means servers and user account groups for medical practices.

    I’m looking forward to the MDM capabilities in this offering. However, I don’t want to give up server functionality
  • Reply 16 of 18
    ctuelctuel Posts: 1member
    Apple started offering MDM for iOS devices back with iOS 7.1.
    Correction, iOS 7.1 added DEP. MDM was added in iOS 4.0.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,178member
    vannygee said:
    I'll be happy if this replaces OS X Server
    Yep. iCloud Pro please (but with native apps , not web apps)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 18
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,171member
    If this is new, why are they using an image including the MacBook Air and a 2016 date on the calendar?
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