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Apple announced the production release of Apple Business Essentials a few weeks ago. In Apple’s Newsroom piece, there was a brief mention of something rather significant in the corporate arena. I think it indicates that Apple has a good grasp on what organizations need to be successful with Apple at work.
Employees simply sign in to their work account on their iPhone, iPad, or Mac using a Managed Apple ID. Once they sign in, they will have access to everything they need to be productive, including the new Apple Business Essentials app, where they can 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, allowing 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 cryptographically separated from work data.
I nearly missed this mention the first time I read the release. I’d been so used to hearing about Google Workspace that it didn’t register in my mind. Apple has officially committed to incorporating Google Workspace into Managed Apple IDs as part of this version.
I’ve been requesting this feature since the debut of Apple Business Manager and Managed Apple IDs. Google Workspace competes with Microsoft’s cloud services in the business.
Organizations are divided into two groups: Google and Microsoft. If you use Microsoft 365, Azure AD, or any similar service, you’ve been enjoying the ease of creating and managing Managed Apple IDs for a few years now.
What does this mean for Apple in the workplace?
For enterprises that have relied on Google Workspace as their cloud identity management solution, managing Managed Apple IDs has been a laborious procedure, which has hampered many organizations’ use of Managed Apple IDs.
Apple will make it easier for enterprises who utilize Google to use Managed Apple IDs with this announcement.
Google and Apple have had their share of issues over the years, but I believe Apple took this choice for one reason: it makes an Apple Business Essentials membership more appealing to all organizations.
Given that Apple does not seem to have plans to release competition to Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 anytime soon, it makes sense for IT departments to be able to quickly integrate their preferred identity system into Apple Business Manager.
This, I think, indicates that Apple is adopting a “and Apple approach” to business identity management. This strategy indicates that Apple knows that Microsoft and Google are deeply embedded in every company on the planet. Apple wants to be a supplementary subscription service. Managed Apple IDs to simplify the use of Apple devices at work.
I had long expected Apple to release a rival to Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, but I no longer think that is the case. Apple’s aim of growing services income remains, but it is not email and calendar hosting in the corporate.
Apple has developed a new service category targeted at increasing service revenue. More businesses are expected to accept Apple Business Essentials with Google Workspace integration. The iCloud Storage is good, but the device repairs and 24/7 assistance are the most significant reasons to join.
Apple Business Essentials can provide front-line IT support, manage device repairs, and make it simple to protect all of their Apple devices for hybrid workgroups.
Apple is not attempting to compete with Jamf, Kandji, or Mosyle with Apple Business Essentials. These fantastic MDM providers leverage the same APIs that Apple does for device management. Unmanaged corporate devices are Apple Business Essentials’ adversary.
Apple states of this new corporate solution, “We want to help all organizations protect and manage their Macs and iOS devices, so we’ll make it simple to integrate with whatever identity management system you have.”
The integration of Google Workspace makes it possible for thousands of enterprises that might not have chosen Apple Business Essentials previously.