IBM Touts Macs in the Enterprise with New Cloud Services
With IBM’s (IBM) once raucous rivalry with Apple (AAPL) long in each company’s rearview mirror, their one-year old enterprise mobility partnership now has yielded IBM-built, cloud-based IT services to move more Macs into business settings.
IBM said it has developed a portfolio of Managed Mobility Services housed under its MobileFirst umbrella to aid enterprises to integrate the Mac into their IT infrastructures. With overall Mac shipments outpacing PCs on average for a number of years, the volume of Mac business installations has steadily advanced as well.
The new services wrap around JAMF Software’s Casper Suite to help corporate customers set up and deploy the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. IBM said that it will add its own enterprise integration and support services to help businesses procure, integrate and manage Macs across their IT infrastructures and employee bases.
IBM is delivering the Mac integration services both in a SaaS format and also on-premise in the customer’s data center.
“Ease of adoption and use are at the foundation of every Apple product, and as these devices are used more in the workplace, people expect the same experience they enjoy with Apple technology in their personal lives,” said Richard Patterson, IBM Global Technology Services Infrastructure Services general manager.
“IBM’s new enterprise services ensure a great user experience for clients using Macs, providing world-class support from installation through the life of the product,” he said.
IBM said the Mac integration IT services spring from its own Mac@IBM program in which IBM employees needing a new or updated workstation may choose a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or, heaven forbid, a PC. As of this past May, IBM said it had deployed some 15,000 Macs through the program and plans to more than triple its fleet of Apple gear to about 50,000 Macbooks by the end of the year, making it one of the largest, if not the largest, Mac supporter in the industry.
The vendor said it has been providing similar services on a custom basis to some of its enterprise customers that wanted to incorporate Macs into their infrastructure before it decided to to package them into a wider-scale offering.
IBM’s Mac IT integration services also offer OS and image management, software application and update management, an enterprise app catalog, automatic compliance and configuration updates for security, and inventory and reporting for hardware and software. Users also have access to self-help resources such as expert knowledge forums and traditional help desk services, IBM said.
“The Mac has grown faster than the PC industry for more than a decade,” an Apple spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re always excited to hear about people switching to the Mac, and enterprise customers like IBM are certainly no exception.”
IBM reportedly now supports some 110,000 Apple devices including iPads, MacBooks and iPhones.