IBM Launches Enterprise Mac Deployment Services

IBM introduced new services to help companies deliver Macs at scale in their enterprise IT environments.

IBM's Enterprise Mac Deployment Services

Continuing to deliver on its enterprise mobility partnership with Apple, IBM today announced new services to deploy Macs at scale in the enterprise via the cloud.

These new IBM MobileFirst Managed Mobility Services help users easily and securely integrate Macs with their enterprise systems and applications. IBM said it based these new services on experience the company gained through its internal Mac@IBM program, where IBM deploys Macs to its employees around the world.

The new services feature the Casper Suite from JAMF Software, a solution for helping clients quickly set up and deploy Macs, including MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. With the combination of Casper Suite and IBM's enterprise integration and support services, companies can work with IBM to directly procure, integrate and manage Macs across their IT infrastructures and employee bases. These services also can support clients who choose to deploy both Macs and iOS devices within their enterprises.

IBM has been providing these services on a custom basis for a variety of clients. However, as customers began to show increased interest in adopting Macs into the enterprise, IBM set its sights on delivering these capabilities as a standard services offering. The integration services for Mac are delivered via the cloud as a software-as-a-service solution and also are available as an on-premise solution in the client'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, general manager of Infrastructure Services for IBM Global Technology Services, in a statement. "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."

With these new services, clients can order Macs and have them delivered directly to their employees without any additional set-up, imaging or configuration, saving time, reducing costs and making it easy for the employee—employees can quickly, easily and securely gain network access, connect to email and download business applications. The services also can support personally owned Macs that are authorized in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment, IBM said.

"Today's announcement is a testament to the growing demand for Apple technology in the enterprise and to the strong relationship between IBM and JAMF to help organizations inventory, deploy and secure their Apple devices," said Dean Hager, CEO of JAMF Software, in a statement. "This is a great opportunity for us to work with IBM in helping businesses and other large organizations succeed with Apple."

This new offering is an enhancement to IBM's MobileFirst services portfolio, specifically designed to support Macs. It complements existing IBM enterprise services supporting iOS devices, including iPad and iPhone, creating a comprehensive suite of services for enterprise deployment and management of Apple products.

In addition to simplifying deployment, the new IBM services allow enterprises to easily manage ongoing support for Macs, providing 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 can access a range of self-help resources, including password reset, chat, and expert knowledge forums, as well as traditional help desk services.

These new mobility services for Mac join a growing list of enhanced IBM mobile enterprise services Big Blue introduced last year. Those services include Infrastructure Development Services, Application Platform Management Services, Device Procurement and Deployment Services, Managed Mobility Services, Mobile Network Services, Mobile Collaboration Services, Mobile Virtualization, and IBM Smart and Embedded Device Security.

Last month, IBM introduced 10 new MobileFirst enterprise apps for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. That brought the number of enterprise apps available under the IBM/Apple enterprise mobility partnership to 32. The new apps are: Shift Track for Managers, Shift Sync for Employees, Travel Plan for Business Travelers, Travel Track for Business Travelers, Loan Advise for Mortgage Officers, Loan Track for Mortgage Officers, Expert Resolve for Field Service Professionals, Asset Inspect for Field Technicians, Field Inspect for Government Inspectors, and Safe Site for Forepersons.