For years, enterprises have largely been the domain of PCs, with Macs confined to the desks of graphic designers, video editors, and other creative professionals. But that might be about to change, thanks to IBM.
Big Blue announced yesterday that it has developed a new cloud-based service to help enterprises integrate Macs into their systems and applications. The new service comes via IBM MobileFirst Managed Mobility Services and is designed to bring Macs into the fold of enterprise IT infrastructure.
Although PCs have long dominated enterprise IT departments, the balance is starting to shift as more professionals adopt Macs either at work or at home, and more enterprises allow their employees to bring them to the office.
Growing Number of Macs in the Office
According to IBM, shipments of Macs are outpacing the industry average, and have grown faster than the PC industry over the last decade. The result has been an increasing number of Macs in the workplace. IBM said the new offering is actually based on its own experiences in integrating Macs into its infrastructure through its Mac@IBM program.
The company said that it had already been offering the service to several clients on an ad-hoc basis before deciding to offer it as a standard service to enterprises looking to deploy at scale.
“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, Infrastructure Services, IBM Global Technology Services.
The new service will allow enterprise clients to order new Macs and have them configured and delivered to employees directly, ensuring that they are set up for secure network access and can connect to e-mail systems and business applications. IBM said the service will also support employees who want to bring their own Macs into bring-your-own-device environments.
Previous Experience with Apple Products
This is not the first time IBM has worked with integrating Apple products into enterprise environments. The company had previously offered enterprise support service for a variety of iOS devices, including iPads and iPhones. IBM had already developed a suite of services to help enterprises deploy and manage Apple products.
Among the services IBM will provide will be the ability to manage ongoing support for Macs; operating system 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.
The company will also provide enterprise employees with a number of support services, including password reset, chat, knowledge forums, and traditional help desk services.
The new services help IBM establish itself as a one-stop shop for enterprises looking for support across multiple technology platforms. In addition to OS X, IBM already provides similar services for Windows, Linux, AIX, zOS, iOS, and Android devices.