IBM launches Mac in enterprise services

As part of IBM's larger Apple partnership, the company is commercializing an internal program to deploy Macs at scale.

IBM on Wednesday launched a cloud service that aims to make it easier for enterprises to deploy Apple's Macs.

The rollout is part of the broader partnership between Apple and IBM. Big Blue's MobileFirst Managed Mobility Services is designed to enable companies to incorporate Macs into their infrastructure while providing custom apps and enterprise systems.

Apple's Mac platform is one of the few growth areas in the PC market, but still represents a small portion of enterprise footprints. However, employees are increasingly bringing Macs to the office via bring your own device.

IBM based its Mac in the enterprise service on its internal Mac@IBM program. IBM deploys Macs with enterprise grade security. By commercializing its internal tools, IBM is taking aim at both VMware and Citrix, which target enterprises with multiple devices and platforms.

The program includes:

  • Integration services via the cloud and a software-as-a-service arrangement.
  • There's a on-premise option to deploy the service within a company's data center.
  • Companies can order Macs and have them delivered to employees without additional setup or configuration.
  • The setting include connections to internal networks, business apps and email.
  • JAMF Software's Casper Suite, which is an application to provision Apple's product lineup in the enterprise.
  • Integrated management of both Mac and iOS devices.
  • Self-service tools for password management, chat and help-desk.

For JAMF, the IBM move to deploy Macs at scale could be a boon for the Casper Suite. JAMF is known well within enterprises deploying Apple, but isn't exactly a household name.

IBM's Mac services add to a bevy of similar services that revolve around the Apple deal.

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