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Apple Debuts Apple Business Essentials for Small Businesses; Launches Beta Test

Apple recently launched the beta version of its new service that promises to help small businesses easily manage Apple devices at work.

Credit: Apple

The service in question, dubbed Apple Business Essentials, simplifies employee onboarding and the maintenance of Apple devices at work. It also provides secure iCloud storage and backup as well as fast and reliable service for employees' corporate or personally owned Apple devices. According to Apple, the new service would help small businesses save time as they grow through these features.

To simplify employee onboarding, Apple Business Essentials has a feature called Collections, enabling IT personnel to configure settings and apps for users, groups, or devices. This feature automatically pushes settings like VPN configurations and Wi-Fi passwords when employees sign in to their Apple devices. It would also install the service's app on each employee's home screen, which would allow employees to download and install their assigned corporate apps like Microsoft Word, Cisco and others.

Although employees can use their personally owned Apple devices for Apple Business Essentials, their devices would need to be enrolled on the service to ensure employee data remains private while company data remains protected. IT managers can use Apple Business Essentials to enforce much-needed security settings such as FileVault for full disk encryption on Mac and Activation Lock to secure devices that may be lost or stolen. The service ensures that the Activation Lock can't be turned off by mistake.

Employees get a dedicated iCloud account for work through Apple Business Essentials. / Credit: Nikkimeel/Shutterstock

As for storage, Apple Business Essentials provides a dedicated iCloud account to provide simple and secure storage, backup and collaboration of files and documents for work. Business data saved on this dedicated iCloud would be automatically stored and backed up, simplifying the transfer of files between devices or when upgrading to a new device.

Lastly, Apple Business Essentials would come with an option to add AppleCare+ to service employees' Apple devices enrolled into the service. When added to the business' subscription plan, this option would give businesses 24/7 access to phone support, training for both IT administrators and employees, as well as up to two device repairs per plan each year. With AppleCare+ included, an Apple-trained technician will come onsite within four hours to help repair employees' Apple devices that were reported through the service's app.

The new service comes with flexible subscription plans for small businesses with up to 500 employees and the service's app, which would enable employees to install apps for work and request support for their devices. These plans are customisable to support each user with up to three devices and up to 2TB of iCloud storage starting at US$2.99 per month, with optional AppleCare+ for the new service.

Apple Business Essentials is expected to be fully released in the spring of 2022 in the U.S. If you're residing in the U.S. and interested in testing the new service out, you can visit Apple's Business Essentials page to sign up for the beta. However, keep in mind that AppleCare+ for Apple Business Essentials is not available during the beta period.


Written by John Paul Joaquin

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