Your top 5 questions about Apple deployment, answered

 In End-User Devices, Hardware

Apple deployment within enterprises is on the rise. Organizations as large as IBM have opened the doors to Macs in their environments, and are experiencing the benefits –improved employee satisfaction and culture, reduced tech support demands, and surprisingly to some, cost savings.

For organizations accustomed to maintaining a Windows environment, switching to Apple devices—whether in part or in full—may be uncharted territory, and it’s not uncommon for questions to arise. With this in mind, SHI recently held a webinar to address how businesses can efficiently deploy Apple products in their IT environment.

The questions we heard during that event are ones we hear often, so we compiled a list and answer them below.

1. Are Apple products really more expensive?

Though initial deployment costs can be higher, some organizations have found that when all factors (such as support, management, and setup) are considered, the overall cost of maintaining and managing a Mac can be $200 to $550 less expensive than comparable devices. This is because, as IBM found, Macs are easier to manage and keep their value better than other machines, thus providing a better ROI in the long term.

Source: 2016 Jamf Nation User Conference

2. What is Apple DEP?

Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) is an Apple device management solution that works with mobile device management (MDM) software to direct devices to automatically connect with the MDM server when they are started from factory settings. Once connected, the devices receive instructions that allow admins to secure and protect them. For instance, they can require that FileVault is active to ensure every Mac in the organization can be encrypted.

One advantage of DEP is that it cannot be removed by the end user, even if the device is erased. DEP also eliminates the need for imaging and enables organizations to overcome Activation Lock on managed devices, saving hours, if not weeks of work for already swamped IT staff.

To utilize DEP, organizations must purchase devices directly from Apple or through participating Apple Authorized Resellers. The program is available to all macOS, iOS, and tvOS devices. Additionally, most MDMs scale well, making it possible for organizations to start with one device or as many as needed.

3. Is it easy to deploy Macs?

With Apple DEP and the right MDM, Mac deployments can be quick and cost effective. These tools make it possible to send a device directly to the end user without the need for IT to even touch it, since everything happens securely over the air.

4. What MDM would you recommend for Mac deployment?

Choosing the right MDM will depend on each individual case. Some organizations may require extra control on Macs, while others need an MDM that works well with both Macs and PCs. Some enterprises may want to consolidate a limited amount of management tasks into a single pane of glass, and others may require an on-premises solution.

Organizations should start by prioritizing what features are most important, so they know what to look for and what questions to ask. SHI has access to the top MDM providers in the world, and can make recommendations based on organizational needs and requirements.

5. Does Mac work with Active Directory?

MacOS works natively with Active Directory (AD), but some organizations may require tighter integration. Those that do can engage with Apple Professional Services or use products such as NoMAD, Centrify, and some MDM solutions. There are many other options to optimize AD binding or even to change identity management methods.

Considering Mac

By simplifying device setup and maintenance, modern deployment methods and management solutions make it possible for organizations to offer Macs and other Apple products to their employees. If you’re considering using Macs in your organization, or want to learn more about modern deployment, contact your SHI account executive for a discussion with our mobility team.

You can also view the recording of our Mac deployment webinar below.

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