Apple Inc. is doing more to formalize its channel partnerships in Canada, working closely with those offering enterprise support and services, according to Harry Zarek, CEO of managed services provider (MSP) Compugen.
On Tuesday Compugen announced its Modern Workspace for Apple program, a new offering it describes as a way to “easily and securely deploy iPhone, iPad, and Mac in the enterprise.” It’s the latest development in the MSP’s relationship with Apple, which was first struck up in October 2017. Over 2018, it developed a fully managed Apple environment to its customers.
“Apple has caught up with that now and has formalized a program,” Zarek said in an interview with CDN.
Apple is helping Compugen with marketing activities, such as workshops hosted collaboratively by the firms to get out the message that Apple devices can be supported in the enterprise. “There appears to be some residual anxiety. Our goal is to alleviate that,” said Zarek.
Compugen’s services include installation and support of iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads, and MacOS devices such as MacBooks and iMacs. Its Device as a Service offering can configure Apple devices to client specifications and security standards, and manage them through their entire lifecycle. This gives enterprises the option of procuring their Apple gear as a line item that shows up on the operating budget, not the capital expenditures.
“It’s a whole lifecycle management of providing the technology tools and allowing them to connect in the enterprise environment,” he said.
Designated as an Apple Professional Services Provider, Compugen conducts a readiness assessment of its customer’s IT environment prior to deploying Apple products. From there, they see where any tune-up is needed. It also offers integration support for existing infrastructure, such as a Microsoft Exchange implementation, training on adapting to Office 365 or Sharepoint for Mac, and other customized services such as running Citrix Workplace on Apple platforms.
Apple has been pursuing wider acceptance in the enterprise through its Apple at Work program, which involves a number of different partners. In Canada, that’s included partnerships with CDW Canada since August 2018 and Insight Canada as of November.
Zarek said supporting Apple products is more important as employees expect to work on their device of choice.
“The old world of PC has changed dramatically and we’re seeing evidence of it everywhere,” he said. “It’s around the business focus of how do you attract employees, how do you unleash their creative capabilities?”
According to a survey of 580 executives conducted in March 2018 by Apple MSP Jamf, 68 per cent said being able to select their device of choice makes them more productive. And employees are more likely to favour Apple devices – 75 per cent choose iOS over Android for mobile, and 72 per cent choose Mac over a PC.