Managing the Apple explosion with DaaS

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Here, Tariq Saied, Enterprise Services Director at Jigsaw24, explores the benefits of Device as a Service (DaaS) and why it makes an attractive proposition for resellers as Apple devices take over the workplace.

Not since the glory days of the BlackBerry has a particular smartphone been so ubiquitous in the workplace as the iPhone. Despite being primarily designed as a consumer device, the iPhone is now the handset of choice for four out of five senior business leaders across the world. 82 per cent of work carried out on a mobile device today uses iOS, while a quarter of work carried out on desktop is done using macOS.

Despite being the brand of choice for so many organisations, the perceived cost of implementing a suite of Apple devices across an entire workforce can be seen as a barrier by some businesses, despite being comparable to most high-end PCs. This can prove somewhat challenging for resellers, when it comes to targeting potential customers and encouraging them to invest in Apple.

The benefits of DaaS
Some businesses enjoy the savings typically offered when buying a number of devices outright. Others prefer to use leasing or finance arrangements as a means of protecting their cash. In recent years, however, an increase in thenumber of businesses looking to include warranty, support and, in the case of more risk-averse organisations, accidental cover as part of their agreement, has led to the advent of the “Device as a Service” or DaaS model of procurement.

DaaS tends to be subscription-based, with users paying a fixed monthly cost per user for an agreed term, usually around three years. After this time passes, they can either refresh the device or continue with the agreement. Monthly payments are based on the combined cost of the device itself and the additional services provided, with support and security costs typically covered by a central desk resource. Indeed, one of the most attractive benefits of the DaaS model is the cost efficiency it represents.

According to IDC analyst Tom Mainelli, “For companies contemplating DaaS, there are many benefits… By shifting device purchases from capital expenditures to operational expenditures, companies get greater stability and visibility on their IT costs. Instead of trying to forecast the need for future hardware refreshes, those refreshes are built into the service plan.”

Apple appeal
A DaaS arrangement can be especially beneficial when it comes to buying Apple products. It can deliver significant savings on Apple hardware, for example, by equalising the monthly cost of a device to that of a PC. Due to the high residual cost of Apple devices, the lease cost is approximately the same as that of a device which retails at around half the price. And with a suite of Apple devices responsible for only around half as many incidents as an equivalent PC environment, support costs are lower too. Not only is this cost effective for businesses, but resellers too can enjoy longer recurring revenues due to the longer lifecycle of Apple devices. The ease of scaling up and down with Apple means the onboarding and exiting of Apple devices is considerably easier.

In addition, businesses can enjoy significant security benefits due to Apple’s device enrolment programme. As soon as an Apple device leaves the warehouse, it becomes the property of a specific user and, as such, is only able to enrol and run as that user’s device. Should it be lost or stolen, the device will not function under any other environment, making it entirely worthless.

Management and support
The benefits of the DaaS model aren’t only concerned with cost efficiency. The huge popularity of the iPhone in the workplace is still largely a result of the BYOD phenomenon. So, for many businesses, Apple technology will often be a new End User Compute (ECU) technology within their organisation’s IT set-up, and one that will require a support system to be implemented and integrated within its existing Service delivery model. To avoid having to set up such a system themselves, businesses can take advantage of the support and management opportunity within a DaaS arrangement, which can offer a low cost support model alongside the standard device and warranty at only an additional £5 to £10 per user per month.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine