Apple Business Essentials vs. Cisco Meraki SM

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Apple Business Essentials
Score 6.7 out of 10
Mid-Size Companies (51-1,000 employees)
Apple Business Essentials is a subscription service that brings together device management, 24/7 support, and cloud storage. It enables small business to manage every iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TVs throughout the business.
$8.25
per device, per month
Cisco Meraki SM
Score 9.7 out of 10
N/A
Cisco offers Meraki Systems Manager (SM), an enterprise mobility management platform supporting the monitoring, provisioning and securing of mobile devices across an enterprise network.N/A
Pricing
Apple Business EssentialsCisco Meraki SM
Editions & Modules
Fleetsmith Managed
$8.25
per device, per month
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Apple Business EssentialsCisco Meraki SM
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
YesNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional DetailsFree unlimited trial for up to 10 devices Device Intelligence free for unlimited devices iOS/tvOS devices free during beta period
More Pricing Information
Best Alternatives
Apple Business EssentialsCisco Meraki SM
Small Businesses
Rippling
Rippling
Score 8.5 out of 10
Rippling
Rippling
Score 8.5 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Cisco Meraki SM
Cisco Meraki SM
Score 9.7 out of 10
Jamf Pro
Jamf Pro
Score 9.4 out of 10
Enterprises
Cisco Meraki SM
Cisco Meraki SM
Score 9.7 out of 10
Jamf Pro
Jamf Pro
Score 9.4 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Apple Business EssentialsCisco Meraki SM
Likelihood to Recommend
8.1
(21 ratings)
9.5
(13 ratings)
Usability
8.5
(19 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
8.8
(21 ratings)
8.0
(2 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
9.3
(7 ratings)
User Testimonials
Apple Business EssentialsCisco Meraki SM
Likelihood to Recommend
Apple
Fleetsmith is well suited for companies with a lot of Macs, Mac minis, Apple tvs, etc., that are all over the place (different offices, states, countries, floors, remote employees, etc). It makes the management of these central where it would be almost impossible otherwise.
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Cisco
It is very helpful if you need to restrict the apps a student or employee can have on their device. I had teachers using Netflix on the iPads before I brought them under management. Restricting them will make you unpopular with some of your employees, however, I advise them the device is being provided for business use and, therefore we have the right and responsibility to manage it.
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Pros
Apple
  • Fleetsmith does a great job of being unobtrusive on managed devices. After initial deployment, one might never know it’s there except when it prompts to enforce a software update.
  • Fleetsmith has sensible defaults and relatively few decisions for the administrator to make; for most applications and configurations, it’s sufficient to enforce a minimum version. For more complex use cases, I suggest falling back on Fleetsmith’s ability to install tools such as Puppet and run arbitrary shell commands.
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Cisco
  • We can create templates for our mobile devices that make new hardware deployments a breeze.
  • Pushing out new with Apple Business Manager is easy and efficient.
  • We get tons of real-time information on our devices and useful historical information and logs.
  • Kiosk and Single App mode is great for single purpose tablets.
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Cons
Apple
  • We were told that this was in the works and it would be implemented at the beginning of the year 2019. That has still not happened and whenever we ask about this functionality we cannot get a good answer.
  • Management of devices that are already in the field—we were told that in order to use Fleetsmith as we would like (pushing apps to devices) we would have to get each device and set them up from a Mac.
  • Integration with Windows.
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Cisco
  • Limited ability for "command line" functions. For example, we had a laptop that was stolen and showed to be online, but we could not wipe it. We were able to access a command prompt, but it would not accept DISKPART or FORMAT commands to try and make the PC unusable.
  • The GPS location is not terribly accurate and frequently it "guesses" location based off of an IP address rather than actually activating the GPS on the device. This makes tracking lost/stolen devices very difficult.
  • Difficulty getting devices to correctly show their status in the dashboard. For example, I can have a PC that is online and connected to the Internet, but shows to be offline in the dashboard. Only after refreshing many times would it indicate that the PC was actually online, thus allowing me to administer it.
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Usability
Apple
The installation steps are very easy and the UI for admin panel is user-friendly. Enrolment all based on Gmail accounts and the import function is there to fetch the user accounts. Navigating in Fleetsmith admin panel is simple and clean.
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Cisco
It has is easy to use overall and is very powerful. The learning curve for the system is very small and I have found it easy to train members of our team to use it. It can fit any size organization and the support is excellent. The ROI is well worth it. If you have a multiplatform ecosystem, this tool is near perfect.
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Support Rating
Apple
Fantastic support. I have had a few queries on how to go about doing things in the best way and the support at Fleetsmith was always very quick to reply and with excellent advice and detail to solve the problem and lead is into our best use of their product.
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Cisco
We have found that Cisco Meraki has always had very good customer support. In the rare case, when we have needed assistance they have always been quick to respond and solve the issue.
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Alternatives Considered
Apple
The primary products we checked out were Mosyle, JAMF, and SimpleMDM. In the end it really came down to the simplicity of our needs and the simplicity of Fleetsmith's approach being in tight harmony. We kicked the tires, hard, for about a month and then dove all the way in.
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Cisco
The only product I have used that is similar is Apple Configurator. While a powerful solution, it requires physical access to the devices which is not always possible, especially on a large site. Meraki is able to achieve many of the same functions as the Apple configurator but without ever needing to physically access the device, other than initial setup and registration.
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Scalability
Apple
No answers on this topic
Cisco
It’s scalable up to a point and will scale well from small to a medium business, however, as a business grows and policies get more mature or detailed, you might have to later upgrade to a more appropriate enterprise solution such as MaaS360 or AirWatch. This solution however, will last quite a long tome for a growing business.
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Return on Investment
Apple
  • Lesser cost for managing device, instead of getting more manpower to do it manually.
  • Lesser security threats (which will cause financial damage) as all devices are configured according the the company security policies, such as firewalls, media management, app security updates.
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Cisco
  • Our immediate take away has been a savings of thousands a year in MDM fees. We were paying around $3.00 a device with our previous MDM and our average with Meraki is about $1.88 per device. That while providing far more functionality than our previous provider.
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ScreenShots