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Maker of MDM Tool for Apple Devices Launches Channel Program

Bushel, a SaaS-based mobile device management (MDM) solution for Apple devices, on Wednesday launched an affiliate program that represents the first stage of a channel push.

Bushel grew out of Minneapolis-based JAMF Software LLC, maker of an on-premises Apple device management platform. While Bushel's primary market is Apple ecosystem partners, Bushel Product Manager Charles Edge told RCP that the product makes sense for Microsoft partners and managed service providers (MSPs) looking to manage the Apple devices that crop up around the edges of their customers' networks.

"It's very similar to what Microsoft has done releasing Intune for Windows," Edge said of Microsoft's SaaS solution for system management. "What we're after is policy-based management for small business. We're taking out complexity and the things you need lots of experience to do."

Bushel can be used to manage Macs, iPads, iPhones and iPods. Capabilities of the product include device inventory, app distribution, e-mail configuration, Wi-Fi setting distribution and device protection.

[Click on image for larger view.] The Bushel interface.

Under the small business-focused pricing model, the first three devices managed by Bushel are free, with supplemental devices costing $2 per month. The affiliate program, which Edge likens to consumer affiliate programs, involves a partner providing a specific sign-up link for customers that returns a percentage of the monthly payment to the partner.

Partners are able to manage devices on behalf of customers only with the customer's individual login, Edge said. So, for example, managing five customers would require five separate logins.

Other elements will be coming to the channel program. "Within a couple weeks we'll have marketing materials, PDFs and leave-behinds, customizable assets so the partners can put their brand on it, and YouTube channels with videos on how to set things up and manage them," Edge said.

Bushel is in a fast-growth stage, climbing from about 500 customers at the formal launch in mid-January to 3,300 organizations now. Anticipating similar uptake with partners, Edge said the company will wait for feedback from the channel on what resources and features to add.

One item that's on the radar but not formally on a roadmap is potential integration with Intune and other management platforms for single-pane-of-glass management. "We're looking at ways to partner with and do integrations with other platforms," he said. "But at the four-month mark, we're still gaining lots and lots of marketshare on the Apple side."

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 27, 2015