Apple Inc.’s products might have a reputation for being expensive, but their enterprise deployment cost is lower than PCs, according to IBM.

How much lower? Between $273 and $543 USD per Mac over a four-year lifespan, Fletcher Previn, IBM’s vice-president of workplace as a service, told the audience during an Oct. 19 presentation at Apple device management solution provider Jamf’s annual Jamf Nation User Conference.

“And this reflects the best pricing we’ve ever gotten from Microsoft,” he said.

IBM learned its surprising lesson after implementing a program last year in which it began asking employees whether they wanted a Mac or PC.

And to be clear, it was a true choice – IBM’s leadership team believed that giving its employees the option and deploying both across the company, which spans 2,800 locations and more than 400,000 workers, 40 per cent of them remote, would boost morale.

“The goal was to deliver a great employee choice program and strive to achieve the best Mac program,” Previn said.

Last year the company deployed 30,000 Macs, a number which this year has grown to 90,000 so far.

In fact, IBM estimates that it will have deployed more than 100,000 Macs by the end of 2016 – and 73 per cent of employees have said they want their next computer to be a Mac, according to an Oct. 19 blog post on Jamf’s website, which based on the math could mean between $27.3 million and $54.3 million USD in savings.

As for how IBM achieved that number, one reason could be the fact that IBM requires only five admins to support its entire Mac network.

It also hired Jamf to leverage Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP), which allows for zero-touch deployment – ideal for a company with as many remote workers as IBM.

Year over year, the company has also seen a dramatic increase in its employee engagement scores, according to Jamf, with “Better Tools” cited as the number one reason.

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