Originally £69 per week on our three year flexible lease contract this is now £64 plus VAT per week and includes a Mac Mini Server with Drobo back up plus 5 X Apple iMacs, with cabling and installation. The reduction in price is in part due to the ease of installation with the advent of Snow Leopard Server. HardSoft have been offering Leasing on IT Networks for over fifteen years predominantly around Microsoft Small Business server 2008. Last year HardSoft introduced the first Apple Mac network following the release of Snow Leopard Server from Apple. This is now a true alternative to a Microsoft network. Though more expensive on a like for like basis the true cost of ownership becomes apparent in the long term ease of use and reliability. HardSoft can include any of the Apple Macs and the Server could be an Xserve instead.
Andrew loves computers and the way the market is evolving to a 'pay as you go' model against the old methodology of CapEx spending. A background of sourcing lease financing for Start Up businesses means he is perfectly place to provide insightful commentary on computing for new businesses.
Being fully Apple Authorised, HardSoft are able to centrally register the Macs and iPads we lease to customers with Apple, which helps them with the management of their assets. Apple have recently relaunched their Device Enrolment Programme (DEP) as the new Apple Business Manager. This is, in essence, the enterprise version of Apple School Manager, which gives companies a web-based portal for IT managers to deploy and manage Apple devices across the workplace. Apple Business Manager lets you buy content and configure automatic device enrollment in your Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.
Apple says that this service offers businesses sleek device enrolment, controls for assigning privileges and settings, as well as the ability to purchase apps and books, all from one central location. Signing up for Apple Business Manager as part of your lease means that you can deploy Macs, iPads and other iOS devices which you have leased across a business or school. You can then supervise from a distance any iOS devices owned by your business but used by your staff, whether they’re office based or work remotely.
This level of management allows you to add restrictions, such as turning off integral games and apps, as well as blocking certain apps from being downloaded to the device. With Business Manager large-scale deployments of iPad and Mac are seamless. Your devices are configured through a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, we use the Airwatch MDM software solution – which costs £1.00 per week extra on a three-year lease, users are then guided through the activation process.
Through the Device Enrollment Program, businesses can choose to supervise corporate-owned iOS devices over the air and the supervision of this provides a higher level of device management customising configurations and features specific to your school or business.
What can I do with Apple Business Manager?
Configuring Business Manager allows you a number of options:
- Force the device to enroll with an MDM such as AirWatch
- Select which MDM group devices should be a part of initially
- Disable users ability to un-enroll from the MDM manually
- Place device in supervised mode
- Restrict device from pairing with macOS computers
- Disable sending diagnostics information to Apple
- Display personalised contact information for support
In addition, you can add a Mobile Device Management (MDM) profile for each device. The MDM allows the centralised control and deployment of software. Using an MDM gives you the ability to configure access to corporate services, account setting, and even which apps can be used. This removes the need to deploy your devices manually and means that your staff can get working as soon as the device is turned on. There is no need to have someone from your IT team physically set up each device individually. This is only offered by Apple Authorised Sellers or direct from the Apple Store. HardSoft has provided rollouts to such organisations as the Marie Curie cancer charity, as well as Dee Valley Water.
You can lease the iPad Pro 10.5-inch with Mobile Device Managment bundle from HardSoft, on a three-year lease from £7.50 per week + VAT. The Benefits of Apple Business Manager and an MDM solution are massive but if you want to know more take a look at the FAQs below, or give our sales team a call on 020 7111 1643 and they will be happy to talk you through why Business Manager and MDM make sense for your business or school.
FAQ’s on the Apple Business Manager
Does HardSoft manage the whole process? Not entirely. HardSoft role in the device enrolment process consists of order management functions, such as providing device serial numbers or IMEI numbers, creating a customer’s Customer ID, providing our Reseller ID, and a few other order details. Further actions in the programme — such as claiming and assigning devices in the website and or to MDM servers — are the responsibility of the customer.
What resellers, distributors or carriers are eligible to support Device enrolment for their customers? Any Apple Authorised Reseller such as HardSoft, or Telecoms carrier, such as O2, EE is eligible to participate in the programme.
Can adding devices into the Business Manager resolve issues with the new law General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? No, though it is the first stage in adding a Mobile Device Management Solution such as Airwatch that would conform. The new GDPR law states you must implement “appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk, including…encryption of personal data” (Article 32, Security of processing). In the event of a data breach, the organisation is not required to inform individuals of the breach if measures that “render the personal data unintelligible” were in place, including encryption (Article 34, Communication of a personal data breach to the data subject). GDPR is a concern to all Companies with the potential for heavy fines. Mobile devices such as iPads ‘roaming;’ the country with Data on are a hole in an IT security set up that needs addressing.
What customers are eligible to sign up for the Business Manager? Business Manager is available to qualifying businesses. Generally, a client with 10 or more mobile devices feels the benefit. The service of Apple School Manager is available to state, independent, primary and secondary schools, colleges and eligible educational organisations…
What does the customer need to provide to Apple to enrol devices? We require the customer’s Customer ID (Apple will provide this to the customer after on line registration), the HardSoft ID, the device IDs of the devices sold (serial numbers or IMEI numbers), and a few details about the order, such as delivery date.
Does HardSoft specify in the terms of sale that the device must be removed from Business Manager when the customer no longer owns, it? No but the Apple Business Manager terms agreed to by the customer at sign up require a customer to remove devices that they no longer own. Be aware that any devices lost, stolen will need removing.
Is there a charge to participate in Apple Business Manager? Apple does not charge customers to participate in the service or Apple School Manager scheme. An MDM solution such as Airwatch would be at extra cost.
Can HardSoft help by enrolling devices into Business Manager? Unfortunately no. End users must enrol in the service or Apple School Manager and accept the terms and conditions themselves. Customers who request HardSoft to perform additional integration or management services (such as an MDM) can latterly create an admin account within their portal or Apple School Manager portal to add and manage these services on the customers behalf.
Could customers create their own API? Organisations should be able to develop functional integration with Apple’s device enrolment APIs using two or three developers in about 10 weeks. Alternatively, an off the shelf solution should be considered. HardSoft offer VMWare Airwatch.
What makes leasing from HardSoft so different from all the other leasing companies out there? We believe that it’s the holistic approach we take to our business, we care about our customers and the experience they have with us so we do our best to make sure that experience is a beneficial and helpful as possible. We also listen to our customers and try to develop new offerings that fit with what they’re looking for.
For example, we have recently launched our new HardSoft Creative Club. The Creative Club gives our customers access to a pool of kit for short-term hire. That’s the kit they need when they need it for short-term projects, for just £6 per week plus VAT. The kit in the pool has a daily points value and customers receive 350 points annually to use to hire the extra kit they need and at the time when they need it. All delivered and collected as part of their membership. It’s short-term computer hire that’s cheap and flexible, exactly what many of our customers have been asking for.
We have also launched a Loyalty Rewards Scheme. To say thank you to our returning customers for their continued business with HardSoft, and to show how much we value it we now have a Loyalty Reward Program and now offer these customers a free gift with new leases – see the gift grid.
Small Things = A Big Difference
HardSoft also offers lots of those small things that all add up to make a big HardSoft difference, such as:
- 35 years of trading experience
We have been trading since 1984 and our team know the nuts and bolts of leasing and can help with your financing choice.
- 4,000 clients with £30M of leases
We have over 4,000 customers who hold £30M of leases. We have the knowledge and experience that comes from supporting these customers which will help us to help you.
- FCA authorised
Being FCA authorised means you can be confident that all our leases fall within FCA lending criteria and have transparent terms.
- Apple authorised
We work directly with Apple and all of our Apple products are genuine and brand new.
- Finance for new Start-Ups
We recently approved leasing for a Start-Up without an indemnity every day for a 90 day period – and counting!
- Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award
Created by Feefo, the Gold Trusted Service Award is awarded to businesses that meet the high standard. This accreditation is based purely on reviews of interactions with verified customers. As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of a business’ commitment to outstanding service.
- More than 10K Macs
10,000 Macs have been supplied to our customers, getting them started or keeping them going, without the need to outlay large amounts from their cash flow.
- 5 star Google reviews
Take a look at our Google reviews and find out what our customers have to say about our business, service and support. We consistently received 5 star reviews from our customers and
- Pure-Rental options
If you don’t want the option to cancel your lease or change your equipment after 2-years, you can take out a Pure-Rental lease.
- Leases available over 2,3, or 4 years
We offer a range of lease terms to suit your needs, making it easier and more flexible for you.
- Competitive insurance
Insuring computer equipment can be expensive and some insurers won’t even quote on high ticket items. HardSoft offer insurance that is cheaper than you might think.
- Cancel after 2 years
If you have a Flexi-Lease you have the option to cancel your lease after two years, or change your equipment to the latest spec and take out a new lease.
- Apple trained technicians
Our technicians are all highly trained and receive the latest, most up to date training from Apple meaning they solve any issues you may have quickly and get you back up and running as soon as possible.
HardSoft believes in offering a little bit more to our customers to help them get the best from their leasing. If you’d like to discuss your leasing options with one of our knowledgeable team give us a call on 020 7111 1643 or email email@example.com. You can also use our live web chat service via our website homepage.
Over the last 18 months, many major computer manufacturers such as Lenovo, HP and Fujitsu have started offering subscription services for new computers and technology but what exactly is in it for you, and what is this terminology they use all about? It’s something we’ve been talking about for a long time and is very much part of the HardSoft ethos and way of offering a subscription model for deployment and use of PC and Macs.
Here we explain these terms and acronyms which you may come across:
Technology as a service – TaaS
Technology as a service offers small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) the facility to combine their computer hardware purchases with IT services for a monthly fee. They are then able to utilise the service rather than employee their own IT staff, to cover things such as warranty services, and the option to replace equipment regularly without making large upfront payments, allowing them to keep their cash flow in place for the day-to-day running of the business.
IT as a service – ITaaS
IT as a Service a method of technology delivery that views information technology as an asset. It provides businesses with hardware, software and support on an agreed monthly fee.
Device as a Service – DaaS
Device as a service is where small businesses and larger companies alike outsource the acquisition and management of IT devices to save money and enable them to renew the equipment regularly. HP use this as their brand. HP tied up with Apple at the end of 2017 and offer the imaginatively “Device as a Service for Apple’ that allow iPhones, iPads and Macs bundled up with support and a DEP solution, plus Accidental Damage cover. Apple does not have its own scheme and the HP DaaS for Apple is only available in the USA
XaaS – anything as a service
Anything (or everything) as a service has often been used to envelop SaaS (Software as a service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a service), and PaaS (Platform as a service). Originally SaaS, this cloud-based on-demand services category has expanded to include anything that isn’t fixed to the floor. It’s the epitome of cloud computing, a veritable buffet of offerings which are utility based and can be used on a monthly basis.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Yes, it’s basically what we’ve been doing – and preaching about – for the past 30 years! It’s all about getting someone else to take care of the technology you need to use for your business, paying a regular set amount to ensure that everything is looked after so that you don’t have to worry about it. In a nutshell, HardSoft offers all of the services mentioned above within our leasing contracts. We cover warranties, technical support, replacement products, and renewals when you need them. It’s why we’re a ‘one stop shop’ for all your technology needs.
If you want to know more about leasing from HardSoft and our TaaS/ITaaS/DaaS/XaaS services, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org, call 020 7111 1643, or go online and use our web chat facility. Our knowledgeable sales team will be happy to talk through all of your options with you.
As Easy as Change, Continue, or Cancel.
We’re often asked about the flexibility of leasing, and potential customers are often under the impression that leasing is inflexible and they will be tied into long contracts whilst their equipment becomes obsolete and old. We always tell them that leasing IT equipment is as simple as getting your mobile phone contract, they work in just the same way.
Here at HardSoft, we are the pioneers of the ‘Flexi-Lease’, so the clue is in the name. This scheme for businesses is simple and incredibly flexible, we call it Change, Continue, Cancel. All of our customers are offered guaranteed ownership of their equipment at the end of their lease term for just £1, but they can also choose to continue with a new lease once they reach the halfway point of their lease, upgrading their equipment at the same time, allowing them to have the latest and most up to date kit.
Change – technology advances at such a rapid rate that in the three short years of your lease, you can often find yourself working on an outdated device which doesn’t do everything you need it to. If this is the case, you can return the equipment and start a new lease with the latest models and be back at the cutting edge again. Taking advantage of the extras included in a HardSoft lease, such as technical support and warranty.
Continue – the beauty of the Flexi-Lease means that you can always change your mind. Once you’ve reached the halfway point of your lease you can change your equipment at any time. This means that if your business is growing and expanding and you need more equipment for additional staff, you can add to your lease with the most up to date equipment available. Leasing also means that you don’t have to pay outright for the additional kit, leaving your precious cash flow intact for more pressing things.
Cancel – you might find that after 3 years you’re still happy with your equipment, and regardless of there being more up to date and sleeker looking versions available, you’re happy to stick with what you have. If this is the case, you can purchase the device for just £1.00 and take ownership so it’s all yours to keep.
Real Customer examples explaining this leasing flexibility
The best way for us to tell you how flexible our leases are is to give you some examples of our customers taking advantage of flexible leasing in the past few weeks.
Customer A had a 27″ iMac and was paying £89.70 per month. They decided to keep the iMac and also change to a new 27″ iMac with 5K Retina with a new monthly payment of £94.50.
Customer B had two 13″ MacBook Pro Retina’s, paying £104.00 per month, and decided to keep them and add two new 13″ MacBook Pros with Touch Bar for a new monthly payment of £118.00.
Customer C had an 11″ MacBook Air and a 21.5″ iMac, paying £68.03 per month, and then cancelled the original lease returning the existing equipment and part-exchanging it for a new iMac 21.5″ and a new 13″ MacBook Air, with a new monthly payment of £75.50. All customers were able to secure new up to date equipment and keep their payments at roughly the same amount each month.
Each HardSoft Flexi-Lease is covered by three years free warranty and telephone technical support. This warranty is inclusive of all parts and labour. If your machine is faulty we offer, at no extra cost, a ‘Collect and Return’ service; whereby our courier will be sent in the next day after reporting a fault and will return this to us for repair. Also included is telephone support and we offer a remote diagnosis and fault repair service. For more information about our flexible leases, get in touch with our sales team on 020 7111 1643 or email email@example.com.