Full Steam Ahead for Apple's Enterprise Assault

By Joe Rizzo November 11, 2014

During the summer, Apple and IBM announced an exclusive partnership that teams the market leading strengths of each company in an attempt to transform enterprise mobility. This partnership addresses what the two companies call “a new class of business apps,” which brings IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad.

At the time of the agreement, the new business apps were slated to become available some time during the fall. Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”

The new partnership between Apple and IBM, to develop an enterprise-friendly range of systems on tablets and smartphones, should ease some serious enterprise concerns around how to manage Apple’s iOS systems. Industry experts, feel that the new agreement is an important move in the ongoing process of including Apple devices in bring your own device (BYOD) or choose your own device (CYOD) deployments in the workplace.

A new report from Reuters has unveiled new details on Apple’s efforts to recruit more business clients and software developers. The information comes to us from two un-named sources that are familiar with Apple’s current plans. Reuters marks this as Apple embarking on its most aggressive expansion to date onto corporate turf, hiring a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup, ServiceMax and PlanGrid to add to its current IBM enterprise agreement. In addition, Apple is also working with about a dozen or so developers.

It appears as though Apple is getting itself ready to take on companies such as Dell, HP and Oracle in the enterprise world. Since Apple has been sending dedicated sales teams to talk to chief information officers, it does seem that the company is staying on track with its fall schedule. ServiceMax, whose client-base includes Proctor & Gamble and DuPont has hosted eight dinner events with Apple this year. Apple is getting the word out, as there are about 30 CIOs that attend each event.

This is definitely a partnership that will benefit Apple. According to Stacy Epstein, who is ServiceMax’s chief marketing officer, said that “about 95 percent of ServiceMax’s customers use Apple devices. Each new customer will typically order thousands of iPhones and iPads. The field service market alone is a $15 billion market. One of our accounts may have thousands of field service technicians. It's a huge market opportunity for Apple."

As more companies adopt BYOD policies, Apple’s enterprise assault should help improve its declining iPad sales. It has been speculated for a while that we would soon reach a saturation point with respect to smartphones and tablets. BYOD and CYOD might help increase the sale of Apple’s mobile devices. However, as usual, Apple does keep it plans close to the vest and the exact nature of the proposed partnerships between these companies has not been confirmed yet, but the general idea is similar to the IBM arrangement.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

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