For years, the natural momentum of Apple products infiltrating the enterprise has been a sore spot for enterprise IT. At least part of that pain was driven by Apple’s apparent indifference to that segment of its users.
In a move that came as a surprise to many industry watchers, Apple last week announced a groundbreaking partnership with IBM, a rival that Steve Jobs famously dismissed on multiple occasions. The two giants will co-develop more than 100 enterprise-ready iOS apps to serve growing fleets of mobile workers. Meanwhile, enterprises will have new packaged offerings from IBM for iOS device activation, supply and management, complete with perks like access to unique iOS-optimized IBM cloud services like device management, security, analytics and mobile integration.
Is this an arranged marriage, or does it truly make sense? John Moltz put it this way:
“An Apple and IBM partnership makes sense in the same way Apple selling its products through Walmart makes sense. Apple defended selling through Walmart by saying “Their stores are where ours aren’t.” The kinds of large enterprises where IBM has a presence are the places where Apple has the least penetration.”
By all intents and purposes, Apple had seemed content to let organic worker BYOD habits drive the consumerization of IT, and it gained a nice foothold into the Microsoft-dominated enterprise IT market simply by doing nothing. With this partnership, the company’s unspoken policy of ignoring the enterprise just went out the window. If you’re involved in enterprise IT at any level, this is a very big deal.
In an interview with Re/Code, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted “The kind of deep industry expertise you would need to really transform the enterprise isn’t in our DNA. But it is in IBM’s.”
IBM’s market strength and coverage gives Apple enterprise capability and credibility, while IBM gets a huge advantage in the race for mobile enterprise leadership. Put simply, the company that has helped to build and shape the modern consumer technology landscape teaming up with the company that built and shaped the foundation of computing in the enterprise may have just killed Google in the enterprise.
The move also serves to underscore another major challenge enterprise IT is facing – making Windows-centric systems available for Mac users in the enterprise. As platform-agnostic environments grow increasingly necessary for enterprises to compete at the highest levels, solutions like Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition – which helps cross-platform businesses run Windows on Mac – become more vital.
The need for solutions has continued to soar as more and more companies find they must address the demand for cross-platform computing. Parallels has built a foundation on developing innovative products designed to help enterprises solve complex IT challenges. Parallels Access for Business helps IT managers empower employees to use their favorite mobile devices (Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads) to run applications on their PCs and Macs, and with Parallels Mac Management, IT professionals who manage PCs through Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) can now easily manage Macs just like PCs through a simple plugin.
The roll-out of new iOS business apps, which begins this fall, promises to impact a range of industries including retail, health care, transportation, banking, insurance and telecommunications. Your move, Google and Microsoft.