Canalys Channels Forum Apple and Cisco’s developing corporate love-in – designed to prise open enterprise customers’ wallets as the fruity firm labours to push more of its iStuff into offices – is becoming clearer, as engineers at both companies have locked arms and channel mapping is happening.
Milo Schacher, Cisco veep for the EMEA and Russia partner organisation, said the Apple deal in based on "tight technology integration ... predominantly around wireless, security and collaboration".
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The end game is to make iOS devices run more smoothly over the network.
“A simple problem,” he told us, “is when there are several access points in an environment, the iPhone goes with the strongest signal, it doesn’t check if the link behind it is 1GB or 100KB."
“For us, the value that comes indirectly from working with Apple is all those apps that are running on iOS and with a tighter integration, that gives us a closer relationship to the developer community,” Schacher said.
Those developers will be able to write code based on Cisco’s IP, “which opens up to a certain degree an eco system we haven’t had today".
On top of Apple devices getting a fast lane over a Cisco network, the plan is to make WebEx Telepresence easier to use on iThings, the exec added.
Cisco and Apple are “in the partner mapping stage where we look at our joint go to market”, said Schacher.
Apple is also linking arms with IBM to create a mobility partners programme to squeeze itself into more large enterprises, as consumer demand for the bog standard iPad wanes. Apple expects big things from the iPad Pro.
In September, IBM released iOS apps in healthcare, financial services, travel and transportation and industrial sectors, with a total of 55 apps in the catalogue. IBM has also deployed 30,000 Macs across its own workforce worldwide.
In a conference call discussing Apple’s latest quarterly financials, CEO Tim Cook said in the past twelve months “we estimate that enterprise markets accounted for about $25bn in annual Apple revenue, up 40 per cent over the prior year and they represent a major growth vector for the future”.
Cook said he does “not envision” Apple building a large direct enterprise sales force because “there is a huge worldwide indirect channel that many customers buy from, and count on buying some services from”. ®