The enterprise strategy of Apple takes on an unusual shape.
Apple has not done much for enterprises on the software and hardware side. There are no Apple servers. There is no Apple cloud services and there are no professional enterprise tools. Apple just wants businesses to use as many iPhones and iPads as possible. Now Apple has partnered up with Deloitte to have an army of 5,000 "strategic advisors" to promote the use of iPhone and iPad in businesses.
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“We know that iOS is the best mobile platform for business because we’ve experienced the benefit ourselves with over 100,000 iOS devices in use by Deloitte’s workforce, running 75 custom apps,” said Punit Renjen, CEO of Deloitte Global. “Our dedicated Apple practice will give global businesses the expertise and resources they need to empower their mobile workforce to take advantage of the powerful ecosystem iOS, iPhone and iPad offer, and help them achieve their ambitions, while driving efficiency and productivity.”
Maybe the increased presence in enterprises will help Apple to understand better what companies need. it is not just about the device that the employee uses.
“As the leader in digital transformation strategy, Deloitte is an ideal partner that brings a team of Apple-dedicated strategic advisors to help clients truly revolutionize how they work using iOS, iPhone and iPad,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “iPhone and iPad are transforming how people everywhere get work done. And through this partnership, we’re able to help even more businesses tap into the incredible capabilities that only the Apple ecosystem can deliver.”
Apple definitly needs to provide more than just an army of consultants to create solutions for companies. The funny thing is that Microsoft helps Apple to have more value in businesses with the availability of Microsoft Office apps on iOS.
Tim Cook's team could though be more innovative for enterprise users. I recently meet a startup that developed a bracelet that enables continuous multi-factor authentication. Employees need to use a trusted device to authenticate the bracelet once they put it on. The solution from Munich based iDee continously checks if the bracelet is activated when the user is accessing company accounts inside or outside the company.
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This is a perfect application for the iPhone and Apple Watch. It is though not enough to just make the devices.