Apple is betting that if it’s going to really succeed in the enterprise space, it needs partners.
The Cupertino giant is teaming up with consulting firm Deloitte to create “Apple Practices” for iPhone and iPad use by businesses. The new initiative, boasting 5,000 Deloitte advisors, will help companies get the most out of iOS devices in the workplace, according to an announcement yesterday (Sept. 28).
Under a new program, called EnterpriseNext, designers, developers, and industry experts will help teach corporate firms how to use Apple’s phone and tablet in areas like recruitment, research and development, managing inventory, supply chains, and running back-office systems. Deloitte’s in-house developers will also help businesses create their own high quality, native apps for iOS.
Apple did not immediately respond to Quartz’s questions about how much the service would cost and whether it is only available to Deloitte clients.
In 2015, business technology contributed $25 billion to Apple’s sales. Although that’s only a fraction of the $200 billion total, it represented growth of 40% compared to the year prior. Nearly half of all iPads are now bought by corporations and governments. However, the company says there’s still ample room to grow. “This is not a hobby,” CEO Tim Cook said at a Sept. 2015 conference. “It’s a very small amount compared to what the opportunity is.”
In 2014, Apple partnered with IBM to create iOS-based apps dealing with big data and analytics for the iPad, earning Apple a reputable partner in the enterprise technology field where it had little experience. The duo have created a number of apps that marry design and data. Since then, the tech giant has also forged similar relationships with Cisco and SAP.
The latest corporate push comes at a time when Apple is under pressure to find growth as iPhone sales have weakened. Even though the company has sold over 1 billion iPhones and the device still makes up the bulk of its revenue, the reception toward its latest phones has been a mixed bag. Sales for its new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models are believed to be solid, but Apple refused to release first weekend sales figures as it had done in the past.