Apple announced a partnership today with Accenture. If you’re not familiar, Accenture is a prominent consulting firm, which according to their website “partner(s) with more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500” (so at least 376). They’re the outsourcing solution for CTOs that want to modernize service delivery and maintain a legacy backend, but just want someone else to deal with the headaches.
The partnership very concretely signifies a truth that not a lot of people talk about: Apple isn’t just serious about the enterprise, they’re looking to dominate it. A lot of their partnerships have been to improve the backend experience with Apple devices on enterprise infrastructure. Look at the fruits of their recent partnership with Cisco. It’s centered around making enterprise level network and device management down to the level of an iOS device. Super useful. The Accenture deal is a little more canny.
This partnership has the potential to be very profitable for both parties, it creates a very easy to appreciate feedback loop. Apple gives Accenture access to top level iOS engineers and resources. This enables Accenture to offer more sophisticated iOS integrations for their digital transformation customers. This in turn leads to more sales of Apple devices, which will necessitate further integration to maximize company investment. Fast forward to Scrooge McDuck vault of money.
Perhaps most interesting is that Apple looks to be on the technological forefront with these integrations. Generally Apple waits for a second-mover advantage, jumping into an still maturing market after a few years with a fully baked solution. But Apple is openly talking of how this partnership will integrate augmented reality (via ARkit) and IoT into enterprise workflows. The former is still an extremely emergent space and it’s unusual for Apple to lead with that as an offering.
Apple isn’t having any trouble selling devices right now. By wisely looking to gain a bridgehead into the enterprise, Apple looks to ensure that will be the case for years to come.