Apple Teams With Channel Heavyweight Accenture To Push iOS In The Enterprise

Apple is furthering its strategy of partnering with some of the largest players in the enterprise space with a new pact with channel powerhouse Accenture, aimed at bolstering the development of business solutions that are available via Apple iOS mobile devices.

Dublin, Ireland-based Accenture, No. 2 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, plans to launch a practice focused on iOS that will develop tools and services for enterprises to "transform how they engage with customers" on iPhone and iPad devices, Apple said in a news release.

[Related: Apple Partners With Deloitte To Further Its Enterprise Ambitions]

The iOS practice will fall within Accenture Digital Studios and will be based out of "select locations around the world," the release said. An Accenture spokesman said the company can't provide additional specifics.

Apple said that members of its own staff — including designers, programmers and data scientists — will be co-located with the Accenture iOS teams.

"Based on our experience in developing mobile apps, we believe that iOS is the superior mobile platform for businesses and are excited to be partnering with Apple," Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme said in the Apple  release. "By combining Accenture’s vast digital capabilities and industry expertise with Apple's market leadership in creating products that delight customers, we are in a perfect position to help our clients transform the way they work."

The news comes just ahead of the expected launch of next-gen iPhones in September. And it follows other Apple partnerships with top enterprise solutions players, including Deloitte, which also spawned a dedicated Apple practice after debuting in fall 2016. Other top enterprise partnerships for Apple include Cisco, IBM and SAP.

"We believe that businesses have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with our products," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the release.

The partnership also comes after Accenture's move in June to boost its mobile solutions capabilities with the acquisition of mobile design and development firm Intrepid.

Among the benefits of the Apple-Accenture partnership is that it will enable new services for meeting iOS integration requirements. For instance, through Accenture's specialty in system integration, the partnership will provide for better connections for iOS devices to backend systems, according to Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple.

"With Samsung pushing out their partner program and their Knox product that's in place, obviously Apple wants to fortify their position in making sure iOS gets deployed outright with a larger company like Accenture," said Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based LAN Infotech, a partner of both Apple and Samsung.

The Apple-Accenture partnership will feature a focus on IoT services as well. It will include the development of new tools, templates and code that will aim to enable better leveraging of IoT-generated data in iOS apps, according to Apple.

The partnership also will include migration services for improved transfers of legacy applications onto iOS, Apple said.

Jerry Gepner, CEO of New York-based Apple partner T2 Computing, said he views the announcement as "great news." T2 has a fast-growing Apple enterprise practice, he said, and the company believes that "with the proper planning, guidance, expertise and tools the [macOS] and iOS platforms can be smoothly integrated onto an enterprise information architecture."

"The simplicity and power of the Apple ecosystem can be a real benefit to large business if deployed properly," Gepner said. "It's great to see a company as large and well respected as Accenture share in that belief."

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