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3 telltale signs Apple is changing its enterprise tune

Matt Kapko | Sept. 11, 2015
Apple's new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, combined with a surprise visit from Microsoft yesterday, all suggest Apple is finally ready to get serious about enterprise.

While the keyboard is a critical component and more obvious option for many professionals, the Apple Pencil could attract legions of enterprise users who carry clipboards or use iPads for blueprint modifications, according to Bajarin. "[Apple is] giving them a tool they use and they're bringing it into the digital world." Apple could also find a customer base for the new stylus among the millions of workers who use traditional pencils every day, he says.

Apple shares spotlight with Microsoft — for the sake of enterprise

Apple's methodical enterprise courtship reached a once-unimaginable milestone yesterday when Phil Schiller, the company's senior vice president of marketing, invited Microsoft on stage to demonstrate new capabilities in Office 365 for iPad Pro. "Who to know better about productivity than Microsoft?" he asked a notably quiet crowd.

Microsoft's presence was one more sign of thawing relations between the long-time competitors. The Office software for iOS has been a benefit for both companies, according to Dawson.

Apple is wisely taking small but significant steps toward embracing the enterprise, Dawson says. "I think there's no single thing that Apple could do that would totally transform its fortunes in the enterprise," he says."The way I've talked about Apple in the enterprise is 'salami tactics.' You don't try to eat a salami all at once. You slice of a bit, you slice off another bit, and so it's kind of this piecemeal approach to things."

Apple sliced off a considerable amount of meat for enterprise users to chew yesterday, and if this week's moves are any indication of what's to come, the company will continue to deliver more hardware and software, and build partnerships, that cater to corporations. Apple inadvertently joined the enterprise market seven years ago, when workers started to demand IT support for their personal iPhones. Today, it sees clear business opportunity in the enterprise that it can attack with the passion consumers and businesspeople alike have come to expect from tech giant.


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