Apple is looking to grab a bigger portion of the corporate software and solutions business with dedicated sales teams tasked with wooing big-name corporations, while at the same time working with software developers already entrenched in the enterprise sector.
Citing sources familiar with Apple's plan, Reuters reports the company is making big moves to expand its presence in enterprise, which include creating a dedicated sales force and forging strategic partnerships with software developers.
On the sales side, Apple has reportedly sent teams to talk to chief information officers heading up IT at large corporations. Financial services giant Citigroup is said to have been one target for Apple, but it is unclear if the firm signed on.
Sources claim Apple is working with software startups like ServiceMax and PlanGrid, which focus on enterprise solutions and apps. ServiceMax, an app designed to provide construction workers with easy access to blueprints, reportedly co-hosted eight marketing and sales dinners with Apple over the past year to show off their wares to CIOs and IT professionals.
Formal arrangements with other unnamed developers are also in the works, but none have been made public, these people said.
Shades of Apple's ambitions were seen in a recent partnership with IBM, which is just now bearing fruit. The two tech giants are working together to roll out "IBM MobileFirst for iOS," a blitz on multiple industries that incorporates custom-tailored software and services sold on iOS hardware.
In fact, the partnership appears to be the lynchpin in Apple's plans as IBM will provide enterprise-class software to rival current offerings from Oracle and Microsoft.
Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said IBM is preparing to roll out solutions across banking, government, insurance, retail, travel and transportation, and telecommunications sectors. Previously, IBM noted it had development of more than 100 different native iOS apps for the program.
Apple last week rolled out a new AppleCare for Enterprise website featuring hardware troubleshooting, on-site repairs and other services.