Apple Inc. has taken another big step in its bid to frame its products as business-class devices, not just desirable consumer hardware, by forming a partnership with consulting firm Deloitte, it announced yesterday.

Apple and Deloitte will be working together on a new service delivered through the consulting firm dubbed EnterpriseNext, according to a press release. The service will see Deloitte’s clients help adopt iOS devices and develop custom solutions on Apple’s mobile platform via rapid prototyping.

Deloitte says that it makes use of 100,000 iOS devices in its own workforce, and runs 75 custom apps on those devices. The expertise gained from building and deploying those apps can be applied to its customers, in turn helping them make better use of iPhones and iPads that are already popular with employees.

Deloitte’s EnterpriseNext service will cater to more than 20 industries, and offer “Value Maps for iOS” that chart out where the highest-yield mobile opportunities lie, according to the release. It will also offer workshops to move developer ideas from prototype stage to custom-built iOS solutions. Plus, Deloitte’s own iOS architects, designers, and engineers will help produce custom apps that integrate with a client’s other systems.

As iPhones and iPads have become popular consumer options – for example, comScore put iOS at a 38.3 per cent share of the Canadian smartphone market in 2015 – and as a result have migrated into the enterprise where BYOB policies are in place. Apple seems to be recognizing that it now has a foothold, and has been making more partnerships and developing products that target businesses directly.

Such activities stretch back to the end of 2014. Here’s a brief list:

  • Apple and IBM launched 10 mobile apps under the branding “IBM MobileFirst for iOS” as the result of a partnership.
  • Apple launched the iPad Pro earlier this year, offering a keyboard and stylus on an iOS device with a larger screen that includes multi-window capability.
  • Both iOS 9 and iOS 10 there are more capabilities for an IT administrator to control what software is deployed to a device.
  • Apple has announced a partnership with Cisco, which is known for making Unified Communications technology that could help smartphones replace desk phones once and for all.
  • Apple also works with Box and DocuSign on business-focused initiatives.

 

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