Apple Partners with Cisco to Bolster Enterprise Presence

by Matt Klassen on September 14, 2015

Earlier this month, before the release of a slew of new enterprise oriented upgraded products, Apple made a distinctly more subdued move: it partnered with Cisco. There was no flashy, glitzy announcement, no over-the-top event, nothing, just the simple press release that Apple and Cisco were partnering to improve the former’s enterprise presence by boosting the collaborative abilities of it’s devices with Cisco’s suite of business-oriented services.

“Together with Cisco, we believe we can give businesses the tools to maximize the potential of iOS and help employees become even more productive using the devices they already love,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

While I suppose the writing was already on the wall for Apple to take unprecedented strides into the enterprise sector, last week the Cisco partnership was given some legs, as the Cupertino company then released the iPad Pro; the beefed up, larger screen version of its popular consumer tablet that is geared specifically towards business clients. But an enterprise tablet is nothing without productivity tools, something I would guess Apple knows very little about, and that’s exactly what makes the preceding news about Cisco so much more interesting.

I will say one thing, with so many Apple devices having already infiltrated the enterprise space, this news likely comes as a welcome reprieve for beleaguered IT departments around the world who have struggled to contain the influx of Apple’s popular (yet vulnerable) consumer devices.

According to reports, the partnership between the two companies will result in improved the performance of Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices on Cisco’s corporate network. Not only that, but “Cisco will provide services specially optimized for iOS devices across mobile, cloud, and on premises-based collaboration tools such as Cisco Spark, Cisco Telepresence and Cisco WebEx,” said a joint statement from both companies.

By the sounds of it, the partnership will be also aimed at brining more enterprise-grade device management to Apple’s mobile catalogue, meaning there will be tools that will allow IT departments to better manage bandwidth, a problem that has only been exacerbated by employees using their consumer-oriented iPhones and iPads for, well, unproductive endeavours.

To that end, reports indicate that Cisco will supply tools and Apple will tweak its products to allow IT departments to throttle streaming video from YouTube, for instance, so that it doesn’t slow down the rest of the network.

No doubt for Apple this partnership with Cisco is just another way forCupertinoto continue to infiltrate the business world. Because let’s face it, thanks to the BYOD movement Apple’s devices are already among the most popular business mobile devices, the only problem to this point is that they’ve been grossly under-qualified for the job.

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