Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues its focus on enterprise along with other companies to cater more to corporate users and expand in the category. In a quest to achieve a respectable market share in the enterprise segment, it has not only hired a dedicated sales force to talk with potential clients like Citigroup Inc. but is also working with a group of developers, says a report from Reuters, which cites sources familiar with the plans.
Apple taps start-ups
As of now, just the name Citigroup has been revealed out of other financial service institutions Apple is in dialogue with. The Cupertino Calif.-based company is holding talks with various start-ups that deal in selling apps to corporate clients such as PlanGrid and Service Max. PlanGrid is the developer of an app for sharing blueprints among construction workers, and ServiceMax offers an app for managing field service technicians.
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The entry of Apple into the enterprise category will increase competition for companies such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), Oracle, and SAP. The company has already teamed up with IBM and recently launched AppleCare for Enterprise, a new AppleCare service for enterprise customers.
Although there are not many details now, if industry experts are to believed, then the partnership with IBM strengthens Apple’s position against HP and Dell, which are leaders in office IT, and with Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) and SAP, which dominate work applications. If the service further grows, then it has the potential to give a tough time to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s, Samsung’s or Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s efforts in the still-developing market for mobile work applications, says the report.
Plans already in action
Citing another source familiar with Apple plans, the report states that ServiceMax, which serves customers such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and DuPont, has co-hosted eight dinners with Apple over the past year at different venues in the United States. The source also said that around 25 or 30 chief information officers and “chief service officers” are usually present at these joint marketing events.
ServiceMax did not comment on the specific venture they are working on with Apple. PlanGrid also declined to comment, says Reuters. However, ServiceMax Chief Marketing Officer Stacey Epstein said that around 95% of their customers use Apple devices, adding that every new customer will typically order thousands of iPhones and iPads.