Apple Teams with Accenture To Build Mobile Enterprise Apps

By:  Shirley Siluk

Under a partnership announced today, the global consultancy Accenture aims to help its enterprise customers transform their businesses through a business service based on Apple’s iOS mobile operating system.

The latest addition to Accenture’s Digital Studios business, the new dedicated iOS consulting practice will include experts from Accenture and Apple. To be offered in “select locations around the world,” the service will focus on helping enterprises better engage with customers through the use of iPhones and iPads.

Today’s announcement represents another step forward in Apple’s mission to make its devices essential work tools for large organizations. Apple formally launched that mission in late 2014 when it unveiled a partnership with IBM to develop iOS-based mobile apps for nine key industries, including banking, healthcare, insurance, and retail.

Enterprises ‘Just Scratching the Surface’

In a statement, Accenture chairman and CEO Pierre Nanterme called iOS “the superior mobile platform for businesses.” He added that the new collaboration with Apple will enable Accenture to help its customers “transform the way they work.”

Together, Apple and Accenture plan to work to develop new tools and services that connect backend enterprise systems to the wider digital ecosystem, make better use of data through Internet-of-Things applications, and ease migration from legacy infrastructure to iOS apps.

“We believe that businesses have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with our products,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the statement.

The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 11, is expected to be released sometime next month. Dubbed by Apple as “the biggest software release ever for iPad,” iOS 11 will bring updated capabilities for the Siri digital assistant, on-device machine learning, and augmented reality, among other features.

Other Partners Adding Apps and Services

In recent years, Apple has teamed up with a number of technology partners to extend its reach into the enterprise market. In addition to Accenture and IBM, those partners include Cisco, Deloitte, and SAP.

According to its Q3 2017 earnings report, released Aug. 1, Apple saw a 7 percent increase in quarterly revenues with total earnings of $45.4 billion. Cook attributed that increase to strong demand for iPhones, record growth in Apple’s services business, and rising iPad sales globally.

During Apple’s Q3 earnings call, senior vice president and chief financial officer Luca Maestri noted that the company’s enterprise business continues growing, with new customers, such as Walmart, Bank of America, Medtronic and Panera, all in the midst of rolling out new programs to use iPads and iOS on the job. Walmart, for example, plans to train as many as 225,000 employees to use iPads by the end of the year and expects to deploy over 19,000 of those devices across its U.S. locations.

Maestri added that Apple’s enterprise technology partners are also continuing to add new tools and services built on iOS, including SuccessFactors Mobile, SAP’s first-ever native iOS app for human resources.