​Apple means business as enterprise empire smashes $US25 billion

“The enterprise business is not to be underestimated.”

Tim Cook - CEO, Apple

Tim Cook - CEO, Apple

“The enterprise business is not to be underestimated.”

Befitting of his own personality, under the leadership of Apple CEO Tim Cook the world’s most valuable company is quietly building an enterprise empire.

Highlighted during the tech giant’s recent fiscal year Q4 2015 earnings call, Cupertino reported $US25 billion in revenue over the last 12 months from enterprise markets, up 40 percent from a year ago.

“I doubt very many people knew that we have a $25 billion enterprise business that we've quietly built in not too many years,” added Cook in October.

“Our penetration is low, but we have significant actions going on to really deepen that.”

According to Cook, enterprise sales growth is outpacing the rest of the company, backed up by strong enterprise partnerships with fellow tech titans IBM and Cisco.

“Apple’s business of selling into businesses is humming,” says Phil Hochmuth, Research Analyst, Strategy Analytics.

“We’ve seen Apple’s ambitions in the enterprise from its recent partnership with Cisco, announced in September, and IBM, which it has partnered with for the past 18 months.

“However to see 10 percent of Apple’s overall revenue coming from enterprise is impressive, and shows how deeply its technology is penetrating corporate IT.”

Since partnering with Big Blue, Cook revealed that IBM has so far released 55 iOS apps for its Mobile First platforms, across a wide number of verticals and market.

Coupled with the partnering of a further 75 enterprise-focused vendors, Apple is now targeting iOS and Mac solutions to organisations.

“Much of this growth can likely be typed with IBM partnership,” adds Hochmuth, referring to the company’s 40 percent growth.

“The MobileFirst initiative with Big Blue creates applications specifically for vertical industries and markets, such as retail, healthcare, aviation and other markets.”

However, according to Hochmuth - when writing via the official Strategy Analytics Blog - Apple is making strides in other areas away from mobile.

Again drawing on its relationship with IBM, Big Blue is issuing as many as 1,900 Macs to its employees every month, with a saving of $US270 per device.

With Mac sales hitting an all-time high of 5.7 million for the fiscal year, at present over 30,000 Macs are deployed within IBM alone, due to lower support costs and higher resale values.

As Hochmuth explains, Apple is also preparing for a strong uptake of tablets as a primacy device in businesses, alongside further partnerships with Cisco.

“On the earnings call, an example Apple gave of this tablet potential was with Bloomberg, and its professional financial information app, which will be supported on iPad Pro - with the devices larger screen, multi-app/multi-tasking support, and increased processing power and memory,” Hochmuth adds.

Alongside room for optimism on the Mac and iPad front, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple is also excelling in the business smartphone space, becoming the device of choice for many organisations across the world.

“Among customers that replaced an existing smartphone with an iPhone in the quarter, 30 percent were former Android users,” Hochmuth adds.

“This reflects recent shifts in the business smartphone market as well.”

While Android is still the global leader in overall business smartphone shipments, and BYOD devices in businesses, Hochmuth claims that Apple is “winning the race” to be the smartphone that businesses hand out among organisations that still hand out phones to employees.

At $US25 billion in enterprise revenue, Hochmuth observes that such figures put Apple ahead of SAP and EMC in terms of total 2014 revenue, and not far away from Oracle and Cisco.

“The impressive detail here is that Apple does this mostly without even trying,” Hochmuth adds.

“Cook said that Apple does not have a large enterprise sales organisation, and has no plans to add one. It will rely on partners, such as Cisco and IBM, to drive Apple technology sales into enterprise accounts.”

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