Apple and Unisys have reportedly signed an agreement that will see the latter support and maintain Apple products for corporations and governments.
Apple has reportedly struck a deal with Unisys to help
expand its corporate and government footprint. Under the terms of the
agreement, Unisys will provide maintenance and support for Apple products in
use by those enterprises.
"Most of those organizations are still pretty heavily
PC-based," Gene Zapfel, a managing partner at Unisys, told
Bloomberg in an interview published Oct. 25
. "Apple is going to crack the
nut and clients are going to start buying a lot more."
Terms of the deal remain undisclosed, but Bloomberg
indicated that Unisys will begin building more Apple apps for use by government
agencies. Toughening the iPhone's security was another concern. "We've put a
lot of heavyweight engineering into securing the device, which, frankly, no one
else has figured out yet," Zapfel reportedly told the news service.
Unisys has a long history of providing IT services, hardware
and software to government agencies and corporations. The company has also
introduced ClearPath Cloud Solutions, a
managed cloud-computing initiative that gives businesses access to the
company's ClearPath mainframes
But while mainframes and massive cloud-computing projects
represent a substantial part of the enterprise IT equation, the growing use of
consumer devices within businesses has become another point of concern for IT
administrators. During a town hall discussion at last week's Gartner
Symposium/ITxpo 2010 in Orlando, a number of CIOs and other tech pros took the
microphone to describe how iPads, Android smartphones and similar devices had
flooded their organizations in recent months-sparking security and
"Employees and employers both agree-a Device and App
Revolution exists although perceptions regarding extent of that revolution
differ," reads a June report prepared by research firm IDC for Unisys. "Younger
employees (iWorkers) not demanding change ... they are driving it [through]
Consensus Usage (IT Shop and Corp liability issues be damned)."
That report suggests that around 50 percent of workplace
devices are used in both personal and business contexts. "Data is freely
mingled," it concludes, creating liabilities both in terms of security and
personal data ("for example, inappropriate pictures"). In addition, a "disconnect"
exists between employers and employees "regarding device/app usage and
Within that context, an agreement between Apple and Unisys
seems mutually beneficial: Unisys can use Apple's expanding popularity among
employees to make a stronger play in the personal-devices side of enterprise
IT, even as Apple leverages the relationship to assuage security concerns and
compel IT administrators to purchase more of its products for business