Apple Creates Direct Sales Force to Attract Enterprise Users
Apple's deeper push into the enterprise marketplace follows its recent moves to provide its first-ever dedicated service and support for enterprise users, according to a report.Apple is developing a full-time sales effort to boost its sales of its computer hardware and services to enterprise business users as the company pushes to expand its sales and influence in wider markets. The nascent "dedicated sales force" at Apple was revealed in a Nov. 10 Reuters report that was based in interviews with unnamed sources. "Experts say the company hopes to offset a gradual deceleration in growth—highlighted by iPad sales that have declined three straight quarters—by expanding its footprint in the workplace," Reuters reported. The initiative involves discussions with potential customers such as Citigroup, as well as talks with "a dozen or so developers," the article said. The expansion into deeper business computing sales comes on the heels of other recent business-related moves by Apple, including the partnership deal announced in July between Apple and IBM that matches up Apple's devices with IBM's global sales and support services. Earlier in November, Apple also announced the formation of its first formal AppleCare for Enterprise service offering to provide direct and specialized support to enterprise technology users. With those two recent developments already under way, the development of a dedicated business sales effort also makes perfect sense for Apple. "Details remain scant, but some industry experts say that the tie-up with Big Blue gives Apple an opportunity to begin to challenge Hewlett Packard's and Dell's dominance of office IT, and Oracle and SAP's command of work applications," the Reuters report said. "Depending on its progress, it may hamper Microsoft, Samsung's or Google's own efforts in the nascent market for mobile work applications."
To develop the deeper business sales efforts, Apple has so far been working "closely with a group of startups, including ServiceMax and PlanGrid, that already specialize in selling apps to corporate America," according to the report. "The two people familiar with the plans, but who could not speak publicly about them, say Apple is already in talks with other mobile enterprise developers to bring them into a more formal partnership."