Apple and Cisco team up to sell to businesses

1 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple and Cisco team up to sell to businesses.

The partnership, announced Monday, is aimed at helping Apple’s mobile devices communicate more effectively on corporate networks where Cisco gear is widely used, the companies said.“Through this engineering and go-to-market partnership, we’re offering our joint customers the ability to seamlessly extend that awesome Cisco environment to their favorite iOS devices. They also plan to jointly work on technology to help workers with iPhones and iPads better exploit Cisco’s collaboration products, including its video- and Web-conferencing services.

The two companies, which will band together to sell to businesses, have been working on the partnership for ten months, said Rowan Trollope, Cisco’s senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s collaboration technology group. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and Cisco Chairman John Chambers said their companies had spent 10 months working out details of a collaboration, which they outlined to thousands of Cisco sales representatives Monday at a gathering in Las Vegas. For Apple, it’s the second recently struck partnership with a former foe aimed at boosting sales to businesses, which traditionally have steered toward BlackBerry and Microsoft devices. Cisco, which has an office in downtown Toronto, provides products and services that connect companies to the Internet as well as communications tools for virtual conferences and meetings.

Cisco customers could be affected in several ways: An employee in the office using an iPhone to video-conference a colleague abroad automatically would get a faster Internet connection than someone streaming a game on ESPN.com. IPad sales have fallen for six straight quarters; revenue from iPads declined 24% in the nine months ended June 27, compared with the same period a year earlier. Cisco will also develop products specifically for Apple’s operating system. “iPhone and iPad have become essential tools for the modern workforce and are changing the way work gets done.

And several Cisco apps, such as the collaboration tool Spark, will run smoother on Apple devices. “What makes this new partnership unique is that our engineering teams are innovating together to build joint solutions that our sales teams and partners will take jointly to our customers,” Cisco Chief Executive Chuck Robbins said in a blog post. Eventually, potential customers will be able to prioritize mobile traffic on their networks so that workers watching YouTube videos on their iPhones won’t hog all of a company’s bandwidth, explained Rowan. Chambers, who leaned heavily on acquisitions in turning Cisco into the biggest supplier of networking equipment, said the Apple deal underscores a shift to alliances for the biggest industry players. To help businesses prioritize network traffic from Apple devices, both Cisco and Apple engineers will work on updating Apple’s mobile operating system, which “would be difficult without a joint engineering project,” Rowan said. That’s in part why technology experts who closely follow Apple expect the company to soon release a larger-screened iPad that would be better-suited for completing work tasks.

One of the byproducts of the Apple-Cisco partnership will be the creation of a so-called “fast lane” for iOS devices that prioritizes wireless and Web connections of critical business applications, the companies said. In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was working with over 40 tech companies to help make its iPad a more business-friendly tool that companies would want their workers to use. Apple, now the world’s most valuable company, struggled in the PC era to establish a presence in what is now a $2 trillion annual market for corporate technology spending. Apple is playing matchmaker to help companies bundle apps together for small businesses—coupling, for example, a digital cash-register app with a workplace scheduling app.

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