It’s Big Announcement season for enterprise companies across the technology spectrum. Consumers pored over Apple’s live event in early September, Google’s hosting a live event this week, tech professionals followed Oracle’s OpenWorld conference in mid-September, and Dreamforce, the world’s largest cloud computing conference, is dominating the first week of October.
But last week’s announcement of a partnership between the world’s most recognizable tech company and one of the world’s largest consulting firms suggests creating a seamless customer experience is becoming a central goal of all enterprise organizations. EnterpriseNext is an iOS-only program that enables companies with solutions and techniques “designed to accelerate the process of ideation, prototyping, and evaluation mobile opportunities for iPhone and iPad.”
With workshops for developers, industry experts and business leaders, Deloitte is committed to helping companies with Apple mobile devices optimize workflows, increase productivity and move toward a post-PC workplace. Together, Apple and Deloitte are redefining “workflow-as-a-service” by offering the hardware, software and training companies need to create their own workflows within the Apple ecosystem.
At its core, the Apple-Deloitte partnership helps business identify workflow improvement opportunities and, using Apple hardware and software, standardize the steps companies take to do business. While building tightly integrated sales stacks that work effortlessly with hardware is a goal of every enterprise-level software solution, EnterpriseNext is a sign of three important developments in the enterprise space.
The Post-PC Era is Here
When the iPad debuted in 2010, Apple signaled a move toward a world without desktop or laptop computers. Most companies haven’t completely embraced mobile as a primary device, but sales and marketing teams have been preparing for this reality for years. As buyers consume content on multiple channels – about 76 percent of B2B buyers use three or more channels to interact with a brand before making a purchase decision – mobile devices are becoming more important than ever.
Enabling sales and marketing teams to perform tasks, create and share documents and communicate on mobile devices – all with a single workflow – is a must-have for high-growth and enterprise organizations. A seamless workflow is a highly adopted workflow, and making it easier for sales and marketing teams to use iOS to work everyday encourages higher adoption.
Customer Experience Takes a Village
Apple’s approach to mobile has been to offer its third-party app developers a wealth of resources from which to create Apple programs that fade into the background of iOS. But there’s often a disconnect between how developers create apps and how end-users incorporate them into their workdays. Deloitte’s commitment to enabling app developers and end-users through EnterpriseNext demonstrates the need for even the most user-intuitive hardware to be bolstered by custom software workflows designed to meet the needs of vastly different enterprise companies. Apple and Deloitte can offer iOS-centric companies a much cleaner, streamlined way to work within a company’s tech stack.
Apple Has its Eyes on the Enterprise
Walk into any high-growth tech company and you’ll likely see more Macs than PCs – and Apple wants it that way. Last year Apple CEO Tim Cook identified the enterprise as a “major growth vector” for the company, and added 25 new enterprise partners – from 40 in 2014 to 75 in 2015. It’s an aggressive push to replace Microsoft Windows as the enterprise OS of choice and, for some forward-thinking companies, it’s working. Simplicity is critical for enterprise workflows; and as Apple offers both easy-to-use hardware, user-intuitive software and dependable consulting from Deloitte, more enterprise organizations might make the switch from Microsoft to Apple.
Apple and Deloitte have a built-in audience with EnterpriseNext. The test will be how the partnership expands to incorporate even more third-party enterprise programs, and whether it can displace other hardware and software companies. But offering a better workflow experience may be Apple’s key differentiator and help propel it toward a solid hold on the enterprise.