Apple is reported to be working with over 40 technology companies to make the iPad more attractive to enterprise customers, says a new report by The Wall Street Journal. The new initiative, the Mobility Partner Program (MPP), is an effort to rejuvenate flagging iPad sales.
WSJ, via MacRumors:
The initiative is a bet that Apple, which has never been a big player in the $2 trillion annual spending on workplace technology, can grab a bigger slice of the market by reshaping the nature of work in mobile-friendly settings—where Apple has an edge.
Partners in the initiative include smaller companies such as accounting firm Xero, digital cash register company Revel Systems, and field-service software firm ServiceMax. Apple is inviting some partners to train Apple business specialists on their software, while others were invited to attend an Apple sales conference in March.
As a part of the program, Apple reviews its partner’s apps, making suggestions on how they work. Apple also encourages its partners to work together to make their apps compatible with each other. The program has proved beneficial to Apple as their partners also put Apple together with their business customers in a way that hasn’t been available to the Cupertino firm in the past.
As is their way, Apple is keeping the program shrouded in secrecy, never officially announcing which companies are involved in the program, with even Apple’s own partners unsure of the identity of all of Apple’s partners. Apple also tells its partners to not refer to the program by its given name in public.
The new initiative appears to be a part of a larger move on Apple’s part to improve its sales of iPads to the enterprise market, in order to offset the drop in sales to the consumer market that has been such a boon to Apple in the past. Apple and IBM created an enterprise partnership in a similar effort last year.