Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently said that the iPhone is being deployed or tested by 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies and the iPad is being used or tested by 65 percent of Fortune 100 companies. Not surprising -- even though I didn't know the percentages, I already knew that the desire was there, and besides good enterprise IT shops test new hardware all the time.
However, I also know that neither of these devices has a chance of seriously denting the PC/BlackBerry market without having an enterprise-class maintenance/service contractor ready to stake its reputation on these Apple devices being ready for prime time.
According to a Bloomberg report by Rachel King and Adam Satariano, Apple has done just that, by enlisting flagship IT consultancy Unisys to provide these crucial services to sell enterprise IT execs (many of whom are already sold on usability) on issues such as security, reliability and compatibility, and thus expand its heretofore consumer-focused hardware's reach into the enterprise.
According to Nicholas Kolakowski from eWeek, such an agreement has benefits for both sides:
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 use.
The terms of the deal weren't disclosed, which makes me wonder if it's structured as an exclusive deal for Unisys, similar to the AT&T wireless carrier lockdown?
Which then makes me wonder, I wonder if other Unisys customers will suffer similar problems as Apple technology eats their bandwidth (again, a la AT&T?)