Apple has entered into an agreement with global consulting firm Accenture to launch a new set of tools and services that it says will help businesses transform how they engage with customers using the iPhone and iPad.
Accenture will create a dedicated iOS practice within Accenture Digital Studios in select locations around the world. Experts from Apple will be co-located with this team.
The experts will include visual and experience designers, programmers, data architects and scientists, and hardware and software designers.
“Starting 10 years ago with iPhone, and then with iPad, Apple has been transforming how work gets done, yet we believe that businesses have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with our products,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive.
“Both Apple and Accenture are leaders in building incredible user experiences and together we can continue to truly modernise how businesses work through amazing solutions that take advantage of the incredible capabilities of Apple’s technologies.”
‘iOS’ is superior platform, says Accenture
Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and chief executive, added: “Based on our experience in developing mobile apps, we believe that iOS is the superior mobile platform for businesses and are excited to be partnering with Apple.
“By combining Accenture’s vast digital capabilities and industry expertise with Apple’s market leadership in creating products that delight customers, we are in a perfect position to help our clients transform the way they work.”
Apple said the new iOS tools and services will “take full advantage of the latest Apple technologies and tap into Accenture’s leading digital and analytics capabilities”. They will encompass:
- New ecosystem services to help clients address the full range of iOS integration requirements to connect to back-end systems, leveraging Accenture’s systems integration expertise and the unique iOS advantages built by Apple with key partners like SAP and Cisco.
- Internet-of-Things (IoT) services featuring new tools, templates and predesigned code to help clients take greater advantage of the data from IoT platforms in their iOS apps, putting more power into the hands of workers.
- Migration services to help clients to quickly and easily transfer their existing legacy applications and data to modern iOS apps.
Gene Reznik, senior managing director of technology and ecosystem at Accenture told Reuters: “If you look at something like retail banking, you can imagine really redesigning the apps and coming up with a unique perspective on how agents can interact with their customers.”
Reznik said another focus will be augmented reality; the technology could be useful to service technicians in the field, for example by pointing an iPhone or iPad at an engine and highlighting a faulty part that needs repair.
For Apple, the partnership is part of a continued push to win over business clients and try to knock Microsoft from its long-held throne as the default operating system in the corporate world. To that end, Apple has established partnerships with IBM, Cisco, Deloitte and SAP.
Apple has also moved to make iOS more useful in business situations, specifically on the iPad. The next version of the operating system, expected this autumn, includes a system for dragging and dropping files much like a PC or a Mac.
“All those features really help it be a better overall productivity machine,” Susan Prescott, vice president of application product marketing at Apple, told Reuters. “It’s becoming more realistic for more workers to use iOS as their primary device.”