Last Thursday, Apple announced a partnership with the largest software provider in the business world: SAP. With this announcement, Apple aims to gain greater access to one of the most important markets in the technology sector. Large companies and corporations are hard-to-reach customers, but they provide a wealth of opportunities.
The agreement with SAP is one more chapter in Apple’s unstoppable advance towards the conquest of vertical markets. An initiative that goes beyond the corporate field and into the territory of health and education. If Apple managed to consolidate its position in each of these markets, it would be in a position to play a leading role in their future .
End of the journey for the “bring your own device”
The trend of BYOD or bring your own device was inaugurated by the Mac and popularized by the iPhone and iPad. Android took it even further. The acronym BYOD refers to the fact that employees in companies started to use their personal device for work purposes , demanding that corporate IT departments support them.
Email, intranet, shared folders, software and other business tools had to be prepared for use from Apple devices. In the broadest sense of the BYOD concept, it refers not only to the corporation but also to the education and health sector.
BYOD is no longer enough to continue penetrating companies, hospitals, and universities
Every consumer with a smartphone or tablet wanted to be able to use it in their company, hospital or university and high school as well. However, BYOD ran into an insurmountable obstacle that threatened to halt its expansion: the “system” itself .
At a time when sales of Apple devices are going through their worst period, the California company is betting on continuing its expansion in these vertical markets.
Apple has always had a close relationship with the education market. The Mac has been in universities and colleges around the world for over thirty years. More recently and with the iPad, the company aims to change the way we learn from within institutions. Its dedicated education store, services for teachers and schools as well as IT support are key to its deployment.
More recently, Apple announced a special student discount program at Apple Music. But we have also seen the creation of software adapted to the education sector with the appearance of user profiles on the iPad. A feature that we would like to see in the future on all Apple tablets.
In the case of health, Jeff Williams is leading the way in health software. HealthKit, ResearchKit and CareKit are the three fronts from which face the improvement and digitalization of health . Each of them fulfills its own function, from data collection from wearable devices such as the Apple Watch and disease research to patient treatment management.
The agreement with SAP opens the door to the most used pieces of software by companies: ERPs
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As for the company, the agreement with SAP is not the first and will not be the last. Two years ago, Tim Cook announced that Apple and IBM would begin to collaborate on the transformation of the company towards mobility. Two years later, the agreement translates into more than one hundred apps created for business uses.
Last year, Apple once again teamed up with a heavyweight from the corporate world. Together with Cisco, it focused on “maximizing the potential of iOS and helping employees become more productive”, by optimizing business connections with the devices of the bitten apple. And a few days ago, SAP and Apple announced a new initiative that brings the software of hundreds of thousands of businesses within reach of the iPad and iPhone.
The Post-PC Promise
Given all this, one might wonder why Apple is so insistent on pushing its devices into vertical markets. It is true that it can be reduced to the fact that it is a way of expanding its sales at a necessary moment , but it is something that goes beyond that. If Apple wants to further consolidate its advantage in the consumer market, it needs to entrench itself in these markets.
As we have seen before, the BYOD has reached the end of its journey. It is time to enlist the “system” and continue the expansion. That SAP is on Apple’s side means that we will soon start seeing ERP software (business management and planning) on an iPad or iPhone. This is precisely the kind of software that only exists on a conventional computer, one of the obstacles to the adoption of iOS devices.
PCs are not going to disappear. Post-PC era does not mean “no PC”. But, of course, Apple is going to try to make that X number of people as small as possible .