Last Updated Oct 26, 2010 3:53 PM EDT
Under the deal, Unisys would help Apple sell to corporations and the U.S. government, two areas that generally take experienced salespeople and where Apple generally ventured. Not that no large corporations use Apple products, but the company has never developed the specialized marketing and sales expertise necessary to really crack such markets.
Ironically, the increasingly consumer-oriented products have made the shift possible. An iPhone or iPad is inexpensive enough, particularly when a carrier subsidizes the price, to avoid the sticker shock that has often accompanied corporation consideration of Macs.
This isn't the first step that Apple has taken to expand its focus on business markets.
- The company has actively marketed iPhones as a product suited for business use.
- Apple created an Apple store for business on the Web.
- The company has also begun to emphasis Apple retail stores as having salespeople dedicated to business buyers.
- AT&T (T) plans direct sales of iPads with discounted wireless plans to businesses.
According to sources that know corporate Mac-related business, both the iPhone and the iPad have been a stealth way into corporations. Executives, taken with the consumer appeal of the devices, have bought them and then pushed to get IT departments to support them. If Apple ever had a time to expand its corporate presence, this is it, and that should worry Microsoft. Not only is the company lagging in mobile, but as cloud computing expands its influence, the dependence on any given client platform will wane. That presents the single largest threat to its business that Microsoft has ever experienced.
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