Apple shoots for the big end of town

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Apple shoots for the big end of town

Attempts to woo enterprise customers.

Apple is making a concerted push into the enterprise market in Australia, hiring direct sales staff and pitching its solutions to large corporate customers.

The vendor is looking to take advantage of their success in the consumer market, sliding onto the desktop and forcing its way into the data centre.

In January, Apple appointed three new people to their Government and Enterprise sales team, according to reseller partners.

This week, the vendor has also introduced clients to Apple's Head of Global iPhone Sales, Mike Fenger, and Frank Casanova, the Global Head iPhone Marketing.

Robin Simpson, research director at Gartner feels that whilst Apple is undoubtedly "a consumer electronics company focused on consumers" in the first instance, "some of that success will filter into the enterprise under the radar".

Design and marketing teams within large corporations have embraced Mac computers for time immemorial, but it is the iPhone that has most readily crept "under the radar", particularly in those organisations where employees choose their own smart phones. Gartner now lists the iPhone at number two in the smartphone market behind Nokia, and the analyst group predicts a growth rate of close to 30 percent over the next couple of years.

Apple is now attempting to mirror that success in organisations that supply their staff with devices - with particular emphasis on the financial services and legal industries.

Apple has published a 90 page Enterprise Deployment Guide for the iPhone that guides businesses right through the entire deployment, security and configuration process. 

The vendor recently worked with one of Australasia's largest law firms, DLA Phillips Fox, in deploying iPhone's for all the company's partners.

John Duckett, general manager of IT at DLA Phillips Fox, says the iPhone is now the standard PDA device for the company.

"Every new device we buy is an iPhone," he said.

As well integrating with Microsoft Exchange (email) over the Activesync protocol, DLA Phillips Fox has also created a billing application so that staff can enter and track their billable hours. Data entered on the iPhone is automatically sent the company's billing system.

Information stored in the firm's document management system can be retrieved from anywhere in the world at any time on the device.

Apple was not available for comment.

Brett Winterford contributed to this story.

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