Dimension Data puts its muscle behind Apple in the enterprise

'This could be meaningful'

Apple, iOS,Mac, Dimension Data, iPhone, enterprise
Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Yet another big cheese in enterprise IT has climbed aboard the Apple wagon, with Dimension Data joining IBM, Deloitte, Cisco, SAP, JAMF, and others in offering services to help big business pick Apple’s for their mobile enterprise.

Enterprise ready

"We understand our clients need a strategic approach to mobility – one that merges the world's best user experience through Apple devices with full enterprise capabilities," said Joe Manuele, Dimension Data Group Executive, Customer Experience and Collaboration, announcing the deal in June.

This is quite significant.

Dimension Data is a big cheese in solutions and services for big firms. The $7.5 billion global ICT company is number ten in the CRN Solutions Provider Top 500 firms, and has a global reach, with particular strength in the emerging economies that seem so very important to every enterprise’s future growth.

Manuele said: “Apple saw in us a missing piece of the puzzle in terms of getting into the large enterprise space. We didn't date long before realizing, 'Yeah, this could be a meaningful relationship.'"

This suggests Apple’s new relationship should extend the reach of its products across the global enterprise tech markets. There’s interesting background as to why this matters at the enterprise comms-focused NoJitter website.)

Dimension Data’s new Apple practice and endpoint lifecycle management services mean it will help secure and manage iOS devices for big business, enabling them to “seamlessly access corporate apps and data across Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch,” it said, announcing its plans.

Boon to Cisco-based businesses

Dimension Data will help business users configure, control, support, and secure Apple within their enterprise IT infrastructure. It will open a U.S. Center of Excellence where it will show how Apple products can be managed and maintained in the enterprise.

Strategic consulting, implementation, full management, and support for a wide range of enterprise solutions, such as Cisco video and collaboration solutions on iOS is also part of the offer, the company said, noting Apple and Cisco’s joint work to optimize iOS devices and apps on Cisco networks.

Dimension Data is one of five globally certified Cisco partners, and will be able to help business customers optimize Cisco-based networks for iOS traffic.

Apple’s steady advance

There is no longer any credibility in those who argue that Apple is not an enterprise-ready technology provider. The transformation in its enterprise credentials have been driven by the success of the iPhone and the BYOD movement it helped spawn. Changing attitudes and a growing understanding that interoperability and mobility are essential in an always-on, always-connected age is breaking down the walls surrounding silo-based business systems monoculture.

Apple has been working hard to bring in the expertise it needs to deliver enterprise class support. To my mind its biggest decision was to acknowledge its own relative inexperience in the sector. Since recognizing this the company has sought partnerships with key solutions providers, such as Cisco, IBM Deloitte, SAP, JAMF and others. At the same time, Dropbox, Box and other business-focused service providers are ensuring tight compatibility with Apple’s systems.

The impact? We already know

“Among corporate smartphone buyers, iPhone customer satisfaction was 95%. And of those planning to purchase smartphones in the June quarter, 79% plan to purchase iPhone,” said Apple CFO, Luca Maestri during the Q2 2017 conference call.

“We're also seeing strong momentum with our enterprise partners, who are helping us deliver long-lasting innovation and differentiation for iOS versus competing platforms,” he also said.

Dimension Data’s decision to lend its weight means Apple just became even more credible in enterprise IT.

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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