Apple bolsters position in enterprise cloud market with SAP partnership

SAP Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook (Left) and SAP CEO Bill McDermott (Right)

Mobile device giant Apple has announced a new partnership with enterprise software vendor SAP to develop iOS apps based on the SAP HANA cloud platform, reports

This marks the latest move by Apple to strengthen its position in the enterprise sector, following a similar partnership with IBM in 2014, and other with Cisco last year. The most recent iPad launch was focused squarely at enterprise and with shipments of both iPhones and iPads having apparently peaked, Apple will be hoping an enterprise push will yield dividends.

The SAP partnership is focused on the development of native enterprise apps for iOS that support SAP’s cloud platform HANA. There will also be a dedicated SDK and training academy to assist in the development effort and a version of the SAP Fiori UX platform for iOS.

“This partnership will transform how iPhone and iPad are used in enterprise by bringing together the innovation and security of iOS with SAP’s deep expertise in business software,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“As the leader in enterprise software and with 76% of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAP is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad. Through the new SDK, we’re empowering SAP’s more than 2.5 million developers to build powerful native apps that fully leverage SAP HANA Cloud Platform and tap into the incredible capabilities that only iOS devices can deliver.”

“We’re proud to take this special partnership between Apple and SAP to a ground-breaking new place,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. “In giving people an agile and intuitive business experience, we empower them to know more, care more and do more.

“By combining the powerful capabilities of SAP HANA Cloud Platform and SAP S/4HANA, together with iOS, the leading and most secure mobile platform for enterprise, we will help deliver live data to people wherever and whenever they choose to work. Apple and SAP share a commitment to shaping the future, helping the world run better and improving people’s lives.”

Tablet shipment numbers are not much lower than PCs these days but the default enterprise device remains the laptop. For mainly desk-based workers this will probably remain the case indefinitely but Apple will be keen to entrench and expand its foothold in enterprise. The BYOD (bring your own device) era that accompanied the smartphone boom is also a great opportunity for Apple in enterprise, as is the work-provided opportunity created by the decline of Blackberry.