Apple inks partnerships with consulting firms to grow business footprint

14 September 2017 5 min. read

Apple has struck its second partnership with a major consulting firm in 12 months. The deal sees Accenture join Deloitte in helping the technology giant to tap into the full potential of new iOS tools for iPad and iPhones.

Accenture have been contracted to create a dedicated iOS Practice within select Accenture Digital Studios, while Apple are to co-locate to experts to partner with these teams. Apple hopes the new partnership will help transform how their people engage with customers through innovative business solutions for iOS. The partnership, which aimed to take full advantage of iOS, the leading mobility platform now being geared toward businesses, and Accenture’s industrial and digital transformation capacities to help companies tap into the new system’s potential.

According to Apple, this could help firms unlock new revenue streams, increase productivity, improve customer experience and reduce costs, as the computing mega-power seek to compete with, among others, Microsoft and Google, in offering platforms to help businesses negotiate a volatile market. Digital disruption has seen competition across multiple sectors is at the highest level in decades, due to innovative technologies enabling smaller more agile firms to compete with long-term market incumbents, who have for a long time relied on their size and financial clout to dominate the playing field. Now, as these incumbents fall prey to innovators eating into their market share, offering digital solutions has become a major opportunity for major tech firms – with Google’s G-Suite offering becoming a prime example.

Apple joins forces with Accenture

Accenture, which like competitors of all sizes including McKinsey and Cognizant, have recently worked to open digital laboratories, will create a dedicated iOS practice within Accenture Digital Studios in select locations around the world. Experts from Apple will be co-located with this team, as the two brands work together to launch a new set of tools and services that help enterprise clients transform how they engage with customers using iPhone and iPad. The experts will include visual and experience designers, programmers, data architects and scientists, and hardware and software designers. The new iOS tools and services will take full advantage of the latest Apple technologies and tap into Accenture’s leading digital and analytics capabilities.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO said of the new partnership, “Starting 10 years ago with iPhone, and then with iPad, Apple has been transforming how work gets done, yet we believe that businesses have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with our products. Both Apple and Accenture are leaders in building incredible user experiences and together we can continue to truly modernize how businesses work through amazing solutions that take advantage of the incredible capabilities of Apple’s technologies.”
Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO, meanwhile commented, “Based on our experience in developing mobile apps, we believe that iOS is the superior mobile platform for businesses and are excited to be partnering with Apple. By combining Accenture’s vast digital capabilities and industry expertise with Apple’s market leadership in creating products that delight customers, we are in a perfect position to help our clients transform the way they work.”

Accenture has been going through a sustained period of investment in its Digital arm, following the goal being set for $1.8 billion to be spent by the firm on acquisitions during 2017. By and large, this is money that has gone toward obtaining digital, design and marketing firms, including deals for Intrepid, Phase One Consulting and Brand Learning, among others.

The deal with Apple will give the growing digital portfolio of Accenture a boost – however it is not the first major consultancy to pick up a contract with the innovative technology firm. Apple has announced a steady stream of enterprise partnerships in recent years as it aims to draw more revenue from a market that some say it has traditionally overlooked, and in September 2016, Big Four consultancy Deloitte also picked up a substantial partnership with the company behind the Mac, iPhone and iPod. More than 5,000 Deloitte advisers were announced to be included in the Apple initiative, while the consulting firm also launched EnterpriseNext, a program aimed at helping clients make better use of Apple products and services.

Apple teams up with Deloitte

A prior partnership struck with IBM in 2014 had previously signalled Apple’s intent, with regards to getting more serious about corporate clients, or enterprise, and following the partnership penned with Big Blue, deals with Cisco and SAP have followed.

The deal with Deloitte was engineers to ensure that Apple remain first to come to mind, as companies think strategically about their practices. Tim Cook said at the time that with Deloitte’s status as a major force in the global consulting industry, with clients spanning the world, enabling that. “What’s needed now is more of a focus on transforming the enterprise and helping businesses identify which areas have the highest either return on investment or highest impact on customer satisfaction,” Cook stated, before concluding, “Deloitte is well positioned for this.”

CEO of Deloitte, Punit Renjen, meanwhile said in an interview, “The intent there is to, in one location, bring the best engineers, the best products and the best thinkers to try and address clients’ problems.”