Cisco and Apple Partner on iOS for Biz Clients

A little over a year after teaming up with IBM for enterprise-focused iOS apps, Apple is aligning itself with yet another partner -- Cisco -- with an eye toward making its devices vital for mobile business. Announced yesterday, the "unique collaboration" is aimed at optimizing Cisco networks for use with Apple's devices and apps.

One goal of that collaborative effort will be to integrate the iPhone into Cisco's voice and video offerings so enterprise users can have "a seamless experience" whether they're using mobile phones on the go or desk phones at the office. Cisco also plans to work with Apple to optimize team meeting tools like WebEx, TelePresence and Cisco Spark.

Cisco is a dominant presence in the technology infrastructure of many large businesses, providing such underlying systems as switches, routers, data center services, video and collaboration services and security. It's been undergoing a dramatic transformation in recent years to focus on "solution" and architecture offerings, rather than on sales of individual products and services.

Building Joint Solutions

In coming together in their new partnership, Apple and Cisco "recognize the enormous opportunity we have to bring together the leading mobile platform and the leading provider of secure networks and collaboration to make the mobile work experience what it should be," newly appointed Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said yesterday in a blog post. "What makes this new partnership unique is that our engineering teams are innovating together to build joint solutions that our sales teams and partners will take jointly to our customers."

Noting that Cisco's collaboration and network technologies are used by "95 percent of companies in the Fortune 500," Executive Chairman John Chambers said that teaming up with Apple will "help teams achieve higher levels of productivity and effectiveness."

While Apple's devices enjoy high usage rates in the mobile...

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