Apple’s ‘1984’ TV commercial introducing the Mac came at the expensive of IBM as Big Brother. As it turned out, IBM was less the competitor that Apple though it was, and both companies overlooked Microsoft’s growing influence over the industry. Guess who Apple’s new best friend is today?
‘He’s One Of Us’
Long before coming to Cupertino to run Apple’s operations, CEO Tim Cook toiled away for a dozen years at former nemesis IBM. Back in those days IBM was a formidable hardware giant, a seller of electronic iron to the enterprise.
As Apple was remade by Steve Jobs, IBM has reinvented itself, too.
That was then and this is now and most of what IBM does these days is service oriented; specifically custom software for the corporate world (and far less reliant on hardware than in decades past). That’s exactly what Apple does not do.
See the fit?
Apple builds premium hardware– Mac, iPhone, iPad and now Watch– hardware that is durable, predictable, affordable, highly usable; with fewer maintenance needs than competing products. In other words, Apple builds much of what the enterprise needs, and the new BFF status with IBM brings Apple’s vaunted hardware and services to the corporate environment which hasn’t been too friendly to Apple in the past.
That’s strange bedfellows, but a friendship which seems destined to work because of the complementary services and products of each company.
Enterprise IT pros want what both Apple and IBM have. Customized software solutions and support that runs on dependable hardware that works– and not just the Mac. The iPhone and iPad have the lion’s share of usage within the corporate environment.
Think about what has happened to Windows over the past dozen years, with one failed update after another; not to mention the typical Windows security problems. Think about the fragmentation and security issues which plague Android on smartphone and tablets. Corporate IT departments are more cost conscious than ever, and Apple’s products fit the bill as good Total Cost of Ownership citizens.
Apple is what IBM needs. A dependable hardware partner. IBM is what Apple needs. A dependable software partner with a sales force that gets Apple through the enterprise door. It’s not Samsung, or TMSC, or Google, or Intel. IBM is Apple’s new best friend forever.