In a bid to capture more corporate and government customers, Apple is seeking help from IT services provider Unisys.
In deal between the two companies, Unisys will offer maintenance and other services to businesses and government agencies that buy Apple devices, Gene Zapfel, a managing partner at Unisys, told Bloomberg. The contract was signed this month, Bloomberg reported yesterday, but so far no details have been revealed.
Though its focus has traditionally been on consumers, schools, and creative professionals, Apple has found itself pulled more into the enterprise arena, especially as employees are bringing their iPhones to work.
Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer touted enterprise adoption during Apple's earnings conference call last week. More than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies are "deploying or piloting" the iPhone, Oppenheimer said, and more than 65 percent of Fortune 100 firms are deploying or piloting iPads.
The Mac itself has also been finding more of a home among companies, the beneficiary of demand for Apple's mobile devices. Apple recently grabbed a spot as the third-largest PC seller in the U.S. when consumer sales were a bit sluggish but enterprise sales did well, according to IDC. Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, also said during last week's earnings call that the Mac is getting pulled into the enterprise when people are given a choice.
Unisys has already entered Apple's market by creating security apps for the iPhone. Its Unisys Perimeter Security app helps security workers track down intruders via video and facial recognition. A Unisys app designed for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security lets border patrols check the status of cameras and other border-crossing technology.
As part of its new contract with Apple, Bloomberg reported, Unisys expects to build iPhone apps for other government agencies.
In response to a query from CNET about the new deal, a Unisys representative noted the company's existing relationship with Apple but wouldn't provide details on the new deal.
"We can confirm that we do have an integrator relationship with Apple in the U.S. federal market. As a systems integrator, Unisys has relationships with many equipment providers, and we are pleased with the opportunity to be able to work with Apple," the Unisys representative said today. "We also offer support for Apple iPhones and iPads on our ClearPath servers. As the Apple relationship is early, there aren't further details."
Update at 9:50 a.m. PDT: Unisys' response added.