Apple iPad, iPhone in Fortune 500: Room for Windows Surface?

Apple iPad, iPhone in Fortune 500: Room for Windows Surface?

Apple iPads and iPhones are pushing far deeper into Fortune 500 companies, according to CFO Peter Oppenheimer. It sort of makes me wonder: How many Fortune 500 companies actually have fully baked mobile device management (MDM) strategies in place? And how are BYOD (bring your own device) policies evolving to support a growing tidal wave of Apple smartphones and tablets? And let's not forget the competitive landscape: Will Fortune 500 companies shift any budget to Windows Phone 8 and Windows Surface tablets, given Apple's growing business momentum?

During an earnings call today, Apple's Oppenheimer said:

"Enterprises across the globe continue to choose iPhone as the standard device for their employees. We estimate that the number of iPhones in the Fortune 500 has more than doubled in the past year."
He noted:
  • PepsiCo has deployed "thousands" of iPhones with an in-house app built specifically for field merchandisers. This app has eliminated paper reports and provides real-time information to managers, sales teams and delivery drivers.
  • German insurance provider ERGO has built an in-house app for iPhone that thousands of agents use to process insurance claims, which has significantly reduced paper work and improve processing time and customer satisfaction.

Apple iPads in the Fortune 500

Meanwhile, Apple's iPad is experiencing similar corporate momentum. Oppenheimer said:
"iPad continues its rapid adoption within the enterprise. We estimate that the number of iPads in the Fortune 500 is more than tripled in the past year."
Recent iPad corporate deployments include:
  • British Airways has thousands of iPads -- offering everything from customer support at check-in to cabin service directors replacing paper printouts with real-time updates.
  • Japan's Dialogue House, a home builder, is designing smart phones that are controlled by iPads.

App Store Counts

The App Store now offers more than 650,000 apps including over 225,000 apps specifically for iPad. In stark contrast, Microsoft recently said there are roughly 100,000 apps for Windows Phone.

Key MSP Considerations

For MSPs in the SMB market, it's important to study the Apple tablet and smartphone craze within larger companies. Key questions worth considering:
  • Which Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms are Fortune 500 CIOs embracing? Why? Can those MDM platforms scale down into the SMB market?
  • Have Fortune 500 firms published BYOD and mobile compliance policies on their websites? If so, can you can adapt those policies for your small business customers?
I recently expressed concern that many MDM software and cloud companies don't fully understand the MSP channel. Many of those MDM companies are winning deals with Fortune 500 and global 2000 companies. But it's time for MSPs to demand true partner programs that serve the SMB channel.
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