Apple and Deloitte, one of the world's largest professional services companies specializing in consulting, are teaming up to make it easier for companies, both large and small, to outfit their employees with iOS-based devices.
Specifically, Deloitte will deploy 5,000 "strategic advisors" aimed at "helping businesses change the way they work across their entire enterprise, from customer-facing functions such as retail, field services and recruiting, to R&D, inventory management and back-office systems."
Like previous deals with IBM and Cisco, the partnership aims to bolster Apple's visibility in the enterprise space and to make it easier for companies with once-Windows and still-BlackBerry strategies (or a combination of the two) to work more efficiently.
The partnership emerged from a successful in-house deployment of over 100,000 iOS devices within Deloitte, according to CEO Punit Renjen. In addition to the personnel, Apple and Deloitte are co-developing a new consulting offering called EnterpriseNext, which is intended to be a guide for businesses to follow when transitioning to a mobile-first workforce powered by iOS. The module includes two apps, Value Maps and Workshops, each intended to explain the benefits and help develop future versions of an iOS-first workforce.
The move comes the same week as one of America's biggest healthcare providers, Aetna, announced it will begin subsidizing Apple Watches for employers willing to roll out analytics-based health practices. The company will distribute 50,000 Apple Watch units to its own employees at no charge, presumably as a pilot, in what it is calling a "wellness reimbursement program". Presumably, those participating in the program will be encouraged to hit certain daily, weekly, or monthly fitness targets, tracked through a combination of the Apple Watch and iPhone, which will upload that data to custom apps developed by Aetna.
Quantified healthcare is certainly an up-and-coming topic amongst employers, especially as companies are looking for ways to lower insurance premiums associated with sedentary lifestyles.
Both the Deloitte and Aetna announcements independently reaffirm Apple's intention to dominate the very lucrative enterprise space once held by BlackBerry, which announced today its intention to stop designing and building its own hardware.