By Nina Mulamba
According to the Wall Street Journal, the collaboration between Apple and Silicon Valley companies will help Apple’s mobile devices communicate more effectively on corporate networks where Cisco gear is widely used. Cisco will also help Apple develop ways for iPhones to interact more smoothly with workers’ office phones.
The partnership announced by Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers and Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook at Cisco’s annual sales meeting in Las Vegas, will make it easier to use iPhones and iPads together with Cisco’s products.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and Cisco Chairman John Chambers told the Journal the partnership, which was 10 months in the making, will be explained in detail to thousands of Cisco sales representatives at a gathering in Las Vegas.
Last year, Apple and International Business Machines Corp. set aside a three-decade-old rivalry to create business software for iPhone and iPad users, seeking to cater to an increasingly mobile workforce. While Apple is pursuing a bigger slice of the market for corporate users of smartphones and tablets, IBM and Cisco are looking for opportunities in the mobile-computing boom.
“This is a major strategic partnership, something that neither company has done before,” said Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President and general manager of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group. “We have a shared vision of a completely seamless experience.”
Apple and Cisco are also working on behind-the-scenes networking enhancements. Using a feature called Fast Lane, a videoconference that’s critical to closing a deal can be given more bandwidth priority over YouTube video streams to desktops.
Cisco is also developing ways to help companies prevent network slowdowns when Apple releases updates to its iOS software, by storing parts of Apple’s software code so that iPhone owners on Cisco networks won’t have to download it from a far-off data centers.
This is how it works; an iPhone user could click on a calendar appointment, and immediately start a videoconference or Cisco’s Spark chat application, instead of having to pull up each separately. An iPhone user’ personal contacts can be integrated with directories on their desk phones making calls from work colleagues to automatically ring on both the desk phone and iPhone since workers are increasingly mobile .
Apple has said that more than 95 percent of large companies have employees using its products, mostly because they insist on being able to use their personal devices for work. Apple has only recently started to customize its products for office workers’ specific needs.
Apple is holding an event on Sept. 9 (2015) in San Francisco, where it’s expected to unveil the latest iPhone, a new Apple TV set-top box and other updated products.