Apple and Salesforce partner for enterprise apps

Apple and Salesforce have announced a broad strategic partnership aimed at growing software as a service (SaaS) offerings to businesses.

The alliance, announced ahead of customer relationship management (CRM) platform Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce developer conference in San Francisco today, comes as consumer technology company Apple looks to expand its enterprise strategy and access more corporate sales through online apps.

Its partnership with Salesforce, which provides online software solutions for sales platforms, will see the companies promote and incorporate one another’s products.

Salesforce, which wants to tap into businesses that run Apple’s products, is planning a redesign of its mobile app to host features from Apple’s ioS operating system such as Siri Shortcuts, Face ID and business chat.

Salesforce is also looking to meet demand for word processing and business presentation software, with the partners announcing they are targeting industries and small businesses looking to develop powerful iOS apps to engage with their customers.

The two companies are also working to build a new mobile Software Developers Kit (SDK) for Swift, Apple’s programming language, as a route to building Swift apps for iOS which can then be deployed across Salesforce’s Lightning platform – a cloud-based system allowing clients to build and customise their CRM apps.

Announcing the tie up, the companies said they will also provide tools and resources for millions of Salesforce developers to build their own native apps with a new Salesforce Mobile SDK for iOS.

They will launch a new iOS App Development course on Trailhead, Salesforce's web-based learning platform which teaches users how to operate Salesforce technology and develop mobile apps with a view to re-skilling them for the businesses of the future.

Marc Benioff, chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, said: “With this partnership, we’re bringing together the world’s number one CRM platform with iPhone and iPad, the world’s best devices for business.

“Together, Salesforce and Apple are defining a new era of mobile innovation with native apps on iOS, and empowering millions of people with access to Trailhead and the skills they need for the jobs of the future."

Apple is looking to branch out from its consumer-focussed technology empire, built on the success of iPhone, iPad and Mac devices, into selling products and services to corporates. Their progress is enabled by Apple users increasingly take their devices to work and looking for more integrated products and software to enable this.

Apple has already announced partnerships with a number of enterprise companies, including IBM, Cisco and GE, alongside tie ups with Accenture and Deloitte.

Salesforce announced $10billion in annual sales last year and posted $3.28 billion revenue for the second quarter, up 27 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

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