Apple in the enterprise? – no they just make media consumption devices

profile of Apple’s relationship with Lowe’s, a well know North American hardware business. Some choice quotes:

Since its early days as a small hardware store, Lowe’s has been in the business of helping homeowners achieve their dreams through do-it-yourself projects. Even though it currently operates in more than 1,725 locations throughout North America, the company has retained its neighborhood store feel, thanks to its hundreds of thousands of knowledgeable employees. Lowe’s developed three custom iPhone apps—two for employees, one for customers. The Lowe’s Employee app gives store staff access to key product information, while the Store Manager app allows managers to handle administrative tasks. And every iPhone for employees is encased in a custom solution that includes a bar code scanner, a credit card reader, and an additional battery. Lowe’s free consumer app gives customers a wealth of home improvement information at their fingertips, including how-to videos, product prices and reviews, store locations, and gift card balances.
“The iOS platform allows us to build simple but meaningful solutions for our customers,” says Kris Douglas, member of the Lowe’s IT Innovation Team. She notes that the iOS Software Development Kit “helped us create a seamless design experience,” with the iPhone Simulator enabling the design team to get immediate feedback from users. “The iOS platform is a robust ecosystem where we can have a consistent development, deployment, and management process across multiple devices,” Douglas adds. Lowe’s currently has more than 42,000 iPhones for use by store employees, and managing the fleet at an enterprise level or device-by-device is no problem. “Using our mobile device management tool, we are able to push updates to the devices in our stores,” says Douglas. “We look at deploying iPhone as the first step of hopefully many more to come,” she says. Brown adds, “iPhone, iPad, and the iOS platform are enterprise solutions that we can build on for the future. We’re very excited about what else we can do.”
“In all of my 27 years at Lowe’s,” Brown says, “iPhone will go down in history as being the most impactful device we have ever put in our employees’ hands.”
You can read the full article here. They use 42,000 iPhones for their business. Wow. Anyone who thinks they can take Apple for granted at the enterprise level must be crazy. Apple have a long term enterprise strategy and the iPhone, iPad and iCloud are the first steps toward taking a bigger bite of Microsoft’s enterprise customers. Stay tuned…  ]]>

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