Apple, Unisys Ally To Pursue Business, Government Customers

iPhone, iPad and other Apple products will be integrated into Unisys IT systems.
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Slideshow: 10 Killer Mac Applications
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Unisys confirmed on Tuesday that it has struck a deal with Apple to help the computer maker's customers integrate products, such as the iPhone and iPad, into their IT systems.

The agreement, first reported by news agency Bloomberg, is the latest example of how the traditionally consumer-centric Apple is getting serious about pushing into the business market.

Unisys spokesman Jim Kerr confirmed for InformationWeek that Unisys had reached an agreement with Apple to offer its government and business customers integration services. Unisys has not disclosed financial or other terms of the deal.

Even before the new deal, Unisys had worked with government clients deploying iPhones. One such deal with the Department of Homeland Security involved use of the smartphone by border patrol agents to check the status of border-crossing technology, Bloomberg reported.

The Unisys deal comes on the heels of Apple's disclosure that a surprising number of major companies -- more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100 -- are testing or deploying iPads. In addition, Apple executives talking to financial analysts during an earnings call recently said that the percentage of Fortune 500 companies with iPhone-toting employees accessing corporate networks has jumped from 60% to more than 80%.

The iPad numbers in particular surprised Apple, which released the tablet-style computer in early April.

"We're already seeing tremendous interest in iPad from education and, much to my surprise, from business," Apple chief executive Steve Jobs told analysts. "We haven't pushed it real hard in business, and it's being grabbed out of our hands."

Also on the teleconference was Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, who said the company is beefing up its sales force to start calling on more businesses. However, Cook added that Apple would continue focusing on the consumer, whom the COO credited with convincing IT departments to support Apple devices.

Rather than support separate versions of Apple products for business and consumers, the company planned to continue to develop one iPhone and one iPad that would include an increasing number of features for businesses, Cook said.


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