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Why Verizon and Apple think iPhones are good for business

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Verizon and Apple have scheduled a special event Thursday to showcase how iPhones and 5G networks canwork together to boost enterprise IT.

Every business is a mobile business

The event will see Apple and Verizon pay particular attention to how the device with 5G can be used across manufacturing, field services and healthcare, a Verizon statement explains. The release takes particular note of use of the device in support of augmented reality and machine-learning applications.

Good timing

Digital transformation has accelerated significantly across 2020 as business customers enjoin mobile technologies to help them through the current crisis. Crisis-driven challenges in supply, manufacturing and logistics is boosting investment in hyperautomation, machine intelligence and Industry 4.0; meanwhile, the need to provision increasingly remote workforces is pushing what IDC predicts will be a 10%+ increase in cloud services provision across the enterprise.

Connectivity is a common need across all of these tech-driven, productivity supporting implementations. It doesn’t matter how smart your factory-to-customer supply chain has become if key business units lack an Internet connection.

And even the most productive remote employee won’t get things done if he or she can’t get online for the next team Zoom.

Digital customer experiences

It seems likely Verizon and Apple will look a little further, likely exploring how augmented reality (AR) can support digital customer experiences. IBM recently said COVID-19 pushed the move to digital shopping forward by five years, while Shopify has before claimed products sold on its site bolstered by AR or 3D content generate around 94% more conversions than those that don’t.

With some exceptions, the need to support remote distancing means most people are seeking out limited personal interaction when they work with any business. They’ll speak on the phone or via chat but would prefer to minimize unnecessary proximity.

Contactless everything

Apple and Verizon may touch on this trend, which is generating rapid adoption of contactless payments such as Apple Pay (which now claims in excess of 500 million users), and — according to Forrester — means physical touch-based systems such as elevator buttons or touch panels will be replaced by voice-first, gesture-based and proximity-based interfaces in the coming years.

Apple’s long-held leadership role in accessibility technologies mean its products can already meet such zero-touch needs.

Digital employee experiences

Fletcher Previn at IBM likes to say enterprise staff are not interested in living like the Jetsons at home and the Flintstones at work. They demand choice (which has driven Apple into the enterprise at an accelerating rate) and repay such opportunity with higher productivity and company loyalty.

This reflects a change in the way we work, a trend that means, as Jamf CEO Dean Hager has said, “Technology has become the entire employee experience.”

This environment favors high degrees of employee choice and also demands enterprise-focused technologies, such as 5G, a high degree of security, MDM solutions and ease of use by design.

The digital doctor is available now

There has been particular shift to digital experience in the health industry, where doctors, hospitals and patients have swiftly migrated to technology-driven interactions. Remote diagnosis, treatment and after care helps protect both patients and healthcare providers against from contact-driven infection.

A new network war?

When it comes to mobile, all of these implementations demand robust bandwidth. It’s of little consequence what kind of connection: broadband or mobile, Wi-Fi or Ethernet — what matters is that connectivity is available, and that there’s little lag in any data exchange.

A strong mobile network is foundational to modern business, and I’m guessing this will be the main message from Verizon Thursday as networks worldwide begin battle to attract and then retain high-value 5G customers on the back of Apple’s brand-new and big-selling iPhone range.

The depth of this competition is evidenced by the range of competitive price-based offers around Apple’s new devices emerging from carriers on a global basis – but the needs of the enterprise audience will seem especially attractive in the new normal.

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Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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