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Apple's Mobility Partner Program comes out of hiding

Bob Brown | Feb. 2, 2017
"I actually know people by their real names over at Apple," says one partner building apps for iOS devices

It’s not like there are 10 bullet points of benefits from being a part of MPP. “It’s more like one or two,” Matas says, but those one or two are important.

Matas says when Apple goes into a customer account and is asked about who can build an app for them, Atimi gets referrals. “The biggest bullet for us is that we’re trusted, that Apple vetted us,” he says. 

Apple is most enthusiastic about apps that disconnect employees from their desktops and have them exploiting iPhones and iPads, Matas says. “Employee retention and productivity, those are the kinds of things that excite them,” he says.

Otherwise, Apple isn’t especially proactive through the program, but being a member opens doors for Atimi when Matas or colleagues want to ask questions or make presentations. “I talk with them every couple of weeks,” he says. Matas joined Atimi last summer, after 6 years at SAP, to help get the word out about the app development outfit, which he says has built more than 100 apps over the past 10 years. 

Atimi has actually brought customers down to Apple labs in Cupertino and Matas says Apple will review his company’s work as apps are being built.

 “They’ll make recommendations on what we should change, on what customers might want to consider, Matas says. “We’ll build what the customer wants, but it helps to actually have Apple tell customers what it thinks.”

SHOWPAD: "OFFERING CONSUMER GRADE USABILITY WITH ENTERPRISE RIGOR ON THE BACK END"

Showpad, a Ghent, Belgium- and San Francisco-based maker of sales enablement software for iOS and other platforms, revealed itself to be an Apple Mobility Partner Program member in 2015. Showpad, which says sales people use its software an average of 15 hours a month, finds being in the program bolsters the company’s credibility with current and potential customers.

Senior Director of Business development David Warren, who joined Showpad last year, says MPP has been almost like a startup within Apple’s large organization that has been figuring itself out. For Showpad, the relationship has involved everything from co-marketing to co-development to co-selling. It’s evolved from sort of a default partnership program to something more, he says.

“Even now I believe the team is not very large by Apple’s standards, but they have a large and important charter in terms of ramping up the ecosystem around Apple,” Warren says. This includes connecting ISVs like Showpad with top Apple channel partners on the reseller side.

“I actually know people by their real names over at Apple,” he adds.

Like Matas from Atimi, Warren says that Apple is very focused on selling devices into businesses.

“What we can try to do together is meet the common challenge, which is how do you offer consumer grade usability with enterprise rigor on the back end,” Warren says. “How much time can you spend talking [to a business customer] about the recs and specs of an iPad? But you can spend a lot of time talking about Showpad on the iPad in a financial services context where you have high usability by folks on the front line, security on the back end…there’s just a broader story to tell.” 

 

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