Apple enlists Unisys to lead it into the Business Land

Last week I posted a rather long item in anticipation that there was some accuracy in the Wall Street Journal‘s report that Steve Jobs, in last week’s “Back to the Mac” event, would unveil some corporate-friendliness features of the next upgrade of the Mac operating system OS X “Lion” – due next year.

There was some minor business-related tid-bits in the presentation, primarily about how the iPad was being purchased by big companies, however there was no major announcement along the lines that the WSJ article implied.

In my post, I pointed out that Apple has, for the most part, ignored a level of the supply channel necessary to serve the technology-related “corporate (or government, institutional, enterprise) market” The intermediary re-seller, consultant or “value-adding” layer of the tech industry that serves specialized markets of “end-users.” Unlike consumers, big entities don’t always purchase equipment and software direct from the manufacturer or, say, at the closest Staples. They purchase very expensive and complicated “solutions” that include all sorts of hardware, custom software and tickets to the Superbowl.

Today, however, comes news that Apple is actually doing something about what I wrote of last week.

According to, Apple has enlisted Unisys Corp. to serve this intermediary role (so much for dis-intermediation) “to help it sell more to businesses and U.S. government agencies, expanding beyond a customer base made mostly of consumers.” According to the report, Unisys will provide maintenance and other services to companies and government agencies that purchase Apple devices.

(If I get a chance (and can find an archival version somewhere), I’ll point to an article I wrote for MacWorld in 1985 about Macs on Capitol Hill in which I believe I mention the process Apple had to go through then to get on an “approved” list.)