Marriott to test Apple, Salesforce partnership on mobile business apps
- Apple partnered with Salesforce.com to boost the number of business applications for iPhones and iPads. The companies are creating a software development kit (SDK) to help businesses more easily create iOS mobile apps that run on the Salesforce platform, according to an Apple blog post.
- Marriott International will demonstrate at Salesforce's annual conference this week how Apple and Salesforce's technologies can work together to let hotel guests adjust the thermostat, order room service or hail a ride using Apple's Siri voice assistant with a HomePod smart speaker in a hotel room, Reuters reported. Salesforce also will add Apple technologies like Face ID, 3D touch, voice-powered Siri Shortcuts and Business Chat to its mobile apps.
- Salesforce this year will introduce the first mobile app for Trailhead, the company's free, web-based learning platform that will include a new course on iOS app development. Salesforce and Apple plan to share more information about their partnership at Salesforce's Dreamforce 2018 conference that runs Sept. 25-28 in San Francisco.
Apple's partnership with Salesforce will help the developer of software for the sales and marketing industries add practical features like iOS 12's new Siri Shortcuts voice control to its apps. Businesses that use Salesforce's back-end technology to power their apps also can create compatible software that works better with iPhones and iPads. The updates may make Salesforce's software more appealing for Apple users, while urging Salesforce users to use products for enterprise applications.
While Apple traditionally has focused on consumer technology, its partnership with Salesforce is part of the tech giant's effort to grow its business for enterprise applications. About 20 million developers create software for Apple devices, and most of those apps are for consumers, while about 5 million developers create software that connects with Salesforce's cloud-based systems for businesses, per Reuters. Apple has partnered with companies like IBM, Cisco and Accenture to expand its footprint in enterprise software. GE last year partnered with Apple to make mobile apps for industrial settings.
As part of its efforts to support enterprises, Apple this year introduced Business Chat that lets companies have private conversations and make sales directly on Apple's Messages app, which is preinstalled on every iPhone and iPad. Dish Network, Discover, Hilton, The Home Depot, Lowe's, Marriott and Wells Fargo are among the companies that use Business Chat, which doesn't show customer contact information to a customer service agent, giving people control of their contact and payment data amid growing concern about the mishandling of user data by tech companies.