Apple hires former HP executive to boost corporate & government sales

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2015
Apple is pushing harder to sell hardware to enterprise and government markets, and has bolstered those efforts with the hire of a longtime executive at PC maker Hewlett-Packard, it was revealed on Thursday.




Apple confirmed the hire of former HP senior vice president John Solomon to Re/code, but declined to confirm his role or title. But sources informed Arik Hesseldahl that he will be "central" in Apple's efforts to improve sales to major corporations and large government agencies.

It was also suggested that Solomon may play a part in international sales of the Apple Watch, which is set to hit the market early this year, though those claims seemed less certain.
Before joining Apple, John Solomon spent 20 years at PC maker Hewlett-Packard.
Hesseldahl portrayed the hiring of Solomon as "significant," considering Apple has historically conceded corporate sales to competing, cheaper options in the technology industry. Solomon spent 20 years at HP, and eventually served as a vice president in the company's printing and personal systems group.

While Macs have struggled to gain significant traction in the enterprise, Apple's popular iPhone and iPad lineups have made serious inroads in the corporate world, thanks in large part to adoption of "bring your own device" policies at work. A new study released just this week showed that Apple's iOS dominates mobile platforms in the corporate world, coming in ahead of Android, Windows and BlackBerry.

To continue to further that success, Apple has partnered with IBM for enterprise deployment, complete with a wide range of "MobileFirst" applications targeted toward businesses. The partnership will also see IBM provide support and assist in deployment across a wide range of business types.

In his company's most recent quarterly earnings report Chief Executive Tim Cook said he believes business-targeted apps being developed in partnership with IBM will help grow sales of iOS devices in the enterprise.

"The deeper the apps go in the enterprise, the more it opens up avenues in the enterprise," Cook said.

The hiring of Solomon also comes as Apple is rumored to be working on a so-called "iPad Pro," an alleged touchscreen tablet in the 12-inch range that is claimed to be focused on enhanced productivity. Speculation has suggested the device could be a hybrid-style device offering more traditional computing functions, as well as enhanced multitasking capabilities, which could appeal to professional-grade users.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    Generally I would said Apple should not be hiring people from HP, however, HP did well in government sales and this is something Apple needs to do. We need the neophytes in our governments drinking apple juice were the bad cool-aid they drink now.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,047member
    Apple used to have a government sales department, it more or less disappeared but I'm glad they've finally returned. To bad I'm retired. I would have liked to see the resurgence of Apple in this space.

    Resurgence means they were there before, which they were in the 90's and early 2000's but disappeared when Microsoft made a big push with junk PCs (still there but people are finally smarter).
  • Reply 3 of 10
    hydrogenhydrogen Posts: 223member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post



    Generally I would said Apple should not be hiring people from HP, <...>

     

    especially the ones who are virgins !

  • Reply 5 of 10
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,312member
    I think Cook is too impressed with CV's from large corporations. Maybe the internal talent is leaving Apple, maybe not. However I would prefer that he wasn't getting corporate drones in from less successful companies. Top level managers can change cultures.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member
    Corporate and government IT departments are by nature the antithesis of the humanity and intimacy that Apple brings to tech.

    Apple needs a "drone who can talk to other drones" in this area. Most folks in this area don't speak Apple's language and can't really be inspired to do so, unless someone accustomed to catering to their habits and ways of thinking can shift the discourse just a bit and sell them on something new (and better.)
  • Reply 7 of 10
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post



    I think Cook is too impressed with CV's from large corporations. Maybe the internal talent is leaving Apple, maybe not. However I would prefer that he wasn't getting corporate drones in from less successful companies. Top level managers can change cultures.

    the problem with sales it is not about what you know but who you know. Selling to the governs in the US is complicated and you need to understand how it all works and who you need to have diner with to get a sale down. For positions like this you have to find someone who already has all the contacts, and many time you can not home grow this especially in the government sector. This guy already has his foot in the door and all right people's cell phone numbers on speed dial.

  • Reply 8 of 10
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post



    Corporate and government IT departments are by nature the antithesis of the humanity and intimacy that Apple brings to tech.



    Apple needs a "drone who can talk to other drones" in this area. Most folks in this area don't speak Apple's language and can't really be inspired to do so, unless someone accustomed to catering to their habits and ways of thinking can shift the discourse just a bit and sell them on something new (and better.)



    Too often, people outside the IT industry think that running computers in an organization is the same as setting up their living room computer or their friend's computer.  So what they do in their living room must also be ok to do for hundreds or thousand of business users.  The home users are also not subject to many of the regulations that companies in certain industries are required to follow.

  • Reply 9 of 10

    I don't think it is only the junk PCs that helped microsoft in business, it is a solid directory service (Active Directory) that helped enterprises manage their network resources in a very flexible and powerful way, as Apple was transitioning from their proprietary NetInfo system to Open Directory.  This was a step backward technologically, as Open Directory is more akin to Windows NT 4 domain services which utilized a single Primary Domain Controller with backup domain controllers which had read-only copies of the directory database.  If the PDC went down, a BDC would have to be promoted, and then the database would have to be replicated across the enterprise.  Active Directory uses multimaster replication, which means that each domain controller has a fully writable copy of the directory database, and can replicate.  This provides failover so that if one of the servers goes down, admins and users don't have to wait for a backup server to be promoted.

     

    My suggestion to Apple would be to leapfrog over Microsoft now by gong fully MDM and ditching directory services entirely (with the exception of being able to bind to services that already exist).  Configuration profiles are much more powerful and flexible, and make very large networks much easier to manage.  I believe that this is the direction that they are heading in, but they should pick up the pace a little bit! :)

  • Reply 10 of 10
    asdasd wrote: »
    I think Cook is too impressed with CV's from large corporations. Maybe the internal talent is leaving Apple, maybe not. However I would prefer that he wasn't getting corporate drones in from less successful companies. Top level managers can change cultures.

    Your last comment is correct. However in Apple's case a new hire will go through Apple University to re-program their thinking to be "the Apple Way." That's why we didn't hear much about Angela Ahrendts until she was indoctrinated completely. This schooling is so important Steve Jobs personally worked on developing it.

    Remember the loser that replaced Ron Johnson after he left Apple? The guy went on a money-saving kick and cut back on the cleaning and several other things at the Apple retail stores. He somehow didn't get the whole Apple University experience. When Apple kicked him out the mothership they even took back his parachute.
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