Cisco Blogs

Cisco and Apple – It’s All About the Network

September 11, 2015 - 14 Comments

The press lit up when we announced a landmark partnership with Apple last week. This was definitely an important announcement for us. As you can imagine, everyone is very excited with what this partnership can make possible for enterprises building new mobile strategies for their organizations.

Every week I meet customers who are taking steps toward digitizing their companies to be more efficient, collaborate better internally and externally and ultimately grow their business. But many businesses are just at the beginning of the journey – There’s so much more potential to change the way we work.

Together, Cisco and Apple have embarked on this partnership that will help businesses adopt new ways of mobile work where the real-time business insights, information sharing, collaboration and communication experience is awesome every time and anywhere. It’s time to move past email and BYOD to mobile transactions and enhanced business execution.

There are three areas we are working on together – extending our unified collaboration products to the iPhone; transforming team collaboration with iOS experiences on Cisco Spark, Cisco TelePresence, and Cisco WebEx; and of course ensuring unparalleled experiences for iOS devices on the network.

Now the title of this post was partly in jest. The three areas are all important, but the key to providing this awesome user experience we are after resides in the underlying network. Only if we make our network natively aware of these new mobile applications and capabilities will we be able to improve the user experience. Let me share with you the areas we will be focusing on initially:

  • Security and connectivity – Delivering a no-compromise WiFi experience, including working together to ensure high performance connectivity, fast roaming and service assurance, all the while ensuring end-to-end security of the enterprise service.
  • Prioritizing business applications – Ensuring we can deliver new mission critical enterprise traffic differentiated from the best-efforts consumer and non-mission-critical services.   This is where the idea of a Fast Lane for iOS applications emerged, and how we will make that real.
  • Accelerating applications – Implementing new approaches to accelerate application response time, reduce the load on the network and eliminating disruption due to operating system and infrastructure upgrades.

We have many capabilities today that customers can use to get started.  We can provide better performance to the branch with our IWAN Software Defined WAN offer, accelerate iOS updates and iOS applications with Akamai Connect and provide security and identity with the Identity Services Engine, along with Meraki Systems Manager for MDM. At the same time, we have been working to improve the underlying WiFi experience and technology evolution, all of which is built into Cisco Wireless platforms.

Now our joint teams are already talking to our field, partners and customers on what is possible. Going forward, Apple and Cisco are committed to work together to further enhance this integration and make iOS on Cisco run better than any other option in the marketplace. And everything we are doing is via software enhancements, meaning customers can get started now and still get the benefits of what we do together in the future. It couldn’t be easier for our business users—making Cisco and Apple the best choice.

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  1. Great read! It is good to see Cisco is creating these joint ventures with such strong companies.

  2. When it comes to Security and connectivity - Cisco is truly the best! Apple made a great choice. The main beneficiaries are Apple and Cisco's customers!

  3. Great opportunity to build applications based on SDN Controller APIC-EM and CUCM to :"ensuring unparalleled experiences for iOS devices on the network". Camillo

  4. Thanks, I will follow your site.

  5. I want to admin UCS from my iPad! Also, Apple help Cisco come up with some optional colors for UCS. Apple, please help Cisco with the UCS UI... Just saying, it could use a little magic.

  6. Sadly I couldn't sign in with my CCO as has a weak DH key and Chrome won't accept the SSL cert. :-( Does this mean partnership mean that the next generation of DX endpoints will be IOS based and not Android? James

    • James, sorry about your sign in difficulties, will pass that on to the blogs team. To your question, no, this announcement has no implication on the DX strategy.

  7. Securing mobile devices is key for enterprises to extend access to business data while on the road. I'm glad Cisco is helping Apple in this.

  8. Perhaps there will be a merging of the 2 IOS operating systems?

    • :) Merging is too strong a word but we are making the two work better together.

  9. You said "Going forward, Apple and Cisco are committed to work together to further enhance this integration and make iOS on Cisco run better than any other option in the marketplace." -- That said, how will you address the needs of CIOs that seek Open mobile solutions, and are very concerned about vendor lock-in? I recall that more than half of the mobile devices in the world are already using Android. Will Cisco continue to support devices that aren't limited to proprietary mobile technologies? FYI, I use Cisco Spark on my Moto X smartphone and I hope that you continue to support its ongoing development.

    • Yes, Cisco is committed to supporting Spark on all devices, as well as *continuing* to tune our networks to maximize performance for a wide variety of devices and applications. We’re also committed to open platforms and are increasing the availability of APIs and developer tools on Cisco platforms. Check out Cisco DevNet at