new iwork

Apple is planning its “most aggressive expansion yet” in the enterprise sector, according to a new report from Reuters. Citing sources familiar with the plans, the outlet says Apple is hiring a dedicated sales force, and working with developers who make industry-specific apps.

Apple is hoping to leverage its IBM and new developer partnerships into challenging market leaders like Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Oracle, and SAP.Ā And itsĀ salesĀ team isĀ being tasked with pitching thisĀ new enterprise strategy to decision-makersĀ at high profile firms, like Citigroup.

In fact, Reuters says CitigroupĀ is already in talks to sign on to Apple’s new enterprise program, and that the Cupertino firm has met with a number of other companies. It’s apparently co-hosted 8 joint marketing/sales events with developer partner ServiceMax over the past year.

In July, Apple announced itsĀ strategic partnership with IBM, saying, “this exclusive global partnership brings together Appleā€˜s legendary ease-of-use and integrated hardware and software with IBMā€™s unmatched industry depth, enterprise software and expertise in big data analytics.

It’s not hard to see why Tim Cook and company are so interested in the enterprise market. It’s an area that offers a large potential for growth, particularly in tablet sales. Apple said duringĀ its fiscal Q4Ā earnings callĀ last month that iPad sales were down for the third quarter in a row.