This week Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) made a couple of huge announcements, the first of which was that the company now offers the Office suite of apps for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. That news garnered a lot of well-deserved attention -- after all, Office is one of the most widely used tools for enterprise users, and the iPad is the enterprise tablet of choice.
The long-awaited pairing of Office and iPad will likely be a great thing for both companies. Microsoft will sell more Office 365 subscriptions because of it and hold onto its enterprise software dominance just a little tighter. Meanwhile, subscriptions purchased through Apple's App Store, as opposed to directly through Microsoft, allow Apple to skim 30% off the top of Office 365 pricing.
While all of this is certainly good news for investors of both tech companies, the Microsoft investors should be more focused on Microsoft's announcement of the company's Enterprise Mobile Suite, or EMS.
Diving deeper into the enterprise cloud
So, what is EMS? The company's new CEO Satya Nadella calls it "the most strategic piece of the infrastructure development we're doing in support of enterprises." The suite of products essentially brings together several of Microsoft's previous enterprise offerings, with a few new ones, and packages them together in a comprehensive device and user-management system across Windows, iOS, and Android platforms.
EMS combines the company's Azure Active Directory Premium service, Windows Intune, and Azure AD Rights Management Services to allow IT professionals to manage user identity and access, protect data, control mobile app access, and manage bring your own devices (BYOD) in the workplace.
In short, it's Microsoft's way of securing its mobile future in the enterprise sector.
Why all of this matters to Microsoft investors
Enterprise Mobility Suite offers is an integral part of the Microsoft's cloud and mobile ambitions going forward. Up until now, the company focused more on its Windows customers, but this latest move shows Microsoft knows that true mobile integration means creating services for Apple's products and the Android platform.
Being open to offering services on platforms other than Windows allows the company to further expand its reach with products like OneDrvie, Azure, and Office 365. And that could have huge payoffs in the BYOD world. When it comes to Office 365 subscriptions, Microsoft says it's the company's "fastest-growing commercial product ever." Now that Enterprise Mobility Suite has launched, the combination of this package plus Office 365 could bring on-going revenue streams for Microsoft.
The company's software is already the preferred choice for many IT professionals, and offering a suite of mobile and security applications that integrate with current systems and any mobile platform make it that much easier for EMS to take off. This really is a huge step in the bring your own device direction for the company, and it's an important factor in continuing the long marriage between enterprise businesses and Microsoft.