Apple and Accenture are partnering to help businesses improve how they engage with customers using the iPhone and iPad and “unlock new revenue streams, increase productivity, improve customer experience and reduce costs.”

Reuters report pointed out the move is part of Apple’s strategy to challenge Microsoft’s position as the default operating system provider for businesses.

The new iOS tools and services will use the latest technologies created by the tech giant and tap the digital and analytics capabilities of the global professional services company, Apple said in a statement.

Accenture will create a dedicated iOS practice within Accenture Digital Studios, a unit which focuses on mobile apps and digital services, in select locations around the world where experts from Apple – including designers, programmers, data architects and scientists – “will be co-located”.

“Businesses have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with our products,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

“Both Apple and Accenture are leaders in building incredible user experiences and together we can continue to truly modernise how businesses work through amazing solutions that take advantage of the incredible capabilities of Apple’s technologies,” he added.

Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO, said: “Based on our experience in developing mobile apps, we believe that iOS is the superior mobile platform for businesses.”

The new tools created under the partnership will include IoT services featuring new templates and predesigned code to help clients take advantage of the data from IoT platforms in their iOS apps, “putting more power into the hands of workers”.

There will also be migration services to help clients transfer their existing legacy applications and data to modern iOS apps.

The first joint team will be located in San Francisco, Reuters reported, and engineering teams will focus on apps used by front line workers and consumers, such as apps in the lobbies of retail banks.

They will also look into “so-called augmented reality” in which digital objects will float over real objects on a screen, a feature that could help technicians, the report said.