Apple and IBM forge partnership to explore corporate apps

AUTHOR: Inavate

Apple and IBM have announced an exclusive partnership to develop products for the corporate market through a new class of business apps, bringing IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad.

The partnership aims to change the way the corproate world gets work done, by addressing industry mobility challenges and spark mobile-led business change in four key ways:

• a new class of more than 100 industry-specific corporate products including native apps, developed exclusively from the ground up, for iPhone and iPad;
• unique IBM cloud services optimised for iOS, including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration;
• new AppleCare service and support offering tailored to the needs of the enterprise 
• new packaged offerings from IBM for device activation, supply and management.

The new IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions will be built in a collaboration that draws on IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities and Apple’s consumer experience, hardware and software integration and developer platform. The combination will create apps that can transform specific aspects of how businesses and employees work using iPhone and iPad, allowing companies to achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction.

As part of the exclusive IBM MobileFirst for iOS agreement, IBM will also sell iPhones and iPads with the industry-specific products to business clients worldwide.

"iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 per cent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 per cent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver."

"Mobility—combined with the phenomena of data and cloud—is transforming business and our industry in historic ways, allowing people to re-imagine work, industries and professions,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO. "This alliance with Apple will build on our momentum in bringing these innovations to our clients globally, and leverages IBM’s leadership in analytics, cloud, software and services."

Apple and IBM are working together to deliver the elements of enterprise mobile systems:

  • The companies will collaborate to build IBM MobileFirst for iOS Solutions—a new class of 'made-for-business apps' targeting specific industry issues or opportunities in retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecommunications and insurance, among others, that will become available starting this autumn and into 2015.
  • Mobile platform: The IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS will deliver the services required for an end-to-end enterprise capability, from analytics, workflow and cloud storage, to fleet-scale device management, security and integration. Enhanced mobile management includes a private app catalog, data and transaction security services, and productivity suite for all IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. In addition to on-premise software solutions, all these services will be available on Bluemix—IBM’s development platform on the IBM Cloud Marketplace.
  • Mobile service and support: AppleCare for Enterprise will provide IT departments and end users with 24/7 assistance from Apple’s customer support group, with on-site service delivered by IBM.
  • Packaged service offerings: IBM is introducing IBM MobileFirst Supply and Management for device supply, activation and management services for iPhone and iPad, with leasing options.