Apple, IBM team up with enterprise focus

Apple and IBM have joined forces to target enterprise mobility through business applications that bring IBM’s strengths in big data and analytics to Apple devices. The move is intended to strengthen Apple’s presence in the enterprise space with more than 100 industry-specific tools and native apps, developed exclusively for the iPhone and iPad.

IBM MobileFirst for iOS will target specific industry issues or opportunities in retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecommunications and insurance, starting this autumn and into 2015.

Supported by Bluemix, IBM’s development platform on the IBM Cloud Marketplace, the duo will build apps for analytics, workflow and cloud storage, fleet-scale device management, security and integration, with enhanced features including a private app catalog, data and transaction security services, and productivity suite. Apple will play on its strengths in customer service, with AppleCare for Enterprise providing IT departments and end users with 24/7 assistance and on-site service delivered by IBM.

Meanwhile IBM is introducing IBM MobileFirst Supply and Management for device supply, activation and management services for iPhone and iPad, with leasing options. This means IBM has the power to sell iPhones and iPads with the industry-specific solutions to business clients worldwide.

“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.”

When IBM launched its platform as a service offering, BlueMix, in February this year, research and consultancy firm Ovum said that although the platform has the potential to transform the company’s software business, its success will ultimately depend on IBM’s ability to integrate third party services and break into new customer demographics it hasn’t always seemed comfortable catering to. A tie up with Apple will check some of those boxes and Apple will also benefit from IBM’s reputation in the enterprise sector.

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