Engineers, designers, and developers from Apple and IBM are working on more than 100 end-to-end mobile solutions, including a new category of mobile apps that are ready for the enterprise.
IBM will provide cloud software services for analytics, data security, and device management native to iOS. Its MobileFirst Platform will provide an enterprise-class cloud solution for building and deploying integrated apps for iOS, while Apple’s support service AppleCare will include consultative telephone and email support, onsite repair, and replacement.
The move should boost Apple’s ability to sell iPads and iPhones to businesses, while extending the reach of IBM’s Big Data and analytics software.
The enticing marriage of IBM’s analytics and enterprise-scale computing to the slick user experience offered by Apple’s iPhone and iPad is a shrewd move for both parties.
With a staggering 500,000,000 iPhones in circulation, the ability to make them enterprise-friendly was inevitably going to be a necessary step for Apple.
Google recently announced an initiative to help business users adopt Android tablets and smartphones with new mobile device management software, including the ability to separate work and personal data.
The business-related features are part of the coming Android update dubbed “L,” which was announced in June.
Meanwhile, BlackBerry and Dell are both exploring more enterprise-focused business models after unsuccessful attempts to establish their devices in the consumer market.
The pair have failed to appeal to mobile consumers as Apple and Samsung have dominated in the field.
Although Apple has enjoyed this dominance, its pre-emptive move to offset a potential decline in its consumer business via an increasing enterprise drive is decidedly astute.
With the ownership of iPhones and iPads in the enterprise widespread, enlisting the leader of enterprise-wide system management was what the doctor ordered to make them more manageable.
From IBM’s point of view, their services have undergone something of a makeover with Apple’s conscription.
What could be crucial in determining the success of the move is the employees’ ability to manage their own devices, as a result of IBM’s mobile device management tools.
In the age of BYOD, this ploy is sure to appeal to users as well as IT departments, who can sleep soundly in the knowledge that devices being brought into the organisation are well-secured.
What’s more, IBM’s Watson will surely benefit from the move.
The deal will see IBM sell iPhones and iPads to its enterprise customers and develop cloud services optimised for those devices. Apple, meanwhile, will provide hardware support with a new dedicated AppleCare programme for enterprise customers.
Although competitors have been quick to play down the partnership, seeing the two powerhouses combine will be a highly influential move in the world of BYOD and technology.