Jan 05, 2015
IBM & Apple Reveal First iOS Apps in Enterprise Partnership
Five months after Apple and IBM announced a global partnership for ‘enterprise mobility’, the two companies have unveiled the first set of ‘MobileFirst’ apps that are targeted at businesses and governments. The 10 IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps – which are available to enterprise customers in banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecommunications, airlines, and government agencies – include tools that can enable airline pilots to better utilize fuel and provide cable repairmen with analytical data in the field. The MobileFirst apps are aimed at fusing IBM’s entrenched analytical and enterprise capabilities with Apple’s renowned user experience and product design. IBM and Apple are working with 50 companies to develop applications for Apple mobile devices, an IBM executive told Bloomberg News in an interview. The next set of apps will be made available early next year, while the two companies have previously stated goals to create at least 100 enterprise mobile apps. There are several things to like about the first wave of apps from this partnership. First, the MobileFirst apps address needs among specific users in vertical industries such as airlines and financial services. For instance, Passenger+ enables flight crews to provide new levels of personalized services to passengers in-flight, including the ability to re-book connecting flights if a current flight is running late, access to baggage information, and special offers. In addition, creating enterprise apps that can help customer-facing employees, service staff, and other professionals to meet customer needs and help them to do their jobs more effectively is a great way to drive adoption. Moreover, the MobileFirst apps – which are developed exclusively for iPhone and iPad – use real-time information that’s integrated with legacy systems. The iOS apps are embedded with analytics and linked to core enterprise processes. Further, the apps can be customized for any business or government agency and can be deployed, managed, and upgraded via cloud services. Mobile management capabilities extended for the MobileFirst apps include IBM’s MaaS360 by Fiberlink mobile device and mobile application management (MAM®) capabilities. So far, it’s a promising start for the IBM-Apple partnership. As IBM continues to work closely with airlines, banks, retailers, and companies in other industries, this bodes well for developing the types of apps that can bolster mobile app adoption, boost productivity, and drive ROI.