IBM and Apple have announced the first fruits of their partnership to bring a range of business-focused mobile applications to Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices as part of IBM’s MobileFirst portfolio.
The first wave of IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions are now available to enterprise customers in the banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecoms and airline sectors, and for governments and public sector bodies.
The partnership between IBM and Apple was announced in July, and hailed as a landmark agreement that underlined the significance of Apple devices in the workplace.
The apps are designed to be customised for any organisation, and easily deployed, managed and upgraded via cloud services from IBM.
The mobile app itself is backed by analytics services and linked to core enterprise processes on the customer’s network, IBM said, to help employees access company resources wherever they interact with clients.
“What we’re delivering aims directly at the new quest of business: smart technologies that unlock new value at the intersection of big data and individual engagement,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president for IBM Global Business Services.
Meanwhile, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, hailed the move as a big step for the iPhone and iPad in the enterprise.
“The business world has gone mobile, and Apple and IBM are bringing together the world’s best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done,” he said.
There are 10 apps listed in the first wave of IBM MobileFirst for iOS, and IBM and Apple stated that additional apps are being designed and developed continuously.
One example is the Advise & Grow app for the banking and finance industries (pictured), which provides financial professionals with timely information and analytics to increase the range of personalised services they can offer to clients, IBM said.
Apple and IBM are offering business customers additional capabilities alongside the apps, such as Mobile Platform and Enterprise Integration delivered through IBM’s global consulting services, and AppleCare for the Enterprise to provide customer support for devices from Apple and on-site service delivered by IBM.