Apple, IBM Tap Big Data Analytics on MobileFirst for iOS Apps

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-12-10 Print this article Print
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"This is a big step for iPhone and iPad in the enterprise, and we can't wait to see the exciting new ways organizations will put iOS devices to work," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a statement. "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."

"I think that this is an important move for both companies," said Judith Hurwitz, president and CEO of the Hurwitz and Associates research and consulting firm. "For Apple, it provides a continuation of the movement of Apple products into mainstream IT and the business application market. For IBM, it allows the company to demonstrate the business value of the analytics technologies and its mobility platform. I think that this is an indication that IBM is learning to execute well on its strategy. IBM was bold in selling off marginal assets and doubling down on important markets like mobile and analytics."

To supplement the IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps, IBM and Apple are offering additional support, including mobile platform and enterprise integration, as well as the wealth of IBM's global industry consulting expertise, client experience design and enterprise systems integration from analytics, workflow and cloud storage, and more.

"When we announced our collaboration, the focus was on bringing our two companies together to achieve things that neither could do on its own," van Kralingen said in a post on the IBM Smarter Planet blog. "We combined Apple's expertise in user-centric design with IBM's deep knowledge of business, data analytics, cloud and enterprise-scale software. Together, we committed to create the same kind of empowering and delightful mobile experiences for people at work that they enjoy elsewhere."

IBM said 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. The partnership also features AppleCare for the Enterprise, providing IT departments and end users with 24/7 assistance for their devices from Apple's award-winning customer support group, with on-site service delivered by IBM.

"Mobile innovations are driving profound impact on how Citi delivers superior client experiences, particularly those that extend our enterprise expertise all the way to the point of customer contact," Heather Cox, chief client experience, digital and marketing officer for Global Consumer Banking at Citi, said in a statement. "There's terrific energy in our collaboration with IBM and Apple around the goal of equipping our professionals with mobile capability that will create new competitive advantage and enable us to re-imagine how we share our knowledge to improve the quality of life for our clients."

In her post, van Kralingen added: "These apps don't just translate already-existing applications from a desktop to a mobile device. By taking advantage of the distinct characteristics of iOS, with IBM business analytics, they enable us and our clients to re-imagine existing work flows; or simply imagine the next great possibility."

Apple and IBM are hard at work creating suites of these business solutions for a wide range of industries, she said.

Rob Enderle, founder of the Enderle Group, is looking for more from the partnership.

"These apps are a strong proof of concept for the partnership but don't yet showcase the full potential of the alliance," Enderle told eWEEK. "IBM could have delivered these largely without Apple—they are apps after all—and most apps are created by third parties. The promise is that the two companies could deliver together what neither could do under a more traditional app developer/vendor relationship. So while this successfully demonstrates that there is value in the partnership, it falls short of showcasing what a truly blended solution could provide. This last will wait until we can see IBM's influence on Apple's technology, a deeper integration by IBM on Apple, and/or an Apple software solution [Siri/Watson] that better ties together key technologies from both companies."



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