Apple, IBM Alliance Capitalizes on iPhone, iPad Enterprise Adoption

1 - Apple, IBM Alliance Capitalizes on iPhone, iPad Enterprise Adoption
2 - For Once, It's All About the Enterprise
3 - IBM Is Focused on 'a New Class of Business Apps'
4 - There's a Focus on iPhones and iPads
5 - Apple and IBM Will Partner on Development, Too
6 - Partners Will Develop a Whole New AppleCare
7 - IBM Will Provide Mobile-Device Management Services
8 - IBM Wants iOS Devices to Leverage Big Data
9 - Bring On the IBM Cloud, Folks
10 - Yes, Security Is Included
11 - IBM Will Become an iPhone, iPad Reseller
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Apple, IBM Alliance Capitalizes on iPhone, iPad Enterprise Adoption

by Don Reisinger

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For Once, It's All About the Enterprise

Apple has been trying for years to shed the idea that its products only appeal to consumers. The company has brought proprietary app development and remote device management to iOS devices and continues to offer stats on enterprise integration. With the IBM deal, however, Apple is making something abundantly clear: It cares deeply about the corporate world and it wants to do all it can to be a success in that market.

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IBM Is Focused on 'a New Class of Business Apps'

For IBM, the Apple partnership is a software play. IBM said in its own press release that it plans to make applications that are designed for enterprise customers, but come with a wide array of features that simply aren't available right now in the mobile market. That could provide IBM (and Apple) with a leg up in the enterprise.

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There's a Focus on iPhones and iPads

While IBM could have extended the partnership to OS X and perhaps made Apple a bit happier as it tries getting that platform into the enterprise, Big Blue said in its statement that the agreement applies only to iOS. That means that iPhones and iPads will play a central role in this agreement, and Macs and iPods running iOS will be left out.

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Apple and IBM Will Partner on Development, Too

Although IBM plans to chart the course for software in this partnership, the companies are actually going to come together on development. IBM said that both Apple and its own developers will collaborate to leverage iOS as much as possible and get every last bit out of the technology built into iPhones and iPads. That's a core component in this: IBM has lofty goals, and it can only be successful if it can fully harness the power of iOS and Apple hardware.

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Partners Will Develop a Whole New AppleCare

Interestingly, the deal includes a totally new AppleCare. IBM said that the companies will come together to develop an AppleCare program tailored to enterprise customers that will ostensibly make it simpler to get support, fix broken devices and reduce the total cost of ownership for enterprise customers. IBM said it will provide on-site support to its customers, and Apple will deliver 24/7 assistance with the new AppleCare.

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IBM Will Provide Mobile-Device Management Services

Mobile-device management will play a crucial role in the deal between the companies. IBM said it its statement that it will work with enterprise customers to provide them with a "packaged offering," handling everything from device activation to management after employees get their hands on the products.

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IBM Wants iOS Devices to Leverage Big Data

Big data and analytics will be a core focus of this effort, IBM said. The apps—over 100, in total—will look at how to get companies to insert their massive amounts of data into iOS devices, analyze it and make actionable decisions. Mobile devices have traditionally been viewed as too underpowered to handle big data. IBM sees it differently.

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Bring On the IBM Cloud, Folks

Although IBM is building apps for on-premise use, the company said that it will also offer all of the solutions it's developing on its Bluemix development platform. Customers will need to head over to the IBM Cloud Marketplace and then download the apps they desire. IBM said it will also try to find other ways to leverage the cloud.

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Yes, Security Is Included

Mobile-device security is obviously a major concern for corporate customers, so IBM and Apple have brought in several security-related features to allay some fears. The mobile-device management will of course include security features, but the companies envision the creation of security apps for a wide range of industries, including banking. The apps will begin to roll out this fall and extend into 2015.

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IBM Will Become an iPhone, iPad Reseller

IBM is essentially becoming another outlet for Apple to sell its iPhones and iPads. The companies have agreed to have IBM sell iPhones and iPads to enterprise customers that come with desired applications already on them. That should make it easier for corporate customers to join the mobile fray and for Apple to improve its already-strong enterprise integration.

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