Though not particularly known for its mobile expertise, IBM, through smart acquisitions and organic innovation, is empowering enterprise mobility.
To address the growing needs of the mobile enterprise, IBM has expanded its software and services capabilities to provide clients with all of the resources needed to develop a mobile computing strategy.
The new offerings build on software IBM attained in its acquisition of Worklight—a privately held Israeli-based provider of mobile software for smartphones and tablets—earlier this year and also taps some of IBM's Tivoli technology and other products. The move is strategic as it targets a growing opportunity that is expected to drive $130 billion in revenue by 2015, said Mike Riegel, vice president of IBM Mobile Enterprise and WebSphere.
"Mobile is the hottest market out there," Riegel told eWEEK. "And it's creating really different challenges for CIOs."
Customers, such as Rohde & Schwarz, are already tapping new revenue streams and driving greater productivity by using IBM's solutions for mobile application development, analytics, integration, security and management.
Riegel said airlines, retailers, governments and health care providers are among the businesses turning to IBM for help in making sure mobile services and solutions are readily available to their constituents and in full compliance with their IT strategy. They need solutions that can be applied across any mobile environment—whether a laptop, smartphone or tablet—and can provide an underlying IT infrastructure that is always available, secure, effectively manages data, and integrates front- and back-end systems.
According to the latest reports, more than 10 billion mobile devices are expected to be in users' hands by 2020, IBM said. Already, 90 percent of mobile users keep their devices within arm's reach at all times, and complete many kinds of transactions across these smart devices.
Rohde & Schwarz, a global manufacturing company specializing in high-end test and measurement equipment, is transforming its organization into a mobile enterprise by doing away with cumbersome hard-copy product catalogs, Riegel said. By arming its 2,000 global sales representatives with mobile devices and applications, the sales team can now access critical information needed to retrieve client information in real time, access inventory information and rapidly close sales.
Using IBM Worklight's standards-based development approach and open integration capabilities, Rohde & Schwarz is able to overcome mobile application challenges such as mobilizing enterprise data across multiple platforms without compromising user experience or functionality, whether its salesforce is using a smartphone, tablet or laptop to access the information.
"By introducing mobile into our sales processes, our representatives can now access our in-house product database on the road and showcase brand-new products to our clients in a meeting," Manfred Metz, corporate mobility manager at Rohde & Schwarz, said in a statement. "Not only does IBM Worklight enable us to efficiently develop these applications, but also easily integrate with a range of back-end systems used across our entire enterprise. Now we are able to deliver exceptional apps in weeks instead of months."