IBM MobileFirst Lands Big Blue in Gartner Leaders Quadrant

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-08-12

IBM MobileFirst Lands Big Blue in Gartner Leaders Quadrant

Indicating that its MobileFirst initiative is paying off, IBM announced that Gartner has positioned IBM as a leader in the research firm’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms.

The new report places IBM in the Leaders Quadrant, as measured by completeness of vision and execution ability of IBM Worklight, IBM’s mobile application development platform. Acquired by IBM in February 2012, IBM Worklight is a member of the IBM MobileFirst family of solutions. In just one year, IBM has advanced from the Niche Quadrant to the Leaders Quadrant.

According to the Gartner report, as this market reaches early mainstream status, Gartner expects leaders to be profitable, and to present lower risk and consistently high project results as the market begins to consolidate and competition grows.

In addition, Gartner Magic Quadrant leaders must not only be good at cross-platform development and deployment, but also have a good vision of the multichannel enterprise, support for standards, a solid understanding of IT requirements and scalable channels and partnerships to market. Leaders also must provide platforms that are easy to purchase, program, deploy and upgrade. Leaders can focus primarily on either B2C or B2E, but vision and execution scores are higher for vendors that can cover both use cases today.

“IBM MobileFirst, which includes IBM Worklight, represents the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of services and software to help clients benefit from the emerging mobile economy,” said Phil Buckellew, vice president, IBM Mobile Enterprise, in a statement. “Today, with 90 percent of mobile users keeping their device within arm’s reach 100 percent of the time, businesses need assurance that mobile apps can be deployed instantly and across a range of mobile devices including iOS and Android phones and tablets. This is where IBM Worklight and the IBM MobileFirst portfolio excel.”

Michael Gilfix, director of Enterprise Mobile for IBM, told eWEEK reports like Gartner’s are important for customers as market for mobility services is still evolving and is only in its early stages.

Gilfix said IBM’s ascent from a niche player to a leader in the Gartner landscape “is a testament to what the IBM organization can do when it sets its mind to something. Our goal is to be the leader in mobile. We want to be the vendor of choice whether a client comes to us for help with strategy or with execution in becoming a mobile-first organization.”

Moreover, Gilfix said IBM is prepared to meet customers wherever they are in terms of mobility–whether they are just getting started or they need help completing an implementation. “We want to enable our customers with choice,” he said. That means IBM supports both native mobile app development and HTML5 and Web app development, as well as hybrid development–basically anything the customer wants.

“We understand that mobile is becoming the primary access method most people have with a business and we want to help clients prepare for that,” Gilfix said.

In addition to the news about its mobile success, IBM also announced that Colmobil, an automotive company in Israel–as the sole representative of Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Mitsubishi in the country, is using IBM MobileFirst solutions to boost efficiency and improve customer service. Colmobil’s new mobile app unlocks the data stored in the company’s systems and makes it accessible for employees and customers from any mobile device, including smartphones, tablets, display screens and kiosks. Using the new app, mechanics, team leaders and department managers can easily view progress of every vehicle the company is servicing and make better informed decisions to improve workflow. In addition, customers are provided real-time information regarding status of vehicle treatment from LCD screens in the waiting room or on-the-go via mobile devices, IBM said.

IBM MobileFirst Lands Big Blue in Gartner Leaders Quadrant

“By teaming with IBM MobileFirst, we are now able to bring meaningful data to the right people, anytime, anywhere  and in an easy-to-navigate format,” said Gil Katz, vice president of business technology at Colmobil, in a statement. “With this mobile initiative, we have succeeded in our goal to revamp both the customer and employee experience. Not only have we increased the ratio of vehicles that are ready at the time promised to customers, we’ve also been able to improve mechanics on the workshop floor.”

Using IBM Worklight, Colmobil was able to build a single mobile computing platform that eliminated the complexity of various business processes, devices and operating systems.

Meanwhile, IBM officials noted that the Gartner quadrant news follows a string of successes for IBM MobileFirst services and software capabilities, including IBM Worklight, in Gartner Magic Quadrants this summer. In July, IBM was named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing. IBM is also named a visionary in Magic Quadrants for Managed Mobility Services and Mobile Device Management.

Also in July, IBM announced that Sprint was using IBM MobileFirst solutions to deliver a more personalized, responsive connected car experience. Through new enhancements to the Sprint Velocity connected vehicle platform, cars can be integrated with drivers’ mobile devices and customized to their specific in-vehicle infotainment, security and convenience feature preferences.

Sprint Velocity, a mobile integration solution developed for auto manufacturers, is a pioneering capability that enables automakers to develop and market connected services for cars and passenger trucks. As part of this collaboration, Sprint became the first mobile carrier to use IBM MessageSight, an appliance designed to enable organizations to manage and communicate with the billions of mobile devices and sensors found in systems such as automobiles, traffic management systems, smart buildings and household appliances.

Based on IBM MessageSight, the Sprint Velocity Service Bus is a new communications architecture that lets smartphones, tablets and other devices communicate through the cloud. This architecture enhances the Sprint Velocity platform by simplifying the delivery of connected car services. The result is increased flexibility for auto manufacturers and an improved driver experience.

“With the adoption rate of smartphones steadily on the increase, users have come to expect their preferences to transfer from one device to another,” said Bob S. Johnson, director of development for Sprint Velocity, in a statement. “Transfer of your personalization and customization settings to the connected car is the next logical step for automotive manufacturers looking to drive innovation in a very competitive market. To make this a reality, Sprint Velocity is working with IBM to provide open access across a select group of platforms and partners so vehicles can seamlessly connect a wide array of services and mobile devices.”

“Cars today have become mobile data centers on wheels,” said Rich Stomp, a managing director at IBM, in a statement. “From recalling in-vehicle infotainment preferences to preferred routes, seamlessly integrating all of the customized services provided to drivers can be a complex task. In the era of ‘you,’ IBM MobileFirst solutions are a key ingredient in enabling companies such as Sprint to deliver solutions that help automotive manufacturers create cars customized for the individual–not the masses.”

To download a copy of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms, click here.

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