LAS VEGAS—IBM announced the expansion of its MobileFirst Application Development portfolio with new industry-specific IBM Ready Apps as well as the opening of 18 IBM MobileFirst studios to help customers accelerate mobile initiatives.
The IBM MobileFirst Application Development portfolio provides a range of tools for developers to create, deploy and manage mobile apps on-premise or in the cloud. The IBM portfolio, which includes IBM Worklight, Cloudant and BlueMix technologies and services, enables developers to quickly build and deploy mobile apps.
IBM announced the portfolio at its IBM Impact 2014 conference here.
IBM Worklight is a mobile enterprise app development platform deployed on a client’s IT infrastructure while BlueMix delivers similar capabilities as cloud-based services. Both can be used with Cloudant, IBM’s NoSQL distributed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) for mobile apps.
With the new portfolio, IBM has addressed the evolving needs of mobile application developers by redefining the mobile app developer platform. This redefinition includes offering enterprise-grade security and integrated quality assurance, so clients can build better, more secure apps faster. These integrated capabilities allow developers to automatically scan apps for vulnerabilities on each update or post to the app store, in addition to highlighting exposures and preventing mobile apps from running on devices that have been jailbroken.
Meanwhile, a new version of IBM Worklight integrates additional mobile application lifecycle capabilities, expanding the definition of a mobile app development platform. Worklight now allows enterprises to optimize mobile user experiences by supporting both native (via software development kits, or SDKs) and hybrid development models, as well as adds new capabilities such as the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) protocol for mobile money solutions in emerging markets.
The BlueMix platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology provides composable app creation and deployment capabilities in an open, common environment to reduce complexity. Both IBM Worklight and BlueMix offer mobile quality assurance capability to help developers track user experiences and provide sentiment analysis, crowd-sourced feedback submissions, and in-context crash reports that identify problems for rapid resolution.
“As mobile apps become a primary touchpoint with customers, the stakes run high to delight consumers while the cost of a poor app can be significant to both the brand and bottom line,” Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM MobileFirst, said in a statement. “IBM’s mobile platform, apps and studios are designed to help businesses accelerate the adoption of a mobile strategy for business growth.”
IBM Expands MobileFirst for Developers
Moreover, as part of the IBM MobileFirst Business Acceleration portfolio, IBM announced its new IBM Ready Apps, a suite of industry-specific, preconfigured apps that can save clients up to 60 percent on time and resources. Whether an organization is just getting started or has multiple successful mobile projects under way, the IBM Ready Apps streamline design and enable organizations to customize their app once and deploy it to any platform or device. Organizations can also tailor the look and feel of apps and add features using built-in integration with common industry APIs.
IBM Ready Apps include those for banking, retail, health care, insurance, travel and transportation, government and connected devices.
Other IBM Ready Apps such as the IBM Ready App for Industrial, Connected Home enables users to control and configure devices throughout their home like setting the thermostat, arming the in-home alarm system, turning lights on or off, and setting/adjusting appliance settings. In addition, users can also view the amount of energy a specific home device utilizes or they can see an aggregated view of all devices in the home.
In addition, the IBM Ready App for Retail, In-Store Associate will help retailers benefit from the use of an in-store performance dashboard to track productivity, look up inventory and view store maps to analyze in-store foot traffic to prioritize customer service.
“Mobile banking is changing not only how people bank, but also what they expect from their bank,” Charaka Kithulegoda, CIO of Tangerine Bank, said in a statement. “Our goal is to use technology to make banking simpler, engaging, more relevant and accessible for all Canadians. Developments in mobile banking will continue to transform the industry and people’s relationships with their money. IBM will help accelerate our mobile app development and provide value to our clients through richer and more engaging banking experiences.”
Moreover, with the new IBM MobileFirst studios, IBM expands its mobile ecosystem, providing clients direct access to local teams of IBM mobile experts, including designers, developers, architects and consultants in locations around the globe.
Customers can work side-by-side with IBM mobile professionals to quickly conceive, design, build and deploy working prototypes. In addition, clients will be able to access the two new families of solutions announced today and benefit from capabilities, ranging from the creation of new apps to transform the retail banking customer experience to those that can change the face of patient health care.
The new IBM MobileFirst studios further the investment in the IBM Interactive Experience Labs and are located in major global cities, including Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Bangalore, India; Beijing; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Ehningen, Germany; Groningen, Netherlands; La Gaude, France; London; Melbourne, Australia; Mexico City; New York; Sao Paolo; Shanghai; Tokyo; and Toronto.