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

Apple and IBM launched the first wave of IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions jointly developed under the partnership the companies entered into in July.

Apple logo

IBM and Apple have announced 10 new mobile apps aimed at changing the way people work.

Apple and IBM surprised folks last July when they announced a partnership to bring Apple's user-focused design together with IBM's enterprise expertise to focus on enterprise mobility. However, several months later, the partnership has produced the first wave of IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions in a new class of made-for-business apps and supporting cloud services that bring IBM's big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad users in the enterprise and it all just makes sense.

IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions are now available to enterprise customers in banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecommunications and for governments and airlines. IBM clients today announcing support for IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions include Citi, Air Canada, Sprint and Banorte.

"What we're delivering aims directly at the new quest of business—smart technologies that unlock new value at the intersection of big data and individual engagement," Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, said in a statement. "Our collaboration combines IBM's industry expertise and unmatched position in enterprise computing, with Apple's legendary user experience and excellence in product design to lift the performance of a new generation of business professionals."

The IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps are built exclusively for iPhone and iPad and are delivered in a secure environment, embedded with analytics and linked to core enterprise processes. The apps can be customized and are deployed, managed and upgraded via cloud services from IBM, specifically for iOS devices, with security across the data, app and device.

"The MobileFirst for iOS apps IBM announced today give some real shape to the company's partnership with Apple, which I think may have confused some folks when it was announced back in July," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "These first offerings show IBM moving ahead in an orderly fashion, industry-by-industry, in tackling specific challenges and adding value to core business processes through the application of advanced analytics."

Indeed, in many ways, the new MobileFirst apps reflect other solutions that leverage IBM's Patterns for business processes that inform the company's vertical industry-specific efforts, King noted. "But they also highlight IBM's larger 'Systems of Record [data center], Insight [analytics] and Engagement [endpoints],'" he said. "In this case, IBM is delivering the data center and analytics offerings directly, and MobileFirst for iOS aims to heighten the value of Apple's iPhones and iPads."

The first suite of IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions consists of the following:

  • Plan Flight, a travel and transportation solution that addresses the major expense of all airlines—fuel—permitting pilots to view flight schedules, flight plans and crew manifests ahead of time, report issues in-flight to ground crews and make more informed decisions about discretionary fuel.
  • Passenger+, a travel and transportation solution that empowers flight crews to offer an unmatched level of personalized services to passengers in-flight, including special offers, re-booking and baggage information.
  • Advise & Grow, a banking and financial markets solution that puts bankers on premise with their small-business clients, with secure authorization to access client profiles and competitive analyses, gather analytics-driven insights to make personalized recommendations and complete secure transactions.
  • Trusted Advice, a banking and financial markets solution that enables advisors to access and manage client portfolios, gain insight from predictive analytics—in the client's kitchen or at the local coffee shop, rather than the advisor's office—with the ability to test recommendations with sophisticated modeling tools all the way to complete, secure transactions.
  • Retention, an insurance solution that empowers agents with access to customer profiles and history, including an analytics-driven retention risk score as well as smart alerts, reminders and recommendations on next best steps and facilitation of key transactions like collection of e-signatures and premiums.
  • Case Advice, a government solution that addresses the issue of workload and support among caseworkers who are making critical decisions, one family or situation at a time, on the go. The solution adjusts case priorities based on real-time analytics-driven insights and assesses risk based on predictive analysis.
  • Incident Aware, a government solution that converts an iPhone into a crime prevention asset, presenting law enforcement officers with real-time access to maps and video-feeds of incident locations; information about victim status, escalation risk and crime history; and the improved ability to call for back-up and supporting services.
  • Sales Assist, a retail solution that enables associates to connect with customer profiles, make suggestions based on previous purchases and current selections, check inventory, locate items in-store and ship out-of-store items.
  • Pick & Pack, a retail solution that combines proximity-based technology with back-end inventory systems for transformed order fulfillment.
  • Expert Tech, a telecommunications solution that taps into native iOS capabilities, including FaceTime for easy access to expertise and location services for route optimization to deliver superior on-site service, more effective issue resolution and productivity as well as improved customer satisfaction.