LAS VEGAS With innovation as the overall theme of its Impact 2012 conference here, IBM (NYSE:IBM) today unveiled its first-ever Mobile Foundation, a comprehensive portfolio of software and services designed to help organizations capitalize on the proliferation of mobile environments, including laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Building on its recent acquisition of Worklight, the new foundation further expands IBM’s strategy to provide clients with a mobile platform that spans application development, integration, security and management. For example, using the IBM Mobile Foundation, an airline can transform the way it interacts with its customers by establishing a secure two-way relationship with mobile applications, IBM said. Now, they can use their applications not only to keep customers apprised of their travel plans and current weather conditions, but also send push-notifications to alert them if there are changes or opportunities for upgrades. This is all made possible by deep integration into the airlines’ back-end systems and relevant cloud services.
The IBM Mobile Foundation is targeting a $22 billion market opportunity that is expected to grow to $36 billion in 2015. In an IBM survey of more than 700 CIOs, three-quarters said they are embracing a mobile strategy because a flexible workplace delivers a 20 percent improvement in employee productivity. The CIOs said they are significantly reducing the cost of doing business by decreasing dependence on email, improving social collaboration and adopting cloud technologies to reach mobile workers.
It’s no secret that throughout the last decade, the most successful organizations have been quick to leverage new technology for business advantage, Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM application and integration middleware, said in a statement. Over this time, we have evolved our market-leading portfolio to meet our clients needs to extend their reach through new channels like mobile and cloud computing. Our latest offerings are yet another step in this direction and will provide customers with everything they need to support mobile devices in their business and use them to transform the way they interact with customers, partners and employees.
IBM Has Been Investing in the Mobile Space for More Than a Decade
IBM officials said Big Blue has been steadily investing in the mobile space for more than a decade, both organically and through acquisitions: building a complete portfolio of software and services that delivers enterprise-ready mobility for clients. Increasingly, enterprises are reaching beyond their traditional IT boundaries by consuming new cloud services and creating new mobile applications for employees and customers for broad consumption by customers, partners and developers.
As a result, the new IBM Mobile Foundation offers organizations the following core capabilities:
Connect Cloud & Mobile Environments: As the adoption of mobile computing continues to create increased demands for cloud services, IBM WebSphere Cast Iron is a crucial element of the new foundation. Now, clients will be able to easily connect mobile applications to a variety of Cloud and back-end systems.
Build and Connect Mobile Applications: A new set of development and integration tools from IBM Worklight will enable clients for the first time to develop mobile applications and their supporting infrastructures for a variety of platforms just once and run them on any mobile platform, including Apple iOS and Google Android devices, as well as Research In Motion’s BlackBerry. Through new resources provided on developerWorks at no charge, IBM is also providing the technical skill-building information developers need to start building secure mobile solutions, ranging from simple applications to integrated Web-based and native architectures.
Manage and Secure Mobile Environments: In an effort to help organizations manage the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, the foundation includes new software from IBM Endpoint Manager to help customers deliver a single solution that effectively manages and secures all endpoints. For example, this allows organizations to wipe enterprise data and applications from endpoints when needed. These unified capabilities extend from servers and laptops to smartphones and tablets.
Extend Existing Capabilities and Capitalize on New Business Opportunities: A new set of services, such as the IBM Quick Win Pilot, can assist clients with their mobile strategy and deployment. At the end of the 10-week pilot, clients are able to implement a defined use case with IBM Mobile technology and achieve tangible results. Additionally, new capabilities in the IBM DataPower appliances can now help IT organizations quickly and securely expose their enterprise data and services to mobile devices.
IBM said TBC Corp., which IBM identified as the nation’s largest reseller of tires for the automotive replacement market, views mobile computing as a strategic element of its future growth. To meet the growing demand among their customers to engage in mobile commerce via a store-locator application, TBC is kicking off a major mobile initiative using IBM Worklight. The first phase will be to develop an application that enables customers to find and locate TBC stores through smartphones and tablets.
One of the requirements for success in todays retail marketplace is to quickly offer the highest level of product knowledge and service to our clients, John Capriotti, vice president of e-commerce and mobile at TBC, said in a statement. Building on our existing partnership with IBM, new mobile capabilities from Worklight will help us to provide our customers with actionable information in the palm of their hands.”
This years IBM Impact conference features more than 8,500 attendees and hundreds of client testimonials, presentations, workshops and product demos.