Diving in deep with mobile solutions, IBM has unveiled IBM MobileFirst, a comprehensive mobile portfolio that combines new solutions in mobile security, analytics and application development software, with cloud-based services and deep mobile services expertise.
Using IBM MobileFirst, businesses can now streamline everything from the management of employee’s mobile devices, to the creation of a new mobile commerce app that will transform their entire business model. Additionally, an expanded partnership with AT&T provides developers with tools to create faster, richer mobile apps and services for customers.
IBM’s move builds off its experience helping nearly 1,000 customers become mobile enterprises, and leverages the thousands of mobile experts, 270 patents in wireless innovations and 10 mobile-related acquisitions in the past four years alone.
Although IBM has been highly active in the mobile space – particularly in services, the company has not been very vocal about its mobile endeavors up to now. However, now the time is right to make a bigger splash and claim a larger piece of the market.
“The turning point was the shift from mobile being about devices and apps to being about billions of dollars in business value,” Kevin Custis, global leader for mobility services at IBM Global Business Services, told eWEEK. “We’re not so interested in who’s going to be the winner between Apple, Google and Microsoft in the mobile space. We say our clients and ultimately IBM will be the winners.”
Through IBM MobileFirst, IBM is providing companies with the essential tools to take advantage of new business opportunities being enabled by mobile. To be successful in leveraging mobile for driving revenue growth, clients must have an integrated strategy for mobile, cloud, big data, social business and security.
“IBM MobileFirst for us is all about the business of mobility, Custis said. “It’s very analogous to 15 years ago with the Web and how it became essential for business; the same thing is now happening with mobile. We see a turning point right now. For instance, we realize that many people’s first experience with a business is through mobile these days, so we’re building a platform and services to help clients re-imagine that mobile experience.”
IBM’s mobile solutions portfolio provides the key elements of an application and data platform with the management, security and analytics needed for the enterprise, IBM said. In addition to meeting mobile-specific requirements, the portfolio provides for rapid integration between social and cloud services as well as back-end technologies that secure and manage strategic business processes.
The IBM MobileFirst Platform features new updates including expanded capabilities of IBM Worklight to simplify deployment. It also features single sign on capabilities for multiple applications and a new beta of the Rational Test Workbench for mobile help to improve the quality and reliability of mobile apps.
IBM also introduced IBM MobileFirst Security, which expands the company’s context-based security solutions to add new vulnerability scanning capabilities to AppScan that support the current releases of all major operating system platforms. The new IBM MobileFirst Management solution features new updates to IBM Endpoint Manager including enhanced support for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs and increased security standards that are critical to governments and regulated environments.
IBM MobileFirst Platform, Services Launch for Enterprise Customers
“AppScan for Mobile provides developers with an unmatched view into where vulnerabilities appear in their mobile apps due its deep cognizance of platform APIs,” said Vijay Dheap, a Master Inventor and mobile security strategist at IBM. “Each time a vulnerability assessment is run the developer can gain better understanding of the security implications of API use and therefore improve the security quality of each subsequent mobile development project.”
And in the new IBM MobileFirst Analytics offering solution IBM expanded its Tealeaf CX Mobile solution to give enterprises more visual insight into mobile behaviors so they can better understand where improvements are needed and create exceptional and consistent consumer experiences across mobile devices.
According to IBM’s recent Tech Trends Report, only 1 in 10 organizations have the skills needed to effectively apply advanced technologies such as mobile computing. To help overcome this skills gap, IBM is rolling out a series of resources to help its ecosystem of developers, partners and academics tap into the mobile opportunity and augment existing skills or develop new ones.
For instance, for developers, IBM is announcing a partnership with AT&T that will enable developers to enhance mobile apps by using IBM Worklight to access AT&Ts APIs in the cloud. Now, developers can quickly and easily create apps with rich features such as speech recognition and rapid payment. IBM is also rolling out new technical assets on developerWorks and CodeRally, a developer game community.
For business partners, IBM released Ready for IBM MobileFirst so independent software vendors (ISVs) can embed mobile technologies into their solutions, and IBM Software Value Plus now provides mobile certifications, workshops and incentives for resellers and systems integrators. And for academics, to help train the next generation of mobile developers, IBM is offering new faculty grants for curricula development. IBM also is making Worklight available, free of charge, for the classroom and via online training to teach both students and faculty to develop for mobile environments.
Meanwhile, Custis noted that enterprises are embracing the mobile revolution at a rapid pace and IBM has had its share of services engagements related to mobility. IBM also has thousands of mobile experts to help users understand how industries will be transformed in a mobile first world, based on client engagements across more than a dozen industries. The IBM MobileFirst portfolio includes several services to help clients establish mobile strategies, design and implement mobile projects.
The new IBM MobileFirst Strategy and Design Services enable enterprises to tap into IBM expertise to map out a mobile strategy for employees and customers, and key design skills from IBM Interactive to build compelling mobile experiences. IBM’s new Mobile Maturity Model can assess a businesses’ progress towards becoming a mobile first enterprise, while new Mobile Workshops help clients develop applications, architect infrastructure, and accelerate their mobile progress.
At the same time, the IBM MobileFirst Development and Integration Services help organizations roll out a mobile infrastructure and manage mobile application portfolios and BYOD environments. Enhanced Network Infrastructure Services for Mobile provide IT network strategy, optimization, integration and management. Mobile Enterprise Services for Managed Mobility help manage and secure smart phones, tablets and devices across a business. Mobile Application Platform Management speeds deployment of mobile infrastructure to develop mobile applications more easily and quickly.
“We have a deep, industry-leading set of capabilities around managed mobility,” Custis said. “In addition, we’re doubling our investment in mobile across all of our brands,” he said.