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Apple and IBM talk about the progress of their joint project

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December 11, 2014

The benefits of Apple and IBM’s enterprise software alliance were talked about today and displayed for the world to see.

A bunch of mobile apps ported to iOS that target corporate buyers of iPad and iPhones in specific vertical industries is among them.

IBM developed MobileFirst “made for business” apps and “supporting” cloud apps, the pact aims to tap up iDevice users in banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecoms, government and airlines.

The apps come embedded with corporate analytics tools and are linked to core enterprise processes, the duo claimed.

Apps can be customized for organizations and then deployed, managed and upgraded via IBM’s cloud services for iOS devices.

“This is a big step for iPhone and iPad in the enterprise,” said Philip Schiller, Apple senior vice president for worldwide marketing said in a statement.

The project means that Apple gets its hands on enterprise apps without having to step outside of its comfort zone, and IBM - having exited end-point devices - gets to sell its software and services to any business that uses iOS.

So far, the overall success Apple has had in squeezing more of its products into every day business life has been dwarfed by sales of slabs to consumers, and given market saturation on that side, a renewed push into enterprise is timely.

IBM estimates that it has secured over 4,300 patents in mobile, social and security that are to be incorporated in the MobileFirst wares.

It will port about 150 applications to Apple’s operating system. The first ten apps in the suite include Advise and Grow for bankers and financial markets, Retention for insurers, Case Advice for government customers and Pick & Pack for retailers.

In another announcement, IBM Global Business Services senior vp Bridget van Kralingen said: “What we are delivering aims directly at the new quest of business-- smart technologies that unlock new value at the intersection of big data and individual engagement".

Additional support the partnership will provide includes Mobile Platform and Enterprise Integration, AppleCare for the Enterprise, and Supply, Activate and Manage - involving procurement, deployment and lifecycle management.

So far, various businesses that tested the apps and signed up as customers include Citi, Air Canada, Sprint and Banorte.

Source: IBM and Apple.

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