Microsoft may have recently announced its intentions to become a “productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world,” but it looks like longtime rival Apple has plans of its own in addressing the needs of enterprise customers and has brought in the big guns.
Apple announced today that it has recruited the help of IBM to help further solidify its standing in enterprise mobility and to help build world-class business apps for the iPhone and iPad platforms. Apple will combine its strength in “building a simple experience and in building devices” with IBM’s “leadership in analytics, cloud, software and services.”
The partnership should see Apple’s iOS devices flourish with “a new category of mobile apps” that will target “retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecommunications and insurance,” among other industries. And of course, these apps will be backed by “IBM’s renowned big data analytics” capabilities.
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Apple CEO Tim Cook
IBM’s services won’t replace existing Apple services — like iCloud — that are already fully engrained into iOS devices. Instead, they will run side-by-side, with each accessing their own private pools of data.
The apps and cloud services integration will rollout with iOS 8 this fall, with the vast majority of integration occurring in 2015.
Apple will also introduce its new AppleCare for Business service to specifically cater to the needs of a corporate audience with 24/7 support, while IBM will offer its services when it comes to handling on-site repairs and support for Apple hardware.
What a difference a few decades makes…
And as a part of the MobileFirst for iOS Supply and Management initiative, IBM will begin offering packaged iPhone and iPads to its corporate customers complete with IBM’s device management, security, and analytics services enabled.
“This alliance with Apple will build on our momentum in bringing these innovations to our clients globally, and leverages IBM’s leadership in analytics, cloud, software and services,” said IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. We are delighted to be teaming with Apple, whose innovations have transformed our lives in ways we take for granted, but can’t imagine living without.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that while iOS devices have made large inroads in the enterprise, it needed outside help to further expand its presence. “The kind of deep industry expertise you would need to really transform the enterprise isn’t in our DNA,” said Cook in an interview with Re/code. “But it is in IBM’s.”
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