In a world where up is down and black is white, Apple and IBM have teamed up to take on the mobile enterprise market. The companies announced their new partnership Tuesday afternoon with plans to bring IBM's big data analytics resources to the iPhone and iPad.
Apple, IBM taking on the mobile enterprise market together
As part of the new MobileFirst for iOS program, IBM and Apple plan to push the iPhone and iPad as primary tools for enterprise-level mobile business users. According to Apple, more than 100 industry-specific apps and other services are coming, plus IBM will be rolling out iOS-optimized cloud services for device management, security, analytics, mobile integration, and mobile device management.
AppleCare will get an enterprise-level boost with services and features geared just for that market. IBM will start selling iPhones and iPads with industry-specific apps and solutions to their business customers around the world, too.
Apple issued a statement about the partnership saying,
The new IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions will be built in an exclusive collaboration that draws on the distinct strengths of each company: IBM's big data and analytics capabilities, with the power of more than 100,000 IBM industry and domain consultants and software developers behind it, fused with Apple's legendary consumer experience, hardware and software integration and developer platform. The combination will create apps that can transform specific aspects of how businesses and employees work using iPhone and iPad, allowing companies to achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction—faster and easier than ever before.
The idea of Apple and IBM teaming up may sound out of place, but the two have worked together in the past, most notably on the PowerPC processors that drove many Mac models before the move to Intel-made chips. The real surprise here is that Apple is very proactively targeting the enterprise market instead of sticking with the consumer-focused strategy it's been successfully relying on for years.
IBM will be hosting a series of executive briefings in several cities starting in October to show off MobileFirst. You can sign up to find out when a briefing will be coming to your area at IBM's MobileFirst website.