Apple and IBM join forces in landmark push for iOS in enterprise

in General Discussion edited July 2014
Tech giants Apple and IBM on Tuesday announced a new partnership that looks to revolutionize mobile device use in enterprise with customized apps and services for iPhone and iPad.

As part of the new partnership, an extension of IBM's MobileFirst initiative dubbed "IBM MobileFirst for iOS," IBM has developed more than 100 native iOS apps and services tailored to the needs of multiple industries. When the program goes live, Apple will introduce a new AppleCare tier designed specifically for enterprise customers.

"iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "For the first time ever we're putting IBM's renowned big data analytics at iOS users' fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver."

Cook also mentioned in an interview with CNBC that, despite the large marketshare in enterprise, Apple has a huge growth potential in penetrating deeper into those industries. IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty agreed, saying current enterprise mobility usually ends at email and calendaring.

As an example, the pair discussed a prototype app built for the airline industry that is expected to roll out later this year. Instead of current iPad deployments in the cockpit, which replace crew electronic flight bags, IBM will be integrating its networked solutions to offer more accurate fuel estimates for pilots on the ground, saving carriers money on a global scale.

The big news is IBM's MobileFirst Supply and Management program, which supplies enterprise customers with device packages, activation and management services all built around Apple's iPhone and iPad. IBM is also offering hardware leasing options. Backed by iPhone and iPad distribution from IBM, Apple now has a huge advantage in its mobile initiatives for enterprise going forward.

Aside from the tailor-made software, IBM will also offer services like mass device management, security, analytics and mobile integration. The IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS delivers a holistic end-to-end enterprise solution that includes analytics, cloud storage, security and integration tools.

As part of the MobileFirst for iOS deal, IBM will sell iPhones and iPads with the industry-specific solutions to business clients worldwide.IBM is also making available private app catalogs, data and transaction security services, and a its first-party productivity suite designed specifically for the MobileFirst initiative. Services will have tie-ins with IBM's Bluemix development platform and are to be made available on the IBM Cloud Marketplace.

As for support, Apple provides a special class of AppleCare services to customers that includes 24/7 telephone and email support, while IBM handles on-site repairs.

"Mobility--combined with the phenomena of data and cloud--is transforming business and our industry in historic ways, allowing people to re-imagine work, industries and professions," said Rometty. "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. 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. Our alliance will bring the same kind of transformation to the way people work, industries operate and companies perform."

MobileFirst for iOS and its corresponding services are set for a rolling launch that begins this fall and continues into 2015.


  • Reply 1 of 249

    Move over Microsoft, Big Blue is back. 

  • Reply 2 of 249

    This is what MS will end up doing. You heard it here first. :)


    They will end up being "consultants" where all you have to do is "talk" a good story. Same with HP.


    Oh well, pretty soon we will all be selling insurance or "sugary" food to each other, anyway! :(



  • Reply 3 of 249
    deegee48deegee48 Posts: 66member
    Maybe now, Apple will finally have the lion's share of the enterprise market, like Windows of old! It's about time!
  • Reply 4 of 249
    This is HUGE! I'm eager to see the fruits of this mutual venture in the real world!
  • Reply 5 of 249

    Given Apple and IBM's relative valuations, I wonder how long before they start to consider either a takeover of IBM or a merger once they've got their heads round Enterprise products and marketing?

  • Reply 6 of 249



    This is a BIG deal. iOS already dominates enterprise use (for mobile) over Android, BB and MS. Now they're adding an 800lb gorilla to fill in the gaps and round out their enterprise offerings.


    I'm also surprised that IBM is going to exclusively sell iOS devices to their enterprise customers.

  • Reply 7 of 249
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,613member

  • Reply 8 of 249
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    At their first collaborative meeting IBM turned up to the boardroom at 1 Infinite Drive to find welcome pamphlets laid out on the table:

    "Welcome, IBM. Seriously."

  • Reply 9 of 249
    magic_almagic_al Posts: 325member

    And you'll see why 1984 won't be like "1984."

  • Reply 10 of 249
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Originally Posted by Eric Swinson View Post

    Big Blue is back. 

    You mean iBM.

    Yes. That's a lowercase "i". image


  • Reply 11 of 249
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    That sound you hear is Microsoft employees collectively shitting themselves.
  • Reply 12 of 249
    deegee48deegee48 Posts: 66member
    About that pipeline....Now we KNOW that there WILL BE an iPad Pro!
  • Reply 13 of 249
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    What I love most about this is it comes out just a few days after Microsoft releases a 3,000 word memo from Nadella that's says Microsoft will be all about productivity. :lol:

    Of course the clowns on CNBC claim this is proof that iPhone and iPad sales are slowing. :rolleyes:
  • Reply 14 of 249
    formosaformosa Posts: 261member
    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

    That sound you hear is Microsoft employees collectively shitting themselves.


    So when do we expect Samsung to team up with Blackberry? Or Microsoft?

  • Reply 15 of 249

    Hopefully there won't be an iOS/2 Warp

  • Reply 16 of 249
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    IBM is using Apple to get customers onto their own Bluemix Marketplace. iPads are ok for simple business tasks when you are on the go, but the type of services IBM is offering are far more intense than anything you would want to do sitting at the gate waiting for your flight. 


    Seriously take a look at their website and tell me if any of the services they are offering are something you would expect people use on an iPad.



    IBM just wants to leverage the popularity of Apple to steal customers from Accenture, HP, Oracle etc. 


    I don't see any benefit to Apple. They already own the enterprise mobile market. Plus IBM also supports Android in the Bluemix environment.

  • Reply 17 of 249
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member

    I'm starting to feel sorry for Microsoft. But that's ok.


    If Microsoft were human, this would be their gang fu**.

  • Reply 18 of 249
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    jungmark wrote: »
    That sound you hear is Microsoft employees collectively shitting themselves.

    Microsoft is actually up slightly after hours. But Blackberry is down over 4%.
  • Reply 19 of 249
    jakebjakeb Posts: 563member

    Ohhhhhhh snap. This is awesome. 

  • Reply 20 of 249
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,612member
    I'm confused. The apps from IBM will be available on the IBM app marketplace? Does that mean IBM gets to create an app store and avoid paying Apple the 30% fee?
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