Apple, IBM debut three new iOS apps for enterprise

Posted:
in iPad edited March 2015
Apple and IBM have unveiled three more MobileFirst enterprise apps for iPhones and iPads, covering a range of industries and uses: Advisor Alerts, Passenger Care, and Dynamic Buy.




On Apple's mobile enterprise website, Advisor Alerts (above) is said to offer push notifications for matters such as account maturity, market news, and transaction approvals. The alerts let advisors respond to urgent issues as they arise.

Passenger Care is an iPad-only platform intended for customer service agents, who can not only check in passengers while they're in line, but monitor which lines are the longest. In the case of a delay or cancellation, the app can help with vouchers, alternate flights, temporary accommodations, or lounge access.

Other functions track seat demand -- which can also be used to sell discount seat upgrades -- and notify agents of impending problems such as storms.




Dynamic Buy, another iPad exclusive, is centered around a dashboard interface with performance metrics including top, bottom, year-over-year, and performance-against-plan figures. By making it easier to track data, retailers should have simpler time deciding how to adjust inventory.




Apple and IBM revealed an initial 10 enterprise apps in December, and an 11th -- Field Connect, a tool for utilities technicians -- in January. More apps are due to roll out in coming years, eventually surpassing a total of 100.

IBM is largely responsible for deployment and integration, but Apple is aiding in the apps' development, and providing support to both IT departments and end users via AppleCare for the Enterprise. Where needed, IBM is handling on-site support.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,412member
    Cool stuff.
  • Reply 2 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member
    I think this is gong to one heck of a partnership that will give iOS and even greater lead that no other mobile OS can compete with. I just hope this is all exclusive and we won't see version of anything for Android or Microsoft, from IBM (aka the Adobe approach to partnering with Apple).
  • Reply 3 of 32
    This is going to cement Apples dominance in the touch world like Microsoft back in the day. The tablet hasn't hit its prime yet, in the next few years it will continue to grow and grow.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    All of these apps so far look really nice. If Apple is involved in the design can they bring some of that to iOS, especially first party apps?
  • Reply 5 of 32
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    What does this partnership get them with these apps that IBM couldn't have done on its own? Access to still private APIs?
  • Reply 6 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    What does this partnership get them with these apps that IBM couldn't have done on its own? Access to still private APIs?

    Good question. I note that Apple are 'aiding' in the development. Perhaps only Apple really has the expertise (and perhaps tools as you suggest) at the moment for the really high end applications. If that is the case, then IBM are mainly the sales team with the contacts whereas Apple is the software guru.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    I'm beginning to see IBM's approach. None of these apps are going to work out of the box. They will all need to be customized for each specific company or agency which obviously will require 100s of man hours of technicians configuring databases, setting permissions and providing training, not to mention server software and hardware sales.

  • Reply 8 of 32
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    What does this partnership get them with these apps that IBM couldn't have done on its own? Access to still private APIs?

    err.. just guessing but an intuitive and easy to use front end!

  • Reply 9 of 32

    I saw some other article about this where the author describes these apps as being extremely bland.  It was an odd description for something you can't taste or eat.  I got the impression that the author thought these apps weren't quite up to handling business needs like some full-blown Windows desktop application but that may just my personal opinion.  Either these apps do the job they're expected to do or they don't.  They look pretty simplified but if they make things easier for the users, then what difference does it make if they're not highly complicated to use.  It's not the first time I've heard people say these apps were too plain-looking to be of any use to businesses.  I was never aware that an application had to have a certain look to be useful.  Only time will tell whether these apps are useful or not for the people who use them.

  • Reply 10 of 32
    What does this partnership get them with these apps that IBM couldn't have done on its own? Access to still private APIs?

    I've been wondering about this from the start. I'm betting that they've been fleshing out a web api that will be published sometime this year. iCloud will probably stay in existence, but will only be for consumer backups. But enterprise-level cloud-based apps will have access to this new infrastructure. And it will be driven by IBM's systems.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,378member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    I'm beginning to see IBM's approach. None of these apps are going to work out of the box. They will all need to be customized for each specific company or agency which obviously will require 100s of man hours of technicians configuring databases, setting permissions and providing training, not to mention server software and hardware sales.




    I think that's exactly right.   Around 15 years ago, I was involved in an e-commerce project that IBM, Microsoft and others bid on.   IBM's offering was their WebSphere product and every time  I asked whether it would do something out of the box, the answer was "no".   It all required extra software, custom programming, consulting fees, etc.

     

    But even if that's not the case with these offerings, they still need to be integrated with the client's databases and systems.   And in my recent experience as a consultant for an enterprise product for the media industry, once the client makes certain decisions as to terminology and the like, the app itself can be up and running in a few hours.   The big hangup is all the integrations and while that also should be easy if the data was in good shape and everything was scrupulously documented, it never is, and the integrations can take us up to a year to get correct, tested and client approved.     I have seen so many databases at large companies that you think would know better that I can only describe as "ransom notes".    And if it's some department that went off and created a Microsoft Access or FileMaker database on their own, it's usually a complete disaster and is actually usually more efficient to re-key than to convert.  

  • Reply 12 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member
    nukemhill wrote: »
    <quote>What does this partnership get them with these apps that IBM couldn't have done on its own? Access to still private APIs?</i>

    I've been wondering about this from the start. I'm betting that they've been fleshing out a web api that will be published sometime this year. iCloud will probably stay in existence, but will only be for consumer backups. But enterprise-level cloud-based apps will have access to this new infrastructure. And it will be driven by IBM's systems.

    And they ask Watson not Siri ... ;)
  • Reply 13 of 32
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    What does this partnership get them with these apps that IBM couldn't have done on its own? Access to still private APIs?



    Haven't you ever heard of synergy? The two companies complement each other. They both need each other. Together, they'll each expand into markets formerly not available to them. How can you not see that?

  • Reply 14 of 32
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    paul94544 wrote: »
    err.. just guessing but an intuitive and easy to use front end!

    I'd think there are plenty of developers they could hire to create a useful, clean and beautiful front end.

    Note: I don't mean to sound like I'm knocking the partnership and hope that it continues over to the Mac, which would be a major coup.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    danielsw wrote: »

    Haven't you ever heard of synergy? The two companies complement each other. They both need each other. Together, they'll each expand into markets formerly not available to them. How can you not see that?

    If you can so easily see it then it shouldn't be difficult to explain these synergies that they couldn't have down on heir own in regards to building these three apps.
  • Reply 16 of 32

    An the hits just keep on coming... :)

     

    I want to see more advanced and more client interactive implementations of the retail applications involving iBeacon etc...

     

    Go Apple Go, Go, Go...

  • Reply 17 of 32
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    If you can so easily see it then it shouldn't be difficult to explain these synergies that they couldn't have down on heir own in regards to building these three apps.

    The apps themselves are probably pretty straight forward. The networking and back end is what IBM specializes in. Even if IBM did the iOS apps entirely on their own, I'm sure Apple has some involvement as to look and feel and application flow, as it is most likely part of the contract. They want assurances that the presentation is all Apple-esk. That is why they required IBM sales people to use only Apple products when presenting this joint venture to prospective clients.

  • Reply 18 of 32
    inteliusqinteliusq Posts: 111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    What does this partnership get them with these apps that IBM couldn't have done on its own? Access to still private APIs?

     

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/12/10/ibm-apple-reveal-first-ios-apps-in-enterprise-partnership-including-travel-telecom-retail-government

     

    IBM & Apple reveal first iOS apps in enterprise partnership, including travel, telecom, retail & government

    By AppleInsider Staff 

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 05:45 am PT (08:45 am ET)

    Apple and IBM on Wednesday unveiled a wide range of "MobileFirst" applications targeted toward businesses, representing the first results of the enterprise-focused partnership between both companies.

     







    IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions are now available to enterprise customers in banking, retail, insurance, financial services, and telecommunications for governments and airlines. The products are the result of what IBM and Apple are calling an "unprecedented collaboration" between the two tech titans.



    In addition, IBM has announced that clients for its MobileFirst for iOS solutions include Citi, Air Canada, Sprint, and Banorte.



    "What we're delivering aims directly at the new quest of business—smart technologies that unlock new value at the intersection of big data and individual engagement," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services. "Our collaboration combines IBM's industry expertise and unmatched position in enterprise computing, with Apple's legendary user experience and excellence in product design to lift the performance of a new generation of business professionals."

     







    IBM's apps are built exclusively for iPhone and iPad, and are delivered in a secure environment, embedded with analytics and linked to core enterprise processes. The apps can be customized for any organization and easily deployed, managed and upgraded via cloud services, IBM and Apple said.



    "This is a big step for iPhone and iPad in the enterprise, and we can't wait to see the exciting new ways organizations will put iOS devices to work," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The business world has gone mobile, and Apple and IBM are bringing together the world's best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done."

     







    The first IBM MobileFirst for iOS applications include:

     


    • Plan Flight (Travel and Transportation) addresses the major expense of all airlines—fuel—permitting pilots to view flight schedules, flight plans, and crew manifests ahead of time, report issues in-flight to ground crews, and make more informed decisions about discretionary fuel.

    • Passenger+ (Travel and Transportation) empowers flight crews to offer an unmatched level of personalized services to passengers in-flight—including special offers, re-booking, and baggage information.

      Advise & Grow (Banking and Financial Markets) puts bankers on premise with their small business clients, with secure authorization to access client profiles and competitive analyses, gather analytics-driven insights to make personalized recommendations, and complete secure transactions.

    • Trusted Advice (Banking and Financial Markets) allows advisors to access and manage client portfolios, gain insight from powerful predictive analytics—in the client's kitchen or at the local coffee shop, rather than the advisor's office—with full ability to test recommendations with sophisticated modeling tools all the way to complete, secure transactions.

    • Retention (Insurance) empowers agents with access to customers' profiles and history, including an analytics-driven retention risk score as well as smart alerts, reminders, and recommendations on next best steps and facilitation of key transactions like collection of e-signatures and premiums.

    • Case Advice (Government) addresses the issue of workload and support among caseworkers who are making critical decisions, one family or situation at a time, on the go. The solution adjusts case priorities based on real-time analytics-driven insights, and assesses risk based on predictive analysis.

    • Incident Aware (Government) converts an iPhone into a vital crime prevention asset, presenting law enforcement officers with real-time access to maps and video-feeds of incident locations; information about victim status, escalation risk, and crime history; and improved ability to call for back-up and supporting services.

    • Sales Assist (Retail) enables associates to connect with customer profiles, make suggestions based on previous purchases and current selections, check inventory, locate items in-store, and ship out-of-store items.

    • Pick & Pack (Retail) combines proximity-based technology with back-end inventory systems for transformed order fulfillment.

    • Expert Tech (Telecommunications) taps into native iOS capabilities including FaceTime® for easy access to expertise and location services for route optimization to deliver superior on-site service, more effective issue resolution and productivity as well as improved customer satisfaction.



     







    "Mobile innovations are driving profound impact on how Citi delivers superior client experiences, particularly those that extend our enterprise expertise all the way to the point of customer contact," said Heather Cox, Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking at Citi. "There's terrific energy in our collaboration with IBM and Apple around the goal of equipping our professionals with mobile capability that will create new competitive advantage and enable us to re-imagine how we share our knowledge to improve the quality of life for our clients."



    To supplement the IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps, Apple and IBM's partnership also offers business customers additional levels of capability integrated for enterprise mobility. They include:

     


    • Mobile Platform and Enterprise Integration—Leveraging IBM's global industry consulting expertise, client experience design and enterprise systems integration from analytics, workflow and cloud storage, to fleet-scale device management, security and integration. Enhanced mobile management includes a private app catalog, data and transaction security services, and productivity suite for all IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. In addition to on-premise software solutions, all these services will be available on Bluemix—IBM's development platform on the IBM Cloud Marketplace.

    • Supply, activate and manage—Streamlined end-to-end procurement, deployment and lifecycle management—at scale; along with cloud solutions for enterprise security, device management, and data and process integration. IBM Global Financing leasing options and services to allow organizations to keep pace with latest device releases.

    • AppleCare for the Enterprise—Providing IT departments and end users with 24/7 assistance for their devices from Apple's award-winning customer support group, with on-site service delivered by IBM.





    IBM and Apple announced their partnership in July, as the two companies are looking to revolutionize mobile device use in enterprise with customized apps and services for iPhone and iPad. The extension of IBM's MobileFirst initiative will see IBM develop more than 100 native iOS apps and services tailored to the needs of multiple industries.



    IBM's MobileFirst Supply and Management program will supply enterprise customers with device packages, activation and management services all built around Apple's iPhone and iPad. IBM is also offering hardware leasing options to customers, along with mass device management, security, analytics and mobile integration.



    While Wednesday's announcement marks the debut of IBM MobileFirst for iOS, both companies have even bigger plans for the partnership heading into 2015, as they plan to offer more apps and services to enterprise customers.

  • Reply 19 of 32
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Steffen Jobbs View Post

     

    I saw some other article about this where the author describes these apps as being extremely bland.  It was an odd description for something you can't taste or eat.  I got the impression that the author thought these apps weren't quite up to handling business needs like some full-blown Windows desktop application but that may just my personal opinion.  Either these apps do the job they're expected to do or they don't.  They look pretty simplified but if they make things easier for the users, then what difference does it make if they're not highly complicated to use.  It's not the first time I've heard people say these apps were too plain-looking to be of any use to businesses.  I was never aware that an application had to have a certain look to be useful.  Only time will tell whether these apps are useful or not for the people who use them.


     

    Bland is what you need in business... Most business functions aren't sexy at all, but still necessary. Maybe they should have made it insanely bloated UI like office apps to make sure they "look" like they"re useful (regardless of actual usefulness).

  • Reply 20 of 32
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,185member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    What does this partnership get them with these apps that IBM couldn't have done on its own? Access to still private APIs?

    What does any enterprise partnership garner for any OS Vendor? If you have to ask then you have no experience in the area. It has nothing to do with private apis.
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