Yesterday, Apple and IBM made an announcement that’s since echoed through the enterprise-IT world. By no means was this your standard press release. Two corporate empires, one industry rattling announcement. The two powerhouses announced a partnership focused on further developing the MobileFirst platform that more robustly supports enterprises.
There were four key tenants of the partnership:
1) Mobile solutions that transform business: The two companies will collaborate to build IBM MobileFirst for iOS Solutions—a new class of “made-for-business apps” targeting industry-specific issues or opportunities in retail, healthcare, banking, travel and transportation, telecommunications and insurance, among others. These are scheduled to be made available starting this fall and into 2015.
2) Mobile platform: The IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS will deliver the services required by an end-to-end enterprise solution, 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 a productivity suite for all IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. In addition to the on-premise software solutions, all services will be made available on Bluemix—IBM’s development platform on the IBM Cloud Marketplace.
3) Mobile service and support: AppleCare for Enterprise will provide IT departments and end users with 24/7 assistance from Apple’s award-winning customer support group, with on-site service being delivered by IBM.
4) Packaged service offerings: IBM is introducing IBM MobileFirst Supply and Management for device supply, activation and management services for iPhone and iPad, with leasing options.
The overwhelming reaction? Wonderful. We’re glad to see that 1) IBM is on board with the mobile movement and 2) Apple “admits” that they simply can’t do enterprise deployments on their own.
We believe in the future of mobile enterprise. In fact, we’ve helped several enterprise clients migrate from a traditional mindset to a mobile-first mindset over the past two years.
All that being said, we maintain the mindset we’ve held from the beginning: you should bring your own software. Making gigantic shifts from one platform of data and analytics is not only time consuming, but it’s oftentimes extremely expensive to fully complete the transition.
So, what are the alternatives? Well, taking advantage of tools on top of existing platforms for data analytics and cloud operations could be a solution for some. In those instances, we’ve provided 24×7 support that isn’t just an AppleCare agent, but someone who knows far more than only iOS. Instead, they’re familiar with the ins and outs of networking, Exchange, and other points of integration that often serve as the opportunity to pass-the-buck. No bucks pass us, only to us.
From an integration and packaging solution, we love it. We currently provide bundled options for iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and all of the third party accessories you can think of. Our client often look at leasing options, allowing refresh cycles to fall in line with fiscal cycles. Where we see the most success is not when just a single platform is evaluated and decided on, but when many options are brought into consideration and a decision is then made bade on best fit.
As you’ll likely read and hear from many, there’s far more to enterprise opportunity than just getting email, contacts and calendars on mobile devices. They’re right. They’re fantastic tools, and it is all about the apps. It’s time to collaborate and move forward.
We should also note that this isn’t the first time Apple and IBM have worked together. IBM actually made the processors for Macs between 1992 and 2006. That was a long and fruitful partnership that benefited both parties. Until Apple made the switch to Intel based processors, which arguably set the ground work for where they are today as a company.
The bottom line is that we’re extremely happy to see this type of partnership between two giants. It brings up the conversations that are, unfortunately, often ignored or deemed “a pipe dream.”
Our perspective? Mobile makes it easier for folks to Get Back to Work.
We like Big Blue’s big bet. We double down on mobile any chance we get.
Oh, and IBM – if you need help, give us a ring: 612-465-0700.
To see the press release, visit: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2014/07/15Apple-and-IBM-Forge-Global-Partnership-to-Transform-Enterprise-Mobility.html