When Apple and IBM announced their partnership in 2014, not many people saw it coming. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO said, “This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.” And to some degree that is true, because the iPhone and iPad have been adopted by a large number of individual users who are employees of Fortune 500 and Global 500 organizations. Since the announcement of the partnership, their collaboration has resulted in 100 iOS enterprise applications designed to target 65 professions across 14 industries.
Integrating the iOS platform into enterprise mobility was only a matter of time, but the partnership with IBM gave Apple a fast track to achieving the credibility it needed in the corporate world. What Apple had going for it was the number of individual users or employees of many enterprises who had an iPhone of iPad. When the partnership was announced, Tim Cook said 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 people use iOS devices in their business today.
So with a large user base already in place, the only thing left to do was create the apps that could take advantage of the Apple devices for different industries. And after a little more than a year and a half, a total of 100 apps have been developed by IBM, with 48 of them coming this month to meet its target of creating 100 IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps by the end of 2015.
By leveraging IBM’s renowned big data analytics and global research capability, Apple has managed to make a strong entrance in enterprise mobility. This has resulted in some of the biggest global companies adopting the IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps, including Air Canada, AXA, Bosch Home Appliance Group, Coca-Cola Amatil, Japan Post, SAS, Vodafone and many others.
“Our apps – which currently represent an exclusive level of business value – are evolving to deliver cognitive capability that refines insights to the most relevant information, enhancing the quality of decision making. Marrying the simplicity of Apple’s product design with IBM's unmatched security, analytic and cognitive expertise is the leading edge of mobile-led business transformation,” said Fred Balboni, general manager Apple partnership, IBM.
The apps have been designed by combining IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities with Apple’s customer centric business model to help companies achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction out of the box. This includes the integration of Watson’s cognitive capabilities into the apps so they can continuously learn about the users by building on the data they collect.
The industries the apps will be addressing include: Automotive sales, banking and financial markets, chemical and petroleum, consumer products, electronics, energy and utilities, government, insurance, retail, telecommunications, and others.