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Apple and IBM announce enterprise software and device partnership

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Apple and IBM have announced a partnership that will see the two companies team up in an enterprise push involving IBM software and Apple hardware. This exclusive partnership will see IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities arrive on Apple’s iOS devices.

The deal covers more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions and will include native apps designed exclusively for the iPhone and iPad from the ground up.  There’s also going to be new a new breed of AppleCare tailored to the needs of enterprise customers as well as packaged offerings from IBM covering device activation, supply, and management.

IBM is going to be selling iPhones and iPads paired with its enterprise solutions to its business clients globally, which is a huge win for Apple. The company hasn’t seen nearly the same level of success in enterprise as it has in the consumer market and this partnership will see IBM target retail, healthcare, banking, travel, transportation, and telecommunications with its new portfolio of MobileFirst for iOS Solutions, which will become available next year.

Meanwhile, IBM can sell enterprise solutions and device management alongside beautifully-designed Apple hardware. Cupertino will provide AppleCare for Enterprise, which offers 24/7 assistance to IT departments, and IBM is promising cloud services optimized for iOS and covering device management, analytics, and mobile integration. Speaking to CNBC, IBM CEO Virginia Rometty promised that security, which has been another weak point for Apple in enterprise, will be one of the partnership’s priorities.

 

 

  • Thin Blue DBA

    Sounds great, but once you talk about enterprise, the first thing I worry about is security. If one is going to leverage the data analytical capabilities of IBM products, that’s a lot of sensitive information that I would not want to be in the wrong hands.

    • Jane McEntegart

      It sounds like they’re aware of the need to prioritize security, which is encouraging. I guess IBM’s reputation and experience in enterprise solutions is supposed to foster the trust necessary for businesses to take the plunge.

    • Marlo Stanfield

      When was the last time IBM had a security breach?

    • Thin Blue DBA

      I’m not saying IBM is going to be vulnerable, but unless IBM plans to redevelop iOS, then the devices to consume the information is inherently insecure.

    • Karl Dagenais

      I’m not overly familiar with the requirements of businesses, could you provide some info as to why you consider Apple’s products insecure, and at the same time, please tell me which phones/tablets do companies use currently that are more secure?

      Thanks

    • marorun1982

      This dont happen often but i have clients from time to time thats installed an app from the app store and got a nasty malware ( yeah its happen Apple just keep it quiet and even kick you out of the developpers for apps if you inform the public directly.; )

      So all its would take is 1 phone out of 1000 in a company thats do a mistake and you loose it all…

    • Stephen_81

      I wouldn’t be concerned with IBM security, they will package it well, especially seeing as it is going to be focused on a single device package.

      They aren’t making a Enterprise management tool to embrace BYOD, they are going to make something for iPhone only, that makes it easier to make the secured product.

      What Enterprises are going to go 100% iPhone/iPad (Mac?) when the MDM space has become so much more open for Employee owned devices and Employee empowerment to choose.

      Seems like this is the wrong time to be making a product dedicated to a single platform that most certainly wont be cheap if it is building a suite of exclusively Apple applications.

      AND double yuck if the back end will have to be Lotus/Domino

    • marorun1982

      Apple would not accept if its a solution open to all os.. Apple is like this all exclusivity and no sharing..

    • shamer

      goodbye blackberry :)

    • 5Gs

      To be honest. Even though i am not apple pro. I never heard of them tracking users for profit or etc etc Ibm also have the same kind of respect from users. So i can see this partnership very fruity.

  • Detroit Velvet Smooth

    Wonder how Jobs would feel about this?

    • alphs22

      He has been dead (RIP) for a while now. Cook’s company to lead now, doesn’t matter.

    • WatDah

      Thank you. Enough with the “what would Jobs do/think/say” crap.

    • 5Gs

      He is dead bro. Not someone i would consider remembering in history. If he could he would patent your air too but too bad he died.

  • alphs22

    “The company [Apple] hasn’t seen nearly the same level of success in enterprise as it has in the consumer market…”

    The article seems to imply that Apple is struggling to gain foothold in the enterprise space, while the reality is the complete opposite. In terms of iOS market share, their consumer marketshare is around 15% (worldwide, by shipments), while their enterprise marketshare is around 70-80% (by activations). iOS is the outright dominant mobile OS in the enterprise space.

    Am I missing something here? I don’t think this is a bad move by any means, and will help them extend or solidify their lead. But it’s not like they weren’t successful already like the article implies.

    • rgl168

      Sure, there are lots of enterprises that are using iOS devices, but not without growing pains. Take one example – if an employee resigns from a company, returns the company-assigned iPhone back to the IT department, but forgot to deactivate the iOS activation lock prior to its return? That device is as good as doorstop. As I understand it Apple has a way to bypass this (upon providing proper verifications), but it would be much better if this activation lock can be managed at an enterprise level – and IBM maybe working with Apple to provide a solution for this.

    • alphs22

      What you said is a very minor issue compared to the grand scheme of things of what they’re trying to accomplish here. It’s not like they can’t ask the former employee to deactivate the activation lock, if he/she happened to tie her personal iCloud account to her work device.

      I don’t doubt that IBM’s involvement will improve Apple’s enterprise offering. I was merely questioning what the author stated in the 3rd paragraph, since I found the statement completely the opposite of everything I have read.

    • rgl168

      Obviously you have not been working in an enterprise environment; try getting employees who has been given pink slips or termination letters to cooperate.

    • alphs22

      I was thinking employees leaving for other jobs, I could see how that could be a problem for fired employees.

    • ericzchu

      You can manage the activation lock at enterprise level. You can use Apple Configurator to supervise the device to disable activation lock.

    • rgl168

      Apple Configurator requires a Mac to run and as you said, the devices would have to be “supervised”, which has its own set of issues. MDM solution would have been much better – even Apple themselves advocate the use of MDM instead of Apple Configurator (as per their “Managing Apple Devices” in their WWDC video). I believe iOS8 (or even 7.1) may have more management capabilities via MDM, which I have to look more into.

    • Stephen_81

      If you consider Enterprise as small business’s your 70% by activations is probably correct, but if you went by COPE devices or Locked down devices Apples market share is much smaller.
      in the MDM space BlackBerry 7 is still dominate in terms of actively managed devices, it dominates over BlackBerry 10 still, BES5 manages more devices than the next 3 device management companies combined.

      This initiative is very clearly a COPE/Locked down initiative for which iPhone does need to try and make inroads.

  • Stephen_81

    I don’t think it is really going to hurt the BlackBerry business, Apple/IBM are doing a single vendor model, which is what Enterprise are trying to get away from since that was what BlackBerry did for a decade and it got them caught when the market shifted buying heavily into a single solution provider that is the oldest OS available today is not going to be the same demographic as the people investing in BES12.

    I think this will hurt the chance for Microsoft to get their single source solutions in place, I think it will hurt Google and them trying to move into big data and securing Android.

    I really hope that it doesn’t further stifle cross platfrom development of web technologies and suites

    • shamer

      wrong. BB is now dead

    • Black Truck

      2010 called. It wants its comment back.

    • barrist

      it also wants its 9900 back.

  • Martin Delaney

    Rim?

  • Anthony Roberts

    This will push for competition which is always a good thing. However a single device to use iPhone or iPad versus BES 12 that will manage Windows….iOS….BB 10 and 7…..and Android I can see that is the better deal with enterprise. Also BB would still be only player to provide a true MDM end to end solution. However John Chen don’t take this lightly…..it is EXTREMELY important next year you focus on a high spec BB 10 Power phablet and Tablet with high end specs with enterprise in mind with productivity apps tailored to businesses while the Passport will be great for Blackberry you need a full touch phablet and tablet to truly compete in the enterprise market.

  • thedesmodes

    I just heard Daniel Bader on CBC about this.

  • mggOptimusG

    You must be kidding … Apple is not known for “secure” devices. Period. Security is always a problem and a major concern for corporate and enterprise level applications.

  • mggOptimusG

    Not sure if this is a good thing. Apple has the bad habit of taking what they like and calling it their own while IBM is not very good at partnerships, just look at OS2 with Microsoft … IBM was not able to get as much out of the deal as Microsoft did. Even if OS2 was the most robust thing for a long time. They had a bunch of ATMs running with OS2 and probably still run it today. So OS2 was good, but IBM was not able to leverage the technology and they probably gave Microsoft more than they deserved.
    How is a deal with patent hungry Apple going to be any different ? … The deal will probably help Apple more than IBM.
    At this point I would choose a BB as official enterprise tools and provide directives to employees to use their Apple and Android devices off hours, to play games, or do whatever else they do socially at their own cost. I know I would not cry to loose my Android device when I know I can do most everything on BB.

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