Apple and IBM have added another milestone in their journey to transform business. They have announced a strategic partnership that teams-up the marketing strengths of both companies to redefine the work culture and transform enterprise mobility. This is an example of bold strategy coming ahead of their rivalries and helping the clients to deliver IBM’s big data, analytics, cloud, mobile integration and systems of engagement with security capabilities to Apple’s Iphone and Ipad.
This is a good strategy to expand the MobileFirst portfolio which is powered by unique cloud services released by Secured Web Gateway. This partnership will involve more than 100000 IBMers for developing industry specific software solutions including domain consultants, Subject matter experts and developers of IBM’s Global Business Services (GBS) working with technical and design experts of Apple to build these new applications. IBM’s TSS team in Global Technology Services (GTS) will provide Enterprise class AppleCare services to clients for device activation, supply and chain management with IGF financing.
According to Ginny Rometty:- “Mobility- combined with the phenomena of data and cloud -is transforming the industry in historic ways – allowing people to re-imagine work, industries and professions.” Thus this alliance will surely bring a major transformation to the way people work and operational procedures of industries. This is start of a pathbreaking partnership that would bring IBM’s expertise in big data analytics down to the fingertips of iPad and iPhone business users. IBM CEO Virginia M. Rometty said that the agreement will “combine data analysis, cloud and mobile technology with Apple’s smartphones and tablets, turning the devices into decision-making tools rather than ones used mainly for email, text-messaging and contacts.”
IBM and Apple had announced four products based on IBM’s mobile brand:
– IBM MobileFirst for iOS
– IBM MobileFirst platform for iOS
– AppleCare for enterprise
– IBM MobileFirst supply & management
Since Apple is not developing its own enterprise cloud and Big-Data services, thus they have found a partner who had already invested billions of dollars in analytics, big data, cloud infrastructure, and enterprise mobility.IBM has changed its work culture a lot in the past decade by selling its x86 server business to Lenovo for about 2.6 billion dollars but is still underrated as a enterprise mobile company. Since IBM does not have required skill set and experience to develop a new mobile operating system they partnered with the most “technological advanced” mobile company on this planet.
Let us now discuss the four offerings of a new strategic partnership:-
1: IBM MobileFirst for iOS – MobileFirst for iOS is an application based tool that basically consists of three separate initiatives.
The first is to create 100+ industry specific iOS applications for iphone and ipad in all quarters of 2014-15 which will support different fields like healthcare, retail, transportation, government, telecommunications, banking services, and insurance companies.
Second is ERP for iOS which is based on building ERP iOS optimized platform with advanced APIs. It will take advantage of both API architectures, i.e., of iOS8 and enterprise software.IBM will need to transform Apple’s existing APIs for extending real-time BI analytics capability on your iPhone/iPad. And Third is Application Integration and Management which focuses on end-to-end lifecycle management for ios apps. IBM has a good experience in application integration and development through tools like Websphere and DB2.
2: IBM MobileFirst platform for iOS – IBM will build all the new apps using the MobileFirst approach which means the apps will have all the functionalities of an iOS application. This can be achievable through different softwares such as BlueMix- which is an based on IBM’s open cloud architecture and Maas360 by Fibrelink which is IBM’s Enterprise Mobility Management Platform(EMM)
3: AppleCare for enterprise – Apple and IBM will provide 24/7 support with the help of Apple’s support group integrated with IBM’s onsite services. Different support and services include toll free calls to level 2 support technicians with 1 hour IT support for high priority incidents and changes. This will also provide many customizable service options to meet the client’s needs by On-site repair/replacement given by IBM Global Services. IBM will add a “Enterprise touch” to Apple’s consumer focused services.
4: IBM MobileFirst supply & management – Apple can take use of IBM’s Global Finance services to order bulk of customizable iphone and ipads with different enterprise softwares and apps to meet corporate standards. This will include the initial purchase plus the activation and securing capabilities with ongoing management of the devices. The recent takeover of Fiberlink Communications Corporations and its Maas360 Enterprise Mobile Management will be a support station which can help in providing device and asset management. IBM Maas360 is ready architect large iOS deployments which also support different mobile platforms such as Symbian, Windows Phone and PCs, Android, Blackberry.
The integrated technologies of both Apple and IBM can provide these services to Global 2000 companies which represents potentially a large amount of increase in deployment of workforce productivity. Through managing the Apple supply chain with IBM enterprise solutions, a client can be assured to have timely access to the necessary hardware and software upgrades needed.
In Healthcare, the two technology majors can use the mobile environment to reach the consumer, the patient, the members. Apple has already introduced health apps in a wearable device, which could enable data communication and management between newly built enterprise systems and Cloud. The potential integration of Apple’s Siri and IBM’s Watson is already doing well in healthcare, and now considering physicians and doctor’s interest in hands-free computing and health data analysis can be one of the prime applications of IBM’s enterprise computing system. Healthcare is a vertical currently very near and dear to Apple’s heart as it prepares to release iOS 8, HealthKit and its new wearable devices. These devices will first prove themselves as sophisticated medical tools, and as Apple pulls in third party developers and the healthcare industry itself into the fold, IBM can help drive key healthcare efforts in merging mobile, cloud and healthcare analytics for Apple.
Apple will operate at multiple levels within healthcare – through both patient- and doctor-centric capabilities. Doctors will likely rely on domain expertise from IBM to pull together the apps they need to analyze all the big data that will be generated for both patient care and for advanced research.
In recent decade had acquired many companies to support its cloud. Acquisition of SoftLayer will help Apple’s AppStore, IBM’s Bluemix platform, and IBM’s MobileFirst initiative can create a truly seamless experience to bring analytics, mobile and cloud together to redefine business strategies. IBM will also use it’s Watson’s analytical abilities to process and process and manipulate data in iOS APIs and we can even expect Apple’s SIRI integrated into that to deliver Big-Data analytics
IBM cloud services optimized for iOS – which includes device management, security, analytics and mobile integration. This alliance with Apple will bring the innovations to IBMs clients globally, and leverages IBM’s leadership in analytics, cloud, software and services. Apple and IBM’s shared vision for this partnership is to put in the hands of business professionals everywhere the unique capabilities of iPads and iPhones with a
company’s knowledge, data, analytics and workflows. Specifically, the two companies are working together to deliver the essential elements of enterprise mobile solutions.
From a cloud perspective, IBM has quickly acquired over a dozen companies to develop IBM Cloud. Topped by its acquisition of SoftLayer, IBM is able to support the high performance cloud workloads often associated with mobile applications in a scalable and secure manner. From an infrastructure perspective, IBM Cloud competes directly with Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft Azure. The opportunity to directly link IBM Cloud to Apple provides interesting opportunities to improve mobile-cloud applications. After all, it’s not a coincidence that Amazon recently came out with its own phone or that every mega vendor has been pushing both mobile and cloud so heavily.
But for all the talk of understanding the relationships between mobile and cloud, vendors on both sides of this symbiotic relationship have been slow to join forces and create a truly seamless experience on the enterprise side. IBM/Apple provides an opportunity to bring mobile and cloud closer together for the mobile apps and services that increasingly define business.
Why does Apple want to work with an enterprise technology company like IBM?
Apple has not been focused on building out its own independent enterprise-grade cloud and Big Data services. However, mobile, cloud, and Big Data have converged into a single technology ecosystem. There are a number of terms that focus on the convergence of Social, Mobile, and Cloud (SoMoCloud(r)) tied together with data and security for radical business transformation.
Regardless of the name, Apple needed a partner with global scale that could fill the gaps in cloud, social, and analytics while making a commitment to consistently support iOS over the long term. In IBM, Apple has found a partner that has invested billions of dollars in the Big Data and cloud infrastructure needed to move from mobility to supporting the entirety of next-generation technological advancement.
Why does IBM want to work with a mobile company like Apple?
IBM is already strong in a number of mobile areas, but does not have either the expertise or willingness to create new endpoints and a new mobile operating system. Rather than go down the route of an expensive and distracting business venture to develop a new mobile ecosystem (as Microsoft has done), IBM has instead chosen to partner with the most important mobile company on the planet. Even if Android devices currently outsell Apple on the market, Android fragmentation makes application development more challenging than iOS development. Apple is the gold standard for usability and consistent user experience, which made it a much more attractive potential partner than Samsung.
Which companies are most challenged by this announcement?
As pointed out before, this is more than just a mobility announcement. On the handset side, Samsung, Google, and Blackberry are obviously paying attention. And on the enterprise mobility management side, VMWare, Citrix, MobileIron,Good Technology, and Apperian have to be thinking about their cloud and mobile application partnership options as well.
But the depth of this partnership means that cloud companies and even application platform as a service vendors need to look closely at this. Every cloud infrastructure company needs to think about how well they play with mobile devices and how they are partnered with key mobile endpoint and management vendors. Likewise, on the PaaS side, Salesforce’s Heroku, Pivotal, and Centurylink’s AppFog need to all reconsider the depth of their mobile application development in light of IBM’s and Apple’s special relationship.
In 1991, Apple and IBM agreed to do the following:
1. To develop the PowerPC, a single-chip version of IBM’s POWER architecture, with IBM and Motorola.
2. To better integrate Macs into IBM enterprise networks.
3. To develop PowerOpen, a Unix-based operating system that runs AIX and Mac applications on the PowerPC.
4. To form Taligent to develop and license an object-oriented operating system for the PowerPC, Motorola 68xxx and Intel x86 families with compatibility with AIX, OS/2 and System 7.
5. To form Kaleida Labs to develop and license multimedia software, tools and scripting languages for a diverse variety of computers and consumer electronic gear.
1. The PowerPC was the major outcome of the alliance and has been used in Macs, IBM midrange computers and embedded systems. See PowerPC.
2. A tad more network integration took place. IBM routers could optionally run Apple protocols to connect to Apple networks, and a Macintosh Token Ring adapter was developed.
3. PowerOpen, the common Unix OS, was abandoned. IBM stayed with AIX, and Apple eventually wrote the Unix-based Mac OS X. See PowerOpen.
4. The Taligent OS never came about. Taligent did deliver its CommonPoint application frameworks and development tools and eventually became part of IBM.
5. Kaleida introduced its ScriptX multimedia technology in 1995. It moved into Apple’s Multimedia Group when Kaleida closed its doors later in the year.