Apple And IBM Team Up To Bring I-Devices To Business Customers
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Bitter rivals during the PC battles of the late 20th century, Apple and IBM have joined together to debut a series of iPhones and iPads filled with a suite of applications tailored for business customers, the companies announced in a joint statement on Tuesday.
The product line is scheduled to be released later this year and will leverage both IBM’s big data services and Apple’s popular mobile devices.
“iPhone and iPad are the best mobile devices in the world and have transformed the way people work with over 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and over 92 percent of the Global 500 using iOS devices in their business today,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in the statement. “For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver.”
“We are delighted to be teaming with Apple, whose innovations have transformed our lives in ways we take for granted, but can’t imagine living without,” added Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO. “Our alliance will bring the same kind of transformation to the way people work, industries operate and companies perform.”
The companies said over 100 mobile applications are being developed as a part of the collaboration. These apps will target “key industry mobility challenges and spark true mobile-led business change.”
“We wanted to focus on creating an absolutely irresistible workflow and processes and a design of apps that can be used by every user in the organization,” Bridget van Kralingen, IBM’s senior vice president of global business services told Reuters reporter Marina Lopes.
For example, IBM chief executive Virginia Rometty told USA Today‘s Gary Strauss and Mike Snider that one of the new apps in development could be used to save fuel on jetliners.
“This can save 10 percent to 15 percent for an airline deployed widely,” Rometty said.
Observers widely praised the partnership, which includes IBM selling iPhones and iPads to business clients through an exclusive agreement.
“They really do complement each other,” Richard Doherty, director of the research consulting firm Envisioneering Group, told the USA Today reporters. “This seems to be one of these rare win-win-win things. I just see less indecision and more satisfaction and maybe people at work getting to enjoy an iPad on the company’s dime instead of them having to go out and buy it.”
A major change seen outside the business and tech worlds will be the appearance of more in-store transmitters, called iBeacons that send alerts to Apple devices about sales and process transactions.
“(iBeacons make) transactions go faster and more securely,” Doherty told USA Today. “(Apple) is not a services company, but IBM services retail from Wal-Mart to Starbucks.”
The announcement comes just before IBM is set to outline its second quarter earnings for 2014 later this week. Financial experts expect to see a drop in earnings as the company transitions from an emphasis on hardware to a focus on software and services.