Apple and IBM on Wednesday unveiled a wide range of "MobileFirst" applications targeted toward businesses, representing the first results of the enterprise-focused partnership between both companies.
IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions are now available to enterprise customers in banking, retail, insurance, financial services, and telecommunications for governments and airlines. The products are the result of what IBM and Apple are calling an "unprecedented collaboration" between the two tech titans.
In addition, IBM has announced that clients for its MobileFirst for iOS solutions include Citi, Air Canada, Sprint, and Banorte.
"What we're delivering aims directly at the new quest of business— smart technologies that unlock new value at the intersection of big data and individual engagement," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services. "Our collaboration combines IBM's industry expertise and unmatched position in enterprise computing, with Apple's legendary user experience and excellence in product design to lift the performance of a new generation of business professionals."
IBM's apps are built exclusively for iPhone and iPad, and are delivered in a secure environment, embedded with analytics and linked to core enterprise processes. The apps can be customized for any organization and easily deployed, managed and upgraded via cloud services, IBM and Apple said.
"This is a big step for iPhone and iPad in the enterprise, and we can't wait to see the exciting new ways organizations will put iOS devices to work," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The business world has gone mobile, and Apple and IBM are bringing together the world's best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done."
The first IBM MobileFirst for iOS applications include:
- Plan Flight (Travel and Transportation) addresses the major expense of all airlines— fuel— permitting pilots to view flight schedules, flight plans, and crew manifests ahead of time, report issues in-flight to ground crews, and make more informed decisions about discretionary fuel.
- Passenger+ (Travel and Transportation) empowers flight crews to offer an unmatched level of personalized services to passengers in-flight— including special offers, re-booking, and baggage information. Advise & Grow (Banking and Financial Markets) puts bankers on premise with their small business clients, with secure authorization to access client profiles and competitive analyses, gather analytics-driven insights to make personalized recommendations, and complete secure transactions.
- Trusted Advice (Banking and Financial Markets) allows advisors to access and manage client portfolios, gain insight from powerful predictive analytics— in the client's kitchen or at the local coffee shop, rather than the advisor's office— with full ability to test recommendations with sophisticated modeling tools all the way to complete, secure transactions.
- Retention (Insurance) empowers agents with access to customers' profiles and history, including an analytics-driven retention risk score as well as smart alerts, reminders, and recommendations on next best steps and facilitation of key transactions like collection of e-signatures and premiums.
- Case Advice (Government) addresses the issue of workload and support among caseworkers who are making critical decisions, one family or situation at a time, on the go. The solution adjusts case priorities based on real-time analytics-driven insights, and assesses risk based on predictive analysis.
- Incident Aware (Government) converts an iPhone into a vital crime prevention asset, presenting law enforcement officers with real-time access to maps and video-feeds of incident locations; information about victim status, escalation risk, and crime history; and improved ability to call for back-up and supporting services.
- Sales Assist (Retail) enables associates to connect with customer profiles, make suggestions based on previous purchases and current selections, check inventory, locate items in-store, and ship out-of-store items.
- Pick & Pack (Retail) combines proximity-based technology with back-end inventory systems for transformed order fulfillment.
- Expert Tech (Telecommunications) taps into native iOS capabilities including FaceTimeÂ® for easy access to expertise and location services for route optimization to deliver superior on-site service, more effective issue resolution and productivity as well as improved customer satisfaction.
"Mobile innovations are driving profound impact on how Citi delivers superior client experiences, particularly those that extend our enterprise expertise all the way to the point of customer contact," said Heather Cox, Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking at Citi. "There's terrific energy in our collaboration with IBM and Apple around the goal of equipping our professionals with mobile capability that will create new competitive advantage and enable us to re-imagine how we share our knowledge to improve the quality of life for our clients."
To supplement the IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps, Apple and IBM's partnership also offers business customers additional levels of capability integrated for enterprise mobility. They include:
- Mobile Platform and Enterprise Integration— Leveraging IBM's global industry consulting expertise, client experience design and enterprise systems integration 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 productivity suite for all IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. In addition to on-premise software solutions, all these services will be available on Bluemix— IBM's development platform on the IBM Cloud Marketplace.
- Supply, activate and manage— Streamlined end-to-end procurement, deployment and lifecycle management— at scale; along with cloud solutions for enterprise security, device management, and data and process integration. IBM Global Financing leasing options and services to allow organizations to keep pace with latest device releases.
- AppleCare for the Enterprise— Providing IT departments and end users with 24/7 assistance for their devices from Apple's award-winning customer support group, with on-site service delivered by IBM.
IBM and Apple announced their partnership in July, as the two companies are looking to revolutionize mobile device use in enterprise with customized apps and services for iPhone and iPad. The extension of IBM's MobileFirst initiative will see IBM develop more than 100 native iOS apps and services tailored to the needs of multiple industries.
IBM's MobileFirst Supply and Management program will supply enterprise customers with device packages, activation and management services all built around Apple's iPhone and iPad. IBM is also offering hardware leasing options to customers, along with mass device management, security, analytics and mobile integration.
While Wednesday's announcement marks the debut of IBM MobileFirst for iOS, both companies have even bigger plans for the partnership heading into 2015, as they plan to offer more apps and services to enterprise customers.