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IBM's 'MobileFirst for iOS' apps to get cloud services boost with new Box partnership

IBM's "Advisor Alerts" MobileFirst for iOS app.

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International Business Machines and cloud collaboration firm Box on Tuesday announced a new partnership that will see an integration of resources and technology lead to intuitive enterprise class products, including IBM's MobileFirst for iOS apps for Apple devices.

As detailed in a press release, IBM and Box plan to integrate their respective technologies to offer business customers effective cloud collaboration and management solutions backed by proven data analytics and a deep understanding of individual business needs. The relationship is expected to produce new products and services, while existing branded offerings benefit on both sides.

The companies plan to work together on three key initiatives: transformation of enterprise work, international reach and security and new content rich apps and solutions. This latter area of focus will impact IBM's MobileFirst for iOS apps. Moving forward, IBM MobileFirst software will tap into Box's cloud APIs — and to a lesser extent cloud network — for content management, distribution, sharing and storage.

For Box, a collaboration with IBM grants access to advanced data crunching tools like Watson Analytics, industry-specific products and a broader reach within the enterprise marketplace, reports Re/code. As for IBM, the deal represents solid footing in the cloud computing space, an area of vital interest after the company steered its business strategy away from hardware and toward software and services.

As an example what to expect, the companies offered up a theoretical healthcare services solution that allows for secure collaboration between physicians, patients, hospitals and providers. Using cloud collaboration tools enhanced on the backend with IBM analytics, hospitals can share test results, coordinate patient care and conduct other sensitive operations in a controlled environment.

Interestingly, IBM fields a deep roster of MobileFirst for iOS apps tailored to healthcare professionals, some of which were introduced in April and come with support for Apple Watch.

IBM's MobileFirst for iOS initiative was born from an unlikely partnership with Apple first announced last July. Under the arrangement, IBM is responsible for app development, hardware leasing, device management, integration and on-site service, while Apple aids in software design and customer service via a special tier of AppleCare.

IBM has yet to announce which MobileFirst for iOS apps will be the first to feature Box integration.