Apple and IBM Introduce Ten Business-Focused 'IBM MobileFirst' iOS Apps

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Following a partnership announced over the summer, Apple and IBM have today introduced the first in a line of mobile business apps that target a wide range of industries and businesses. Dubbed "IBM MobileFirst for iOS", the suite of ten apps hopes to "bring IBM's big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad users."

With the initial batch including apps focused on the finance, air-travel, and banking industries, IBM also confirmed a few clients including Citi, Air Canada, Sprint, and Banorte will support the MobileFirst program starting today.
"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."

One of the ten apps, Sales Assist, is retail-focused and, for example, allows workers to view customer profiles with extensive back-history on previous purchases to help make informed suggestions tailored to specific users. It can also check a store's inventory, find missing in-store items, and ship items unavailable in-store to customers at home. There's one app that grants pilots easier control over flight manifests and schedules, another that provides personalized in-flight services for passengers, and multiple apps focused on banking and case advisers.

The apps, built exclusively for iPhone and iPad, "are delivered in a secure environment, embedded with analytics and linked to core enterprise processes." The two companies ensure that the apps can be developed and adjusted to fit any company, and once out in the wild are easily managed and upgraded thanks to cloud services provided by IBM. All apps are highly secure as well, and the partners promise that more apps are "being continuously designed and developed" for release in the future.
"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 official websites of both Apple and IBM provide a deeper dive into the program with extensive looks into each of the ten apps announced today.

Article Link: Apple and IBM Introduce Ten Business-Focused 'IBM MobileFirst' iOS Apps
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,315
2,019
Lincoln, UK
Smartphones are really about the software. The hardware is just an enabler for that. This move should make iOS stronger. The line is becoming much more than an iToy.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,830
27,279
Some of those apps look really nice. If they were designed by Apple can we get those folks to start working on Apple's first party iOS apps?
 

thekeyring

macrumors 68040
Jan 5, 2012
3,441
2,075
London
Really love what Apple is doing with iOS. Features like control centre, technologies like Metal and Extensibility, and now this enterprise stuff. Great! Frustrated people hate on iOS for being "dumb" or "*****".
 

Aluminum213

macrumors 68040
Mar 16, 2012
3,521
3,884
Now how about apple make iOS for the iPad that's more then a blown up iPhone iOS


Embarrassing having a 3x3 folder grid on a 10" iPad Air 2 screen
 

Trik

macrumors 6502
Jan 18, 2011
329
844
Washington, DC
Why? Just for Apple to gain marketshare in the enterprise arena and decide to scale back in the consumer market?

Also, if enterprise is so good... What happened to Blackberry? ;)
Apple happened to Blackberry. Personally, as an enterprise IT professional, we lost a LOT of control over granularity and data security with the switch from Blackberry to Apple. These apps, as well as a focus on enterprise, is a very welcome change. I would love to see some of the features from Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) return. Mobile Device Management in an Apple world leaves a lot to be desired. I definitely welcome this shift (or increase) in focus with open arms!
 
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GreenPixel

macrumors regular
Aug 21, 2014
132
841
Why? Just for Apple to gain marketshare in the enterprise arena and decide to scale back in the consumer market?
Success in one market does not require failure or even a decrease in another market.

Also, if enterprise is so good... What happened to Blackberry? ;)
BB did not fail simply because their market was primarily enterprise. They failed due to not adapting to market changes.
 

Hagrid

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2005
82
29
New Jersey
Sales App

I would really like a sales app that caters to business-to-business and strategic sales.

Come on IBM/Apple....I'm waiting :)
 

Daalseth

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2012
569
236
Why? Just for Apple to gain marketshare in the enterprise arena and decide to scale back in the consumer market?

Also, if enterprise is so good... What happened to Blackberry? ;)
Blackberry's history will be taught in business schools as an example of how to totally blow it. They were on top, got complacent, fell behind, and are trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to get back in the game.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,830
27,279
Looks like IBM is doing the heavy lifting with Apple providing UI design advice.

Under their partnership, IBM is handling the nitty-gritty programming work associated with developing the mobile apps, while Apple employees provide input in areas that include aesthetic design and ease of use, Ms. van Kralingen said.
 

elmateo487

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2008
712
344
Hhuuummmm. Trying to decide if I should click on the Apple or IBM link for a tour of these apps. Tough choice.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,049
Going to be crushing the enterprise competition with stuff like this. Others are really struggling to produce enterprise apps and when they do, they've generally been focused on the office worker rather than the workers in the field where the mobility of tablets and smartphones is really needed.
 

teslo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2014
928
598
Hhuuummmm. Trying to decide if I should click on the Apple or IBM link for a tour of these apps. Tough choice.
well, IBM made it a simple one - their site is broken past the splash page (for me anyway).
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,030
14,844
Central U.S.
Some of these apps actually look pretty neat. Let's hope the actual implementation with IBM's cloud is better than iCloud. This is a solid starting lineup to reach into many markets. I'm surprised to be seeing this so quickly. The retail one talking about iBeacons makes a whole lot of sense. Would be great to just tap a button on my phone and somebody comes over to help me with an iPad when I ask them "Do you have any X in stock?" and instead of having to wander off to the backroom for 10 minutes they can just pull it right up and go get it. Or tell me it's in a truck and will be stocked at 2pm on Tuesday.
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,784
213
UK
Finally something to truly compete with BlackBerry and BES. We'll see how this performs in comparison.
 
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