Following their major enterprise mobility partnership which was announced this summer, Apple and IBM this morning launched the first batch of MobileFirst apps for enterprise iOS users. The new suite of business-focused apps are available exclusively for the iPhone and iPad starting today and include apps for insurance, retail, telecom, government, travel, transportation, banking and more.
“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.”
A total of ten business-oriented iOS apps went live today, with such clients as Citi, Air Canada, Sprint and Banorte support IBM’s MobileFirst program.
Here’s a quick rundown of the apps, courtesy of Apple:
- 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 FaceTime 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.
These enterprise apps can be managed and deployed through IBM’s cloud services. Additional apps being continuously designed and developed as we speak.
“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.”
The IBM MobileFirst initiative focuses on building and deploying mobile apps that run smoothly on a wide variety of devices, with the ability to upgrade quickly and often and unlock back-office capabilities “to create a better front-office engagement.”
As part of the landmark Apple-IBM deal, more than a 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions and native apps will be developed exclusively from the ground up for iOS devices.
IBM will optimized their cloud services for iOS, including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration while Apple will use its AppleCare for the Enterprise service to support the needs of enterprise users.
The initiative aims to “bring IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad users.” Additional information about the partnership can be found over at Apple and IBM’s respective websites.
These apps look truly great and business users’ standards for user interfaces and functionality are going to increase vastly. And by raising the bar, Apple and IBM have just made it that much harder for other platforms to catch up in enterprise.
What do you think?