Apple and IBM have put rivalries aside since the early days of personal computers and announced a deal that will likely put some of Apple's most popular devices in the hands of corporate users. The deal brings IBM's big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone and iPad. Many of IBM's corporate customers have traditionally depended on the Windows operating system running on IBM's hardware.
With IBM's PC and x86 server business sold to Lenovo within the past 10 years, company executives feel free to develop applications for Apple's operating system and devices. It's an unlikely deal that will increase the use of Apple devices among IBM corporate customers and provide the two companies with insights into data that make many more companies tick.
The duo have been working together for several months on designing and developing more than 100 business software programs exclusively for Apple's iOS operating system and for use on iPhones and iPads based on IBM's MobileFirst for iOS solutions initiatives. The applications are aimed at retail, health care, transportation, banking, insurance and telecommunications.
IBM continues to move toward becoming a services company, shedding its hardware businesses for a cloud infrastructure to help reduce its operating costs and the operating costs of its customers. IBM will serve as a corporate account sales force for Apple products, providing on-site service to support the missing links in Apple's services.
IBM has also built a deep portfolio of services around big data and analytics consulting and technology, drawing expertise from more than 40,000 data and analytics clients. This analytics portfolio spans research and development, solutions, software and hardware, and includes more than 15,000 analytics consultants, 4,000 analytics patents, 6,000 industry solution business partners, and 400 IBM mathematicians who are helping clients use big data to transform their organizations, MediaPost hears.
Aside from the more than 100 apps developed from the ground up, IBM will optimize its cloud services for iOS, including device management, security, analytics and mobile integration. Companies also will see a new AppleCare service and support offering for enterprise companies and bundled services from IBM for device activation, supply and management.