Apple Teams with IBM to Sell Mobile, Cloud Apps to Business Customers
Friday, July 25, 2014
Posted by: Rhette Baughman
Apple Inc. and IBM Corp. are partnering to sell corporate clients a new array of mobile apps and services as workers increasingly compute on the go.
The deal creates allies out of historical rivals who once tussled over the personal computer market, a rivalry immortalized in Apple’s “Big Brother” ad, which painted IBM in Orwellian tones. It vaults Cupertino-based Apple forward in the enterprise market and may give IBM a new sales angle when pitching clients about their mobile needs.
IBM and Apple will develop more than 100 industry-specific apps that will run on iPhones and iPads, including programs for security, analyzing data and managing devices, according to an IBM press release.
Apple shares bumped up about 1 percent in after-hours trading after closing down $1.13 at $95.32. IBM shares rose more than 2 percent in after-hours trading. They had closed down $1.37 at $188.49.
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said the partnership will help her company address issues that had been inhibiting deployment of wireless technology among businesses. IBM will begin to sell iPhones and iPads to its corporate customers as part of the deal.
In addition to the 100 apps the companies will deploy IBM cloud services optimized for Apple's mobile operating system iOS. A new Apple customer support program will be developed to support corporate users, and IBM will package device activation, supply and management.
The deal may give IBM a new way to re-engage with existing (and past) customers. For Apple, it may over time bolster the company's enterprise business and lessen its reliance on consumer purchasing cycles.
The partnership is bad news for Blackberry Limited, which became the default business mobile phone a decade ago and has tried to hang on to that market despite its own decline and the rise of Apple's iPhone and Google Inc.'s Android devices.
Android and its hardware manufacturing partner Samsung have also looked to expand into the enterprise market, seeking business clients through their Android for Work initiative. Samsung introduced its Knox mobile security feature in 2013 and Google also this year bought Divide to bolster Android devices' security standards to fit corporate requirements.
Oracle is also bolstering its mobile offerings for corporate clients, having last year bought Bitzer Media last year to improve mobile security for workers who use their phones for business and pleasure.
Originally published at Silicon Valley Business Journal. Written by Greg Baumann.
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