Apple and IBM team up to target business users

Tech firms partner to sell iPhones and iPads packed with business apps to enterprise clients

Hooking up with IBM may help address lingering concerns about smartphone software security and data privacy, in the form of a veteran partner that’s led in enterprise IT for decades.

Hooking up with IBM may help address lingering concerns about smartphone software security and data privacy, in the form of a veteran partner that’s led in enterprise IT for decades.

Wed, Jul 16, 2014, 07:20

IBM will partner exclusively with Apple to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with applications geared at enterprise clients this fall, the company announced late on Tuesdaay.

The announcement, just two days before IBM releases its second quarter earnings, comes as the company attempts to shift its focus to software and services as its hardware unit continues to slump, and follows a string of mobile software acquisitions. The company hopes software sales will contribute half of its total profit by 2015.

The company will release more than 100 apps targeting industry specific issues in retail, healthcare, banking, travel, transportation and telecommunications IBM said on Tuesday.

“We wanted to focus on creating an absolutely irresistible workflow and processes and a design of apps that can be used by every user in the organisation,” Bridget van Kralingen, IBM’s senior vice president of global business services said from Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

“We wanted to remove some of the existing barriers of mobile in enterprise,” she said adding that chief information officers worry about security, utilising cloud and installing apps in mobile devices.

The partnership, which was six months in the making, will offer services geared at security, mobile device management and big data and analytics. The company also plans to develop cloud services optimized for Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS. The devices will operate through wireless carriers chosen by the client, she said.

BlackBerry shares were down 3 per cent following the announcement. The Canadian smartphone maker has increasingly targeted its secure software at businesses as part of an effort to turn the company around after losing ground to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics .

Apple and Samsung have steadily expanded their share of the mobile enterprise market in recent years, mostly at Blackberry’s expense, while Microsoft Windows phones have made little headway.

Increasingly, Apple’s expansion has been driven by employees bringing in their own devices and requesting corporate support, the so-called bring-your-own-IT trend.

Hooking up with IBM may help address lingering concerns about smartphone software security and data privacy, in the form of a veteran partner that’s led in enterprise IT for decades.

IBM shares were up 1.9 per cent and Apple shares rose 1.3 per cent after the bell following the announcement.

The apps will be supported through AppleCare, Apple’s hardware warranty and customer service.