Apple and IBM have unveiled the first breed of MobileFirst made-for-business apps and supporting cloud services for iPhone and iPad. The new programs bring IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to Apple users in the enterprise. The applications are designed for customers in banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecommunications and for governments and airlines.
“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 IBM MobileFirst applications are developed for devices running Apple iOS 8.1. Thanks to the new programs, employees will be able to access online capabilities and core enterprise processes of their companies with security across the data, apps and devices. The applications can be modified for any company and effortlessly deployed, managed and upgraded via cloud services from IBM. The apps transform Apple’s iPhone and iPad into true corporate business tools.
This first lineup of IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps includes the following:
- Plan Flight (Travel and Transportation) permits 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) lets flight crews to offer an unmatched level of personalized services to passengers in-flight, such as 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) presents 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.
While the first family of programs developed by IBM for Apple’s mobile devices may not address all industries and types of customers. However, they clearly move Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices to a new level.
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KitGuru Says: It will be interesting to see whether the partnership between the two companies will expand from Apple iOS devices to Apple Macintosh computers. If it does, Apple has chances to boost sales of its notebooks in addition to smartphones and tablets.