The “Global Partnership” announced on July 15, 2014, between Apple® and IBM may appeal to more enterprise business technology consumers than would otherwise appear to be the case. In a press release titled Apple and IBM Forge Global Partnership to Transform Enterprise Mobility, the two companies point to an announced area of focus of this partnership on the enterprise business market for “enterprise mobility”. The plan will be to “[bring] IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to iPhone®, and iPad®“.
Anyone following one of the partners in this global effort, Apple, and yet another major force in enterprise computing, Microsoft®, will likely remember another recent announcement, this one on the topic of the availability of the Office suite of desktop automation programs for iOS devices (including, once again, iPhone and iPad).
In light of these two recent events, Apple’s iOS platform takes on a unique position for the enterprise as the only mobile platform supporting not only the Business Intelligence (BI) power of Excel 2013, but also all of the power of IBM’s suite of BI tools. In addition, devices powered by iOS will likely fall under the umbrella of IBM’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, MaaS360. In yet another press release from IBM, this time dated June 6, 2014, a public announcement was made of Gartner’s decision to include IBM’s solution in the “Leader” Quadrant of its 2014 Magic Quadrant for MDM – Report: IBM Named a Leader for Enterprise Mobility Management in Gartner Magic Quadrant.
Based on the above points, in the opinion of this writer, the Apple, IBM Global partnership looks to be of strong interest to enterprise business here in the U.S. If the initial release of software wins marketplace acceptance, it will be likely the effort will expand, potentially to include follow-on efforts built for OSX desktop Mac PCs.
It looks to be a reasonable assumption the products produced by this Global partnership may take yet more market share from BlackBerry. After all, neither the BI applications promised from IBM, nor the Office suite, will run on any of the current set of BlackBerry Mobile devices. Further, while BlackBerry does offer an MDM solution, unlike the one from IBM, it is to be found in the “Niche Quadrant” of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for MDM for 2014.
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