Apple has joined forces with IBM in a bid to secure a slice of the business mobile market, against competing efforts from Google, Microsoft, BlackBerry and Samsung.
The deal will see IBM create a cloud-based mobile device management system, which will compete against existing offerings such as BlackBerry BES, Microsoft Intune, and Samsung Knox. BES already supports iOS devices, while Knox is set to be integrated as part of Google Android L.
Aside from MDM, IBM will develop cloud-based security, analytics and mobile integration services for Apple devices running iOS.
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IBM also plans to develop 100 industry-specific apps for iPhone and iOS, which could potentially compete against integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning) solutions including Oracle, SAP and Microsoft Dynamics.
“For the first time ever we’re putting IBM’s renowned big data analytics at iOS users’ fingertips, which opens up a large market opportunity for Apple. This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver,” said Apple chief executive Tim Cook in a statement.
The rollout will see new AppleCare products designed for enterprise customers, while IBM will offer packaged offerings for iPhone and iPad device activation, supply and management.
The two tech giants have had a mixed track record in terms of collaboration, with notable failures including the jointly developed Taligent operating system and the ill-fated Kaleida multimedia platform.