Apple and IBM have delivered the first fruits of their partnership announced in July 2014 with a suite of made-for-business apps for the iPhone and iPad.
IBM have released MobileFirst iOS apps for banking, retail, insurance, financial services, telecommunications, airlines and governments.
Organisations using the products include Citi, Air Canada, Sprint and Banorte.
At the time Apple and IBM originally annouced the deal, Apple CEO Tim Cook (pictured with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty) said: "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."
The enterprise apps include Plan Flight, a flight information system for pilots; Passenger+, designed to help flight crews offer personalised services to passengers in-flight; Advise & Grow, a banking app to support small business clients; and Trusted Advice, an app for the banking and financial markets which allows advisors to access and manage client portfolios.
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Other apps include Case Advice, an app for governments designed to support caseworkers; Incident Aware, which provides law enforcement officers with real-time access to maps and video feeds; and Sales Assist, a retail app to assist with inventory checks, locating items in-store and shipping out-of-store items.
Citi chief client experience, digital and marketing officer for global consumer banking Heather Cox said mobile innovations are driving how the firm delivers "superior client experiences", particularly those that extend its enterprise expertise to the point of customer contact.
“There’s terrific energy in our collaboration with IBM and Apple around the goal of equipping our professionals with mobile capability, which will create new competitive advantage and enable us to re-imagine how we share our knowledge to improve the quality of life for our clients," she said.
While it is clearly popular with consumers, as Computer Weekly recently reported, Apple has not previously put much emphasis supporting iPads and iOS in the enterprise.
Organisations deploying iOS needed specialist resellers to support the Apple hardware and operating system. The IBM deal means iPad and iOS deployments are supported by IBM's global services business.