Since the partnership between Apple and IBM was announced in July there has been a
lot of speculation about exactly how each company would benefit from the deal. Now, several months on, it is becoming clearer exactly what the partnership means. Much like Apple’s deal with Visa, the IBM partnership is allowing the manufacturer to harness a range of back end functions and benefit from the association with the respected IBM business brand. IBM, meanwhile, has the opportunity to push itself into the mobile space, an area with which the brand hadn’t been strongly associated.
Apple’s rise in popularity among the business community was partly due to the combination of the growth of BYOD policies and the brand’s strong consumer market share. The manufacturer wanted to strengthen its position in this market and that’s where IBM came in, as Mike Spradbery business leader for IBM mobile software UK, explained: ‘One of the major challenges for enterprises was making Apple devices enterprise ready, but we can solve that. The whole end to end security is where IBM plays really strongly. I don’t think that anyone else has the same capabilities.
‘IBM brand has always been associated with security; we have a 100-year legacy and that’s where our reputation has been. Though it’s not been particularly associated with mobile we believe that is something that we can change and that adding our badge to technologies such as cloud helps to reassure customers.
‘When you’re looking to improve a business’s communications infrastructure, there’s always the physical device aspect, which is why the Apple partnership is key because now that can become a viable device. An organisation’s thinking has to go beyond employees; from stock control to distribution it has to cover all areas of the business. It’s about the whole picture with enterprise.’
Security is always of critical importance when it comes to business and that is another area where Spradbery feels IBM is in the perfect position to deliver: ‘Security is one of the major topics we discuss with clients. According to Gartner only 25% of the most popular mobile apps would pass a basic security check, which if you’re a business is obviously very worrying, especially if you’re operating a BYOD policy. What’s different about IBM when it comes to mobile security is that we don’t pluck out one area and only focus on that. We think about it all; from the back end systems through to the device; we look at the whole package.’