updated 06:28 pm EDT, Tue July 15, 2014
New AppleCare tailored for enterprise, IBM to sell iOS devices with custom apps
[Updated with text from Tim Cook's memo to employees] In a surprise move, Apple and IBM have announced a new partnership that will see the enterprise giant working with the iPhone maker to bring more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions to the iOS platform as native apps for iPhone and iPad, as well as see IBM selling and leasing iOS devices pre-loaded with industry-specific solutions to its business clients. The exclusive deal also includes new AppleCare service and support plans tailored for enterprise, and IBM enterprise cloud services optimized for iOS.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM Chair, President and CEO Ginni Rometty issued a joint statement in which Cook said that the company will, "for the first time ever" put 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." Apple, which already dominates corporate mobile IT with its offerings, will bolster its image with enterprise through the partnership with IBM.
Rometty added that "this alliance with Apple will build on our momentum in bringing these innovations to our clients globally, and leverages IBM's leadership in analytics, cloud, software and services. We are delighted to be teaming with Apple, whose innovations have transformed our lives in ways we take for granted, but can't imagine living without. Our alliance will bring the same kind of transformation to the way people work, industries operate and companies perform."
IBM says it will develop "unique" cloud services for iOS that include device management, security, analytics and mobile integration alongside new "packaged offerings" from IBM for device activation, supply and management. The company is preparing MobileFirst for iOS solutions that will draw on the firm's big data and analytics capabilities, while Apple will focus on AppleCare policies that cater to large-scale enterprise deployments. IBM says the first wave of enterprise apps targeting specific industry issues and opportunities should be arriving this fall and into 2015.
"AppleCare for Enterprise will provide IT departments and end users with 24/7 assistance from Apple's award-winning customer support group, with on-site service delivered by IBM," notes the release, adding that IBM "will deliver the services required for an end-to-end enterprise capability, from analytics, workflow and cloud storage, to fleet-scale device management, security and integration. Enhanced mobile management includes a private app catalog, data and transaction security services, and productivity suite for all IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. In addition to on-premise software solutions, all these services will be available on Bluemix -- IBM's development platform on the IBM Cloud Marketplace."
[Update] Shortly after the announcement, Cook issued a memo to employees that reads as follows:
Today, we announced a groundbreaking new partnership with IBM that will enable enterprises to put the power of big data analytics at their employees' fingertips on their iOS device. This exclusive global partnership brings together Apple's legendary ease-of-use and integrated hardware and software with IBM's unmatched industry depth, enterprise software and expertise in big data analytics.
It also builds on the incredible momentum in Apple's enterprise business. The iPhone and iPad can be found in 98 percent of the Fortune 500. People love to use iOS devices, and Apple delivers the things companies need most-security and scalable deployment along with a powerful platform for apps. With this announcement, we're now 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 only Apple and IBM can deliver.
IBM is known for helping customers leverage big data and analytics to make their businesses run better. With over 100,000 consultants and sales professionals, they also have massive scale and global reach. IBM's sales and consulting teams will also be selling iPad, iPhone and AppleCare for Enterprise as part of the partnership.
This partnership brings together the best of both companies. It's great news for Apple, IBM and for enterprise customers worldwide and I'm really excited to see it take off.