MWC 2016: Apple and IBM Team Up to Push Enterprise Apps

The Giants Join Hands to Offer MobileFirst Apps across a Range of Industries

Alior Bank using MobileFirst Apps
Alior Bank's Trusted Advice App; Image © IBM.

March 02, 2016

In mid-2014, Apple and IBM had joined hands in order to create apps for enterprise, running on iPhones and iPads. By December 2015, the giants had touched the milestone of a 100 enterprise apps. Last week at the Mobile World Congress 2016 held at Barcelona, 3 CIOs and a mobile solutions manager spoke about this connection and how they were planning to work with these news apps, thereby improving overall productivity and efficiency in their respective companies.

These customers are associated with diverse fields such as banking, power generation, telecommunication and air travel, and are based in Poland, Sweden, Egypt and Germany.

Apple and IBM’s plan of attracting enterprise users has obviously started working. Combining IBMs expertise in back-end systems and cloud computing; then creating applications to run on the iOS platform; is now encouraging companies to use the iOS devices and apps in order to reduce tedious paperwork and processing time.

For those interested, IBM has posted a list of its MobileFirst for iOS apps on its own Website.

Let us now take a look on how these apps will benefit the industries mentioned above….

  • Banking

Alior Bank in Warsaw, Poland, is providing its bank officials with the Trusted Advice iPad app to meet up with customers and educate them about investing funds. This app also offers customers real-time information on the various investment products available, along with their respective rates of return.

Using this app, potential customers can avail interactive data and even sign agreements digitally on the iPad. Alior stated that it would be purchasing 1,300 new iPhones, iPads and MacBooks in order to run these apps.

Furthermore, IBM announced that it would soon introduce 3 more apps to serve the banking sector and customers even better.

  • Power Generation

A new iPad Mini app called Asset Care now helps coal mining field technicians to easily supervise, inspect and maintain huge amounts of excavator equipment, right from its console. This app runs on a Mini that is covered with a ruggedized case, in order to protect the device, while technicians drill down in order to assess and work with the situation beneath the surface.

  • Telecommunications

Etisalat Misr is a telecom company based in Cairo, Egypt. It uses the Expert Tech app, which assists technicians travel to store locations; also find and fix network issues. Employees of this company receive work orders on their iPads and can prioritize them with the analytic tools provided for the same. In case of doubt, they can even contact other experts via video chat. The company is already seeing positive results productivity-wise and expects that this app will considerably bring down service costs in the near future.

  • Air Travel

SAS, a Stockholm-based Swedish airline, will soon launch a Passenger Plus app for the iPad. This app aims to help flight crews login securely and find their personalized flight assignments; as also to receive critical information regarding passenger status, baggage count and so on.

This will go a long way in reducing paperwork and give crews the much-needed information at the mere tap on the screen.

Swift Moving to the Cloud

At its press event at the MWC 2016, IBM additionally announced that it is now the first cloud provider to enable developers to create apps in native Swift code. The company made the same statement at its InterConnect Cloud and Mobile Conference as well. IBM will integrate the Apple Swift runtime and package catalog and its own Cloud service, in order to encourage cloud-based enterprise app development, using Swift.

Last year, Apple had open-sourced its Swift programming language to developers. IBM had released a Swift Sandbox in order to enable developers to work with server-side programming in Swift. Since then, over 100,000 developers from all over the world have used this facility; testing over 500,000 Swift programs

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