Apple and IBM team up on B2B deal

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Apple looking to expand its enterprise offering after signing deal with software company

Apple and IBM have announced a partnership that will see the two firms develop more than 100 B2B focussed apps for iPhones and iPads.

The joint venture will target enterprise mobility using IBM’s strength in analytics and big data to strengthen Apple’s presence in the enterprise space.

The agreement will also see IBM sell Apple devices pre loaded with suitable apps to its corporate customers. The apps will target industry-specific issues in the retail, banking, healthcare, travel and telecoms sectors.

IBM MobileFirst for iOS will be supported by IBM’s Bluemix development platform. Together, the firms will build apps for a range of B2B uses including analytics, workflow and cloud storage, as well as security integration and device management.

Apple will also provide access to its AppleCare for Enterprise services, meaning 24/7 assistance will be available to any IBM partners who use their devices.

No figures have been released about the deal but IBM CEO Ginni Rometty was bullish about the deal, saying: “This is about two powerhouses unleashing the power of mobility for (businesses). This is going to remake professions and industries.”

The two companies were fierce rivals in the eighties computer market, with Apple even attacking IBM in an advert in 1984.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that the rivalry was behind them and said the deal was a huge opportunity for Apple. Cook added: “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.”

The agreement could cause a major blow to Canadian manufacturer BlackBerry who have been desperately trying to imporve their fortunes in the last few years by focussing on the B2B market.

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