IBM, Apple Tie-Up Moving Into Cloud

IBM says business-apps partnership with Apple is leading to a range of benefits for enterprise customers.

Iain Morris, International Editor

February 22, 2016

2 Min Read
IBM, Apple Tie-Up Moving Into Cloud

IBM has announced plans to bring Apple's Swift programming language into a cloud environment to spur app development, flagging success stories with several business customers using apps developed through its partnership with the iPhone maker.

The IT giant teamed up with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) in mid-2014 and has produced a variety of business apps for enterprise customers under its MobileFirst banner.

Speaking at this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Phil Buckellew, IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)'s vice president of enterprise mobile, told reporters that moving Swift -- the programming language used for iOS and OS X operating systems -- into the cloud would radically simplify the end-to-end development of apps, with major benefits for business customers.

"Today clients have to connect front-end to back-end systems and often the back ends are written in different languages and that creates conflict," he told reporters at a press briefing. "Bringing Swift into the cloud will allow the front-end and back-end teams to work more closely -- this is the next step in the IBM, Apple partnership."

That partnership has already given rise to more than 100 apps covering 65 professions and 14 industries, says IBM, which shared details of several projects during its partnership.

Want to know more about cloud services? Check out our dedicated cloud services content channel here on Light Reading.

Customers including Etisalat (telecom), Alior (banking), SAS (airline) and RWE (utility) claimed to have seen various business benefits as a result of commissioning MobileFirst apps.

Etisalat Misr, the operator's Egyptian subsidiary, has been making use of apps to help field technicians and IT employees operate more efficiently, says CIO Khaled Almansouri.

"We got engaged with IBM to provide us with a tool that allows technicians to go to basestations and do maintenance and update things on the run," he says. "We're trying to adopt the latest technologies to make sure we can survive in a competitive market."

Apps used by Alior have been designed to improve interactions with customers, while SAS is equipping cabin crews with technologies that will give them easier access to information about flight procedures and allow them to cut down on paper.

Similar to Etisalat, RWE is using an asset-care app that is aimed at boosting efficiency within field operations.

But Etisalat's Almansouri was the most enthusiastic about the benefits of the IBM technology, presenting it as a critical component of his company's digital transformation strategy.

"Most IT projects fail because of integration and data migration issues," he said. "IBM helps to simplify the business processes and is leading the BSS/CRM/billing transformation in our company."

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

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