Apple-IBM partnership: Microsoft today, Google tomorrow

“The new partnership between Apple and IBM will help, in the short term, to get more Apple’s products into corporations. In the longer term, it could help Apple’s cloud efforts as well,” Ross Rubin writes for CNET.

“Under the deal, Apple, which has relatively low penetration in corporations, gets to tap into IBM’s understanding of the enterprise world. IBM, for its part, gains access to popular devices and gives it more leverage to compete with services from Hewlett-Packard and Dell.. The two companies are developing about 100 enterprise apps focusing on specific industries such as retail, health care, banking, transportation, and insurance,” Rubin writes. “The partnership is a warning shot to Microsoft, which controls a broad swath of corporate computing in contrast to the high-end kinds of outsourcing and integration tasks that are the heart of Big Blue’s business.”

“But the alliance is not focused as much on today’s computing experience as it is on the next generation of mobile,” Rubin writes. “The partnership could have even more strategic value to Apple beyond the enterprise and could become an asset against its most formidable mobile competitor, Google… Iif the partnership blossoms, the input of billions of data points from iOS devices could be great fodder for IBM’s analytics while IBM’s cloud expertise leads to stronger products for Apple consumers.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Why Apple’s deal with IBM is the biggest tech news of 2014 – July 18, 2014
Apple’s deal with IBM is a strategic strike in a larger war – July 17, 2014
What Apple gets from its new iOS partnership with IBM – July 17, 2014
The one huge thing missing in Apple’s big enterprise deal with IBM or something – July 17, 2014
Apple+IBM: Winners and losers – July 16, 2014
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Don’t fall for those who claim Apple’s new deal with IBM isn’t important — it’s huge – July 16, 2014
Apple+IBM take on the enterprise: Beleaguered Blackberry another big loser – July 16, 2014
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Tim Bajarin: Apple-IBM deal is bad news for Google and Microsoft – July 16, 2014
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Apple’s IBM alliance kills Google in the enterprise – July 15, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s memo to employees: IBM deal builds on Apple’s incredible momentum in the enterprise – July 15, 2014
Apple, with IBM, aims to transform and dominate enterprise computing – July 15, 2014
Apple and IBM forge global partnership to transform enterprise mobility – July 15, 2014
Microsoft to begin axing thousands of employees as soon as this week – July 15, 2014


  1. This is satisfying at so many levels:

    It gnaws on Microsoft’s hegemony over corporate IT infrastructure.
    It excludes Samsung from a similar alliance with IBM.
    It drives home the final nail in Blackberry’s coffin.

    It also raises a few questions:

    Will disenfranchised manufacturers like Dell and Samsung court either SAP or Oracle for a similar relationship? Conversely, will SAP/Oracle seek a similar official or unofficial alliance (depending on terms and conditions) with Apple?

    Ah, good times.

    1. Why haven’t any analysts or bloggers ever talked about the possibility of SAP/Oracle establishing partnerships with Samsung/Dell and blocking Apple out of their loyal clients???

    2. You’re getting a little ahead of yourself. This is a wait and see operation and nothing has taken place as of yet. If it works out in Apple’s favor then all well and good. However there aren’t that many analysts, critics or pundits saying that Apple has any advantage whatsoever with this alliance in either software sales or displacing IT rivals. Right now, this is more like a plan for the future and nothing more.

      1. I would have agreed with you in the past, but one thing is clear: Tim Cook expects results. He looks at metrics, tweaks approriately and cleans house when there are unsatisfactory results (maps). Mr Cook is a former IBMer so I expect he will hold IBM’s feet to the fire.

        This is actually very good for IBM, because they have a partner that will force them to be better. Tim and Ginny Romnety, IBM’s CEO, seem to have a real business relationship.

      2. Caution on judgements is good, of course. But given what I see in the use of iPhones & iPads in the enterprise, the IBM partnership is the next step — that of developing enterprise apps / services on the devices. That’s been happening already, and this is a major boost for that effort. AAPL will hit enterprise services before MSFT et al hit tablets the way they want. And that’s gotta burn.

        Now wait for the others to come running for similar partnerships. IBM is huge validation.

  2. One can understand why Apple is focused so acutely in the consumer market, but for professional users the IBM relationship can only be a good thing. To my mind, some of Apple’s software products betray their consumer-only focus: one has to wonder if Apple even use their products in house.

    Example 1: Numbers has no pagination function. When I have a long list of transactions I use Excel so that I can import the whole set, set page breaks at month ends, review and insert comment lines and know that every month will start on a new page. I have never worked out how to do this in Pages and I can only imagine that people in Apple’s finance department run MS office.

    Example 2: Time Machine. Brilliantly simple, but so dangerous! Consumers might not care if backups are deleted, but if you are running a business you are required to keep records for several years. if you run low on space, Time machine deletes backup sets automatically, and THEN tells you. In the commercial world not all information is equal. Business registration documents, for instance, have to be retained as long as your business is in operation, and then some.

    iCloud: It is currently impossible to move folders to the cloud. Instead documents must be moved one at a time and then re-ordered in the cloud. I have a lot of documents in my desktop Mac related to a long-running legal dispute. If I want to have access to them for meetings with my legal team I must copy them directly to my MacBook. It’s all very well to provide excellent search tools, but this in no way replaces a carefully ordered file structure. A collection of 2000 documents in a legal matter, containing multiple drafts and covering the same material requires structure. And because the documents come from a myriad of sources they have different naming conventions making identification by file name impossible.

    I love my Macs, but sometimes I feel that Apple is developing for kids and ignoring those who use their equipment for business.

    IBM will be more demanding and I would expect to see many of these blind spots addressed in the next couple of years. I hope so.

    1. “Example 2: Time Machine…”

      If this is a problem for you, you’re using Time Machine wrong. You shouldn’t solely keep files on Time Machine that you want/need that you’ve intentionally deleted from your Mac.

      I’ve seen many people do this, but it’s absolutely breaking the #1 rule of data needing to exist in at least two places at all times. Worse, “storing” needed files exclusively on Time Machine is like storing files in your trash can. It’s a very bad idea.

      The purpose of Time Machine is to act as a safety net in case your drive fails or to recover files that were accidentally deleted or modified.

      If you need to keep records for a period of time, they need to be properly stored with off site backups. There’s plenty of software available for this on the Mac.

      :iCloud: It is currently impossible to move folders to the cloud. “

      This changes with Yosemite.

    2. Yea, you may want to look at a database like FileMaker. You can easily master it and build a very reliable, quickly searchable, and customized environment.

      All you stated I replaced with FileMaker and you can have it hosted at another off site location. You are using a Mac in a consumer home orientated format.

  3. Ugh. As if the delusions of how Android and Microsoft are going to imminently fail weren’t enough (which pretends as if the market for mid-range and low end tech for consumers and businesses whose budgets can’t handle Apple’s premium pricing is going to go away all of a sudden … as if all these people who can’t afford or don’t want to pay for iPhones or MacBooks are going to just go without smartphones and computers entirely or something). Now all the Apple fans are pretending as if IBM is this leading, cutting edge innovative influential enterprise IT company, one whose software, platforms, applications and services are what people actually like and want.

    Reality: IBM is behind – and in many cases far behind – the other enterprise IT/services companies. Amazon, Oracle, SAP, Red Hat, Citrix, EMC/VMWare, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace, Cisco, NetSuite, Zscaler, Salesforce … any list of the CURRENT top enterprise companies (not the top companies in LEGACY SYSTEMS or who might have been the top companies in the EIGHTIES AND NINETIES) will have those BUT NONE OF THEM WILL HAVE IBM.

    Fact II: Do you want to know how badly managed IBM is? They were losing billions on their PC division FOR YEARS and dumped them to Lenovo for a short term cash infusion. (That’s another thing … IBM’s profits and revenues have been declining for years. As more and more companies finally move off their legacy systems – or as more companies who relied on their hardware and software simply go out of business – that will continue.) Lenovo takes their long-failing PC business and makes it #1 in sales and #2 in profits almost overnight. And yes, it was mismanagement. Comparison: while Lenovo is doing much better with Motorola than Google did (which really isn’t saying much) it has been nowhere near the rapid and extremely profitable turnaround as Lenovo did with IBM’s PC business. Where Lenovo merely took Motorola’s smart devices from losing billions to the break-even point (mainly by competing with Samsung in Asia and Europe instead of Google’s strategy of competing with Apple) they took IBM’s own product from losing billions to making billions practically overnight merely by changing management and marketing strategies, and did it without even having the benefit of IBM’s brand name (as they have with Motorola)!

    Guys, if Apple becomes a major player in the enterprise (and it takes more than simply selling iPhones, iPads and even MacBooks to corporate cubicle dwellers to rival, say, Microsoft in the enterprise … you actually need to sell the software, hardware and services that IT departments use to manage corporate networks that those iPads will connect to and to store the data that they will use to make and show presentations) it will take a lot more than dealing with fading IBM to make it happen.

    People are not going to abandon the many companies that are actually better at enterprise hardware and software solutions than IBM just to get iPad apps. And that IBM is using the lure of iPads to sell their enterprise products and services is mighty revealing: it means that they know that no one likes their products otherwise and that they institutionally lack the ability to do anything about it. Their competition, meaning companies that actually make good enterprise products and services, aren’t resorting to this. Why? Because they don’t have to. Their products and services stand on their own, and furthermore already run on iOS and Mac OS X (and Windows and Android too by the way).

    Basically, IBM’s products are the pig. IBM knows that they can’t offer better than the pig because they’re, well, IBM, the same company that Apple skewered as irrelevant in the early 80s and was only kept relevant for a couple more decades after that because of A) Wintel and B) the ability to use the lure of saving a little on the HUGE hardware/software/maintenance/support contracts for their mainframes (which IBM has tried to relabel and remarket for years but really are still mainframes) to force companies to buy their PCs. When that fell apart (mainly because companies started dumping centralized IBM mainframes for distributed Linux servers and other hardware) they couldn’t even pay or bribe people to take their PCs anymore (and yes, this happened long before the iPad came along and hammered PC makers that were actually successful like Dell, Compaq and HP).

    I know that Apple fans have a tendency to glorify companies that partner with Apple (even if that relationship winds up benefiting only Apple and doesn’t make a bit of money for the other company) and demonizing companies that compete with Apple, but the extolling of IBM’s virtues really, truly takes the cake. It willfully ignores that IBM is a troubled company with bad products and management and has been for a long time.

    1. To put it another way … just because IBM chose iOS as their partner instead of Android does not make IBM a good, well-run company. After all, IBM had a strategic partnership with Blackberry too …

  4. The company I worked for has had Mac’s since late 1986 and shortly after that we hooked them up to the mini IBM mainframe that we used for all our accounting. As the Mac evolved I wrote a database application to handle all the customer service functions of the business. At the end of the day we ported over the data to our IBM AS/400 to put it into the accounting software. It has worked great for us for over 25 years. We had all the advantages of a Mac and none of the headaches of Windows.

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