Apple’s deal with IBM is even more important than you think

“Apple recently signed an exclusive agreement with IBM, whereby Big Blue would develop over 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions for both the iPhone and the iPad,” The Motley Fool writes. “Further, IBM will handle the distribution of both iPhones and iPads equipped with these solutions, which Apple and IBM claim will be industry-specific.”

“Given that Apple’s iPad seems to be the tablet of choice for enterprise usage, as Apple and IBM claim that 98% of Fortune 500 companies and over 92% of Global 500 companies use iOS devices in their businesses, this opens up a choice portion of the enterprise-focused tablet market to IBM,” TMF writes. “IBM, on the other hand, is a leader in the key areas that cover this deal — security, analytics, device management, and cloud services — which will enhance the already strong value proposition that the iOS platform brings to the table for enterprise use. It really looks like a win for both parties.”

“The applications IBM will be providing for iOS will be Apple-exclusive. However, in addition to these, many firms write custom applications for their platforms of choice,” TMF writes. “Once Apple is ‘in’ a particular enterprise, and once the in-house software development efforts are squarely focused on iOS, it will be very hard for competitors to displace Apple, at least to a greater extent than it is in the consumer space.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Die, Windoze, die!

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    1. That is true. However, programing in Apple’s Swift language can easily be compiled for Apple Mac OSX. Not to Microsoft Windows. Swift will starve out applications ported into other products.

  1. What, now MDN suddenly cares what Motley Fool is selling?

    If all IBM does is write apps for iOS, then Microsoft has nothing to worry about. MS will still own the backbone in most enterprises. If, however, IBM leverages OS X, then indeed MS should be shaking in their boots.

  2. Yes, and when those corporate custom apps are developed for iOS in Swift, all those other crap Android devices are cut off. Few companies will rewrite in the old long winded C language. Maybe Samsung will supply programers so Android devices can be used if anyone really wants to downgrade to one!

    Swift removes Androids bridges. One of Apple’s best decisions ever.

    1. Android is simply Linux, an open source software. All Google did was pile a bunch of OPTIONAL Java code on top of it to tie-in profitable (licensed) Google services to whatever smartphone makers are dumb enough to rely on Google for email, calendar, and search functions.

      It remains to be seen if Swift offers substantial advantages to overcome the switching costs away from Linux, which is solid enough to underpin a lot of business systems. We should hope so, but let’s assess the facts rather than assuming that Apple suddenly got it right.

  3. Gee, why downvote the one guy who was telling the truth? (Well, mostly.) Microsoft’ strength in the enterprise IS NOT due to business applications. Microsoft doesn’t do “business solutions”, or custom applications for each business, applications that help an individual company access, analyze and present its own unique data, because that is a difficult, relatively low yield market, like Siebel, Unisys, Minolta, Oracle etc. Microsoft makes general purpose desktop and server operating systems and applications. IBM does too, but this deal has nothing to do with that side.

    ” If, however, IBM leverages OS X, then indeed MS should be shaking in their boots.”

    How, pray tell? First off, IBM has no reason to leverage OS X because they have their own enterprise server backbone software. (Amazing how so many Apple fans that are absolutely convinced that this deal will cause Apple to beat Microsoft in the enterprise know so little about the enterprise.)

    Second, there is precious little about OS X to leverage. The server OS is one thing and is actually quite trivial. The enterprise software on the server is what matters. For instance, Windows NT/Windows Server is nothing but a more secure, more powerful and robust version of Windows; little different from Windows XP, 7 or Vista for example. But the issue is that Windows Server runs the Microsoft database, directory service, web server, file server, print server etc. products. As Apple does not make such products, switching to OS X would mean having to go to third party sources for them. And that would actually be WORSE than running your enterprise on, say, Red Hat Linux, because there are already a ton of well known enterprise applications for RHEL. And oh yes, Mac OS X would be competing with IBM’s own enterprise products. Why would IBM undercut their own (struggling) enterprise server business by promoting Mac OS X?

    Basically, the people who keep talking about how important this is for the enterprise have no background in IT. They just plug their Macbooks into the corporate LAN and have no concept about what else goes on in the enterprise.

    As far as the “die Windows die” crack … PEOPLE IN THE ENTERPRISE WILL STILL NEED PCs. The tablet form factor is not suitable for real, intensive, productive work. This is not an anti-Apple statement. Basically, workers will use the IBM apps on their iPads to retrieve data, and use that data to write reports (and do other real work) on their Windows 9 PCs (if Microsoft gets it right) or on their Chromebooks (if Microsoft doesn’t).

    The only way that Windows will “die, die” in the enterprise is if Apple is able to offer something compelling to get companies to replace their Windows PCs with MacBooks and Mac Minis. This does not do this. Instead, all this does is give companies a reason to offload SOME of the work that they are currently doing on a Windows PC onto a secondary device. Which will still remain a secondary device. A PC will remain the primary device BECAUSE PCs ARE DESIGNED TO BE PRIMARY DEVICES. Tablets will remain secondary devices, whether they are iPads, Android tablets, Windows tablets, Ubuntu tablets (assuming they ever get on the market), you name it.

    Despite all the hype, ask someone who actually works in IT. They will tell you that all will come of this deal with IBM is Apple moving a few more iPads. Which is not that big a deal since 99% of the tablets used in the enterprise are iPads already. It won’t result in more MacBooks being sold, and it certainly won’t make IBM’s enterprise solutions (which everyone pretty much hates) any better. And that’s the big point. If IBM weren’t a struggling shell of its former self with profits declining for years, they would have never pursued a deal that ties them to one operating system – iOS – to begin with. The companies that are actually SUCCEEDING in the enterprise are developing multi-platform solutions, either browser-based ones or HTML5 apps.

    1. I agree with much of what you wrote. Great comment, 5 stars, would read again…

      But I don’t think people are saying that they expect Apple to make gains in the enterprise as far as servers are concerned. Instead, it’s more that maybe we’ll see more of the following happening or at least being allowed:

      “they just plug their Macbooks into the corporate LAN.. “

      Although ironically, your last sentence actually provides more hope for this, “The companies that are actually SUCCEEDING in the enterprise are developing multi-platform solutions, either browser-based ones or HTML5 apps.”

      For the IBM deal to help pave the way to more Macs in the enterprise, something else would need to grow from the relationship such that IBM would want to port those iOS apps to OS X.

  4. Unfortunately, Wall Street yawned and said it won’t help Apple boost hardware sales one bit. In other words, it evoked the same response as most anything Apple attempts to do. It’s hard to recall any deal that Apple has made that was expected by Wall Street to do well for Apple. Even these buybacks were considered a waste of time by most of Wall Street and they believed the money would have been better spent elsewhere. The Apple/IBM alliance was looked upon as a desperate attempt for Apple to get friendly with the enterprise but would ultimately fail.

    1. There’s nothing unfortunate about this. the single biggest news is that IBM solutions will have access to more private APIs than before.

      will this make a difference to you? no. will it make a difference to the person running the software. yes.

      Will it move the stock price? no

      will it help me move into a new home? no.

  5. IBM is working on making chips better than Intel. (faster)
    Really think that wouldn’t help Apple?
    And I’m talking MAC.. Desktops still have a future. Can I edit 4K 3d Video, on an iPad ?

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