IBM, Apple partner launch new B2B apps

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A slew of made-for-business apps for iPhones and iPads have been launched thanks to a collaborative effort between Apple and IBM, the outcome of a partnership forged earlier in the year between the two tech rivals.

In a press statement, Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services, said: “Our collaboration combines IBM’s industry expertise and unmatched position in enterprise computing, with Apple’s legendary user experience and excellence in product design to lift the performance of a new generation of business professionals.”

They dub the releases “a new class of industry specific business apps.”

Called IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions, the apps aim to help businesses and employees reach “full capabilities wherever they interact with clients—faster, easier and more securely than ever before,” according to the release.

Delivered as a cloud service, the apps – customizable and upgradeable – assist with specific tasks in certain industries, including airlines, banking, retail and telecommunications. More apps are promised in the near future.

For the travel and transport fields, two apps have been launched: Plan Flight and Passenger+.

Plan Flight helps keep track of fuel expenses, helps pilots gauge a cost-effective fuelling agenda, list flight plans, crew manifests, and allows the user to report problems to ground crews. Pilots can also receive a summary of airport traffic and weather.

Passenger+ is geared toward flight crews to keep track of VIP passengers, re-booking, and baggage information.

In the banking and financial sectors, the new apps include Advise & Grow, and Trusted Advice.

Advise & Grow provides bankers relevant client information at the tip of their fingers, as well as allowing secure access to client profiles. Like any app, Trusted Advice can run in a home, office or at a power lunch, with the capability to not just view client data, but analyze competitive market data, and process loan applications.

For the government sector comes Case Advice and Incident Aware. The former is geared toward social workers, providing historical records and assessment data, providing the user easily accessible client information without the bulky paperwork.

For law enforcement officers, Incident Aware will offer real-time access to maps and video-feeds of incident locations. The app keeps track of victim status, escalation risk, and crime history. Other features include the rapid ability to call for back-up.

In the retail realm, apps such as Sales Assist and Pick & Pack have been launched. Sales Assist provides employees access to customer profiles, and keeps track of purchases to make suggestions based on client preferences. Also helpful is the in-depth inventory gauge, locating where an item is in-store.

Pick & Pack allows sales associates – in any part of the store – to have real-time access to the product information and availability.

Expert Tech – geared toward the telecommunications sector – was built for field-service technicians who want to keep track of vehicles, inventory, job routes, maps and traffic, as well as show clients their technical needs through video.

And finally, for the insurance industry, comes Retention, ideal for agents to retrieve customer profiles and history, as well as suggested next steps for the agent.



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