IBM, AT&T Partner To Enhance Apps In 15 Industries

When global tech giants collaborate for the sake of progressing enterprise mobility, the outcome is often innovative and game-changing.

A new partnership between IBM and AT&T hopes to do just that, as Big Blue is utilizing its partnership with Apple’s iOS to create industry-specific enterprise apps for AT&T business customers, joining two of the world’s technology leaders.

Announced this week, AT&T and IBM are establishing a joint Mobile Innovation Lab that will support the deployment of prebuilt and custom enterprise apps, all on the iOS platform. “The two companies will work closely with enterprise customers across multiple industries to design a complete mobile platform that fits their business needs – from device deployment to app integration and management – and accelerates their digital transformation,” IBM said in a statement.

With that, AT&T will have access to a catalog of more than 50 market-ready apps that span 15 industries, including retail, consumer products, financial services, transportation and manufacturing, among others.

IBM has been leveraging its partnership with iOS for years now, building industry-specific apps and technologies. As previously reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, airline Finnair partnered with IBM to enable the company’s use of iOS enterprise apps on iPads on each aircraft.

See related: IBM Helps iOS Apps Take Flight In Airline Enterprise

It’s no surprise these companies are using Apple’s capabilities as the backbone to their mobile transformation. Surveys conducted earlier this year showed 82% of enterprise mobility “moments” were done inside the iOS platform, compared to just 18% on Android.

See related: Alaska Air Uses iPhones, iPads For Rapid Mobile Transformation

“AT&T is already utilizing IBM MobileFirst for iOS capabilities for its own transformation with the recent implementation of the MDU Tracker app for field technicians,” the statement said. “We designed and developed this custom iOS app using an employee-centric approach, creating functionality with input from the perspective of AT&T’s technicians who rely on the app to complete job assignments in the field.”

The enterprise app market is evolving more rapidly than other pieces of the mobile transformation puzzle, as companies battle internally to decipher if in-house development or third party solutions make the most sense for them. In a previous study fielded by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, 26% of IT managers said in-house developed enterprise apps are too hard or confusing to use, while another 22% said those apps lacked the necessary functionality. A movement toward ready-made apps is quickly picking up steam.

See related: Why Ready-Made Apps Are The Future Of Enterprise Mobility

“The trend is certainly moving toward that, said Murali Nathan, Solutions Architect for Avery Dennison. “Much larger companies are getting into this space, creating a suite of apps that handle multiple use cases. There’s a lot of potential for well-integrated and better performing apps, especially with machine learning and Artificial Intelligence on the rise, as well as IoT entering the picture.”

Mobile transformation is only as good as the software inside those devices, and seeing solution providers big and small create new ways to tackle workflows through enhancing legacy systems will springboard users into a new set of capabilities.