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IBM, Apple introduce MobileFirst retail apps


Armonk, N.Y. – IBM and Apple are releasing the first wave of their previously announced IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions in a new class of made-for-business apps and supporting cloud services.

IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions are now available to enterprise customers in retail, among other industries.

Retail-specific apps include Sales Assist, which enables associates to connect with customer profiles, make suggestions based on previous purchases and current selections, check inventory, locate items in-store, and ship out-of-store items. Apps for retailer also include Pick & Pack, which combines proximity-based technology with back-end inventory systems for optimized order fulfillment.

Enhanced mobile management includes a private app catalog, data and transaction security services, and productivity suite for all IBM MobileFirst for iOS solutions. In addition to on-premise software solutions, services will be available on IBM’s Bluemix development platform on the IBM Cloud Marketplace.

"What we’re delivering aims directly at the new quest of business — smart technologies that unlock new value at the intersection of big data and individual engagement,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior VP, IBM Global Business Services. “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.”

IT departments and end users will receive 24/7 assistance for their devices from Apple’s customer support group, with on-site service delivered by IBM. Built exclusively for iPhone and iPad, IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps are delivered in a secure environment, embedded with Big Data analytics and linked to core enterprise processes. The apps can be customized and deployed, managed and upgraded via cloud services from IBM specifically for iOS devices, with security across the data, app and device.

“This is a big step for iPhone and iPad in the enterprise, and we can’t wait to see the exciting new ways organizations will put iOS devices to work," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing. “The business world has gone mobile, and Apple and IBM are bringing together the world’s best technology with the smartest data and analytics to help businesses redefine how work gets done.”
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