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Enterprise mobility is turning into a big deal and IBM is itching to prove that it's on the case.
The IT products and services giant today debuted its MobileFirst portfolio and pledged to double the company's investments in mobile this year. MobileFirst encompasses a suite of mobile offerings that Big Blue is gathering under the MobileFirst umbrella. They include mobile device management, analytics and mobile developer outreach and support in partnership with AT&T.
The aim, according to Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM middleware software, is to shepherd the bring your own device (BYOD) movement into an era of business-enabled mobility. "To date, mobile computing has been dominated by discussions of new smartphones, operating systems, games and apps. But enterprises have yet to tap into the potential of mobile business," he said in a company statement.
If iOS and Android smartphones and tablets like the iPad aren’t already an integral part of the normal workday, they soon will be, says IBM.
LeBlanc added, "As these devices become ingrained in everything that we do, businesses are now in the palms of their customers' hands. IBM MobileFirst is designed to make the transformation to becoming a mobile enterprise a reality."
In support of that vision, IBM unveiled a unified solutions set, deliverable via the cloud or as managed services, to help enterprises integrate mobility into their IT setups and business processes.
IBM's newly-announced mobile slate includes updates to IBM Worklight, the mobile applications platform that the company acquired last year. Features include single sign-on for multiple applications and a new Rational Test Workbench beta for mobile app testing.
On the mobile device management (MDM) front, IBM announced increased device support and security updates for Endpoint Manager. A refreshed version of AppScan provides vulnerability testing for iOS apps.
IBM is relying on tech from another acquisition, Tealeaf, for mobile analytics. The company plans to expand its Tealeaf CX Mobile visual analytics product to provide organizations a window into mobile behaviors.
Services also play a big role. MobileFirst Strategy and Design Services are anchored by IBM Interactive, the company's new Mobile Maturity Model assessment service and new Mobile Workshops to help clients accelerate their projects. In terms of setting up and managing mobile environments, IBM is enlisting the Enhanced Network Infrastructure Services for Mobile, Mobile Enterprise Services for Managed Mobility and Mobile Application Platform Management units.
Recognizing that developers can make or break a mobile ecosystem, the company has forged a partnership with AT&T that allows coders to integrate features like speech recognition and quick payments via IBM Worklight and AT&T's cloud APIs. IBM is also pouring technical documentation into online resources developerWorks and CodeRally.