Strategic CIO // Digital Business
Commentary
7/17/2014
10:49 AM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
Commentary
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IBM-Apple Deal Feeds CIO App Ambitions

But do CIOs want Apple-only, ready-made apps? Custom, in-house apps have advantages.

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MDMConsult14
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MDMConsult14,
User Rank: Moderator
7/25/2014 | 8:23:08 AM
Re: The Devil is in the Details
CIO apps are an effective way to increase speed, productivity, efficiency and reliability. Yes, BYOD will continue to be driven by C-level.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
7/18/2014 | 6:01:13 PM
Re: "Exclusive" applies to Apple, but not necessarily IBM
The parameters of the exclusivity have not been made public so far as I'm aware. It could mean that IBM is the only Apple Care for Enterprise support provider. Or it could be defined differently.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
7/18/2014 | 2:29:21 PM
Re: The Devil is in the Details
That sentiment of "It would be great if ..." I think is exactly what this deal must address. This deal will make a difference to IT pros only if IBM is plugged into that vibe. Great insight, TerryB. 
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
7/18/2014 | 1:52:46 PM
Re: The Devil is in the Details
We don't use Lync or Sync here, even though we are AD we do not even use Exchange. We are Lotus Notes, which it's Traveler pushmail software does a great job of supporting all phones.

So I'm not sure if you are saying Lync/Sync goes beyond email and is also a VPN appliance or not. We need someting on iPhone which could create a VPN tunnel so that apps on phone can access data sources from my IBM i5 server sitting on a 10.29.x.x private network. Then I could have WAN apps.

Internally, it would great if my supervisors could walk shopfloor using iPhone/iPad apps tapped into my i5 server. But with our access points being RADIUS2 (by Corp std), not possible. We would have to configure access points to produce a non RADIUS network also, which defeats purpose of having RADIUS in the first place.

Like I said, our Corp guys took the easy way out now, just said we don't support tablets and phones connected to our private network. Seems hard to believe in this day and age but that is reality. Keep in mind we are heavy business to business manufacturer, we don't face consumers. So that makes this "head in sand" approach to mobile Touch apps even feasible.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
7/18/2014 | 9:59:43 AM
Re: The Devil is in the Details
Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Sync support iPhones as well as Blackberry Enterprice.  These tools can support access to back end recourses.  Maybe this is what Apple and IBM will work on, providing the middleware for this access.
TerryB
IW Pick
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
7/17/2014 | 1:58:05 PM
The Devil is in the Details
I have enormous respect for IBM, they rarely swing and miss on much. But I'm still not understanding exactly what is going on here.

Apps need data to work. The data in the enterprise is in many, many forms. As a developer, I live in the world where you connect the front end to the back end. So just what back end data sources can these apps talk to?  Web Services?  REST or SOAP? SQL compliant databases? SAP and Oracle adapters?

The latter is a special problem, licensing. Because those adapters are code based, you must have a SAP/Oracle client license to even connect to them.

I'm very curious what these 100 industry specific apps turn out to be. I heard one was "budgeting and forecasting" or "expense report processing". Those type apps have to integrate at back end, and there are a LOT of back ends to integrate with.

Now, would not surprise me if IBM planned on this, wants to be the integrator you hire to do the back end work to connect up to these pre built iPhone apps. That would make them a very smart cookie if it happens.

Integrating the iPhone into the enterprise network is not even possible at our MS AD based system. iPhones do not participate in AD to connect to our RADIUS wifi. I've still not seen a VPN solution which can use WAN to connect iPhone to private network to access internal servers for data. The only technique I know which works is to use reverse proxies to make internal sources public. Getting organized to do that in your back end legacy network is not trivial, leaving all security aspects aside.

This will be interesting to watch.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
7/17/2014 | 1:32:44 PM
IBM on the edge is IBM in new territory
This insightful commentary points out how this deal is a major departure for IBM, as well as Apple. It's stayed away from application software, after a couple of false starts into it over 15 years ago. Now it's going to not only provide the end user, data handling application but it's going to do so it what it hopes is a user friendly, iOS format. That's going to be a leap, and will spur Oracle and SAP to stop bashing each other and start bashing IBM on the edge.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
7/17/2014 | 12:45:53 PM
"Exclusive" applies to Apple, but not necessarily IBM
While the announcement may underscore the "exclusive" nature of this deal, I believe that applies to Apple's choice of a business software and selling partner. I DO NOT believe that it means that IBM will be backing away from working with other mobile platforms and devices as a provider of mobile application development software, mobile-management software, or as a provider of mobile-device procurement, configuration, provisining and management services.

There may be fallout from these deal, whereby Apple competitors get cozier with IBM competitors, but I don't see IBM dropping support for other platforms or losing its ability to deal with a heterogeous mobile enterprise.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
7/17/2014 | 12:20:54 PM
Feeding the enterprise app store pipeline
I'll be interested to see whether IBM also becomes a conduit for other enterprise software makers it partners with to get into the app store and address needs beyond those IBM can fill itself.
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