IBM has added a new wave of business-focused mobile applications to its MobileFirst portfolio for Apple's iPad and iPhone devices, adding new choices for retail, transport and financial services customers.
Announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the latest crop of apps join those revealed in December. These were the first to be delivered following the mobile partnership between IBM and Apple announced last year.
The latest IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps comprise Passenger Care for the travel and transport industries, Dynamic Buy for the retail sector and Advisor Alerts for banking and financial services customers.
As with the existing portfolio, the new MobileFirst apps are customisable, and feature embedded analytics and link up to the customer's core enterprise processes.
They have been designed to be easily deployed, managed and upgraded via cloud services from IBM specifically for iOS devices.
Passenger Care is designed to let customer service agents provide assistance to travellers without having to return to their desk to access a computer. This will enable them to offer a smoother, more personalised experience while speeding check-in and easing airport congestion, IBM said.
Dynamic Buy is intended to offer retailers real-time perspective and data-driven recommendations on how products are performing, in order to inform stock purchase decisions.
This kind of process previously relied on the instinct and experience of the stock taker rather than factual insight, IBM claimed.
Advisor Alerts uses analytics to help financial professionals prioritise client-related tasks while on the go, according to IBM.
This involves customised analytics to inform the user what is most important via a personalised dashboard displaying recommended next steps and portfolio-affecting alerts. It also includes communications to quickly delegate tasks to teams back in the office.
IBM claimed that it already has more than 50 "foundational clients" signed up to take advantage of the mobile solutions, including Boots in the UK.
"We set out to transform how millions of workers consume, process and use information when they are outside the four walls of the office," said Fred Balboni, IBM's general manager for the IBM and Apple partnership.
"Our goal is to boost the performance of every enterprise by making all data and processes available to any employee with an iOS device - anytime, anywhere.
Apple and IBM also rolled our a customer in the form of Boots UK to talk up the Sales Assist app that the retailer will be trailing with staff, as Robin Phillips, director of multichannel, Boots UK, explained.
“The pilot of the IBM MobileFirst for iOS Sales Assist app will seek to explore how we can further empower our colleagues to be able to turn each customer interaction into a unique and personal experience,” he said.
"Boots colleagues will have access to real-time data and insight from across the company in the palm of their hands, allowing them to offer shoppers even greater levels of service- including real time stock availability and easy in store ordering.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook promised earlier this year there would be 100 IBM MobileFirst apps released by the end of 2015, as the firms makes the enterprise market a key focus for the future.
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