At the dawn of the PC era, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) [stockdata ticker=”AAPL”] and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) [stockdata ticker=”IBM”] were fierce rivals. But the two giants have put their rivalry to an end. The iPhone maker announced Tuesday that it has signed a global “enterprise mobility” deal with the Armonk, New York-based IT juggernaut.
Under the deal, IBM employees will recommend Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s smartphones and tablets to enterprise customers. The two companies will also develop more than 100 apps geared at enterprise clients across various industries. IBM will get a big boost by selling its software and services to businesses seeking to manage their employees’ devices.
With the rise of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend in the enterprise sector, IBM has acquired several mobile software companies to offer mobile business apps. The software company is hoping Apple Inc.’s popularity and simplicity will help it sell more business software for mobile devices. IBM’s revenue has been declining for the past eight consecutive quarters.
Neither of the companies disclosed the financial terms of the deal. Apple Inc. has little presence in the enterprise sector, while IBM has strong relations with business customers for decades. Gartner analyst Van Baker said it’s an unlikely but very strong combination.
Engineers from the two companies are working to develop over 100 apps for various industries such as banking, healthcare, travel, retail, transportation, and telecommunications. These apps will be geared at device management, security, and big-data analytics. IBM also plans to develop cloud services for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iOS.
IBM’s SVP for global business services, Bridget van Kralingen, told Reuters that the company wanted to remove some of the barriers mobile devices face in enterprise. She said that chief information officers still worry about utilizing the cloud, installing apps, and security on mobile devices. IBM wanted to create an “irresistible workflow and processes and a design of apps that can be used by every user in the organization,” added Kralingen.
Under the terms of the deal, IBM employees will offer on-site support and service of Apple Inc. products for enterprise uses, just like the Cupertino-based company provides AppleCare to retail customers. IBM plans to make about 100,000 employees available to the new initiative.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) [stockdata ticker=”AAPL”] shares jumped 1.55% after the announcement to $96.80. IBM gained 1.61% to $191.52.