IBM inks deal with Bell to soup up iOS enterprise apps in Canada

(c)iStock.com/Valerie Loiseleux

Bell, the largest telecoms provider in Canada, is working with IBM to help offer IBM MobileFirst, the Armonk giant’s enterprise mobility play with Apple, to Canadian businesses.

The telco will ‘combine its expertise in mobility services with IBM’s robust suite of apps tailored to meet the specific needs of professionals across multiple industries, including energy and utilities, government, manufacturing, retail and more’, according to a press release.

In more tangible terms, this means the apps get boosted by Bell’s LTE mobile network, being able to retrieve real-time data and insights anytime, anywhere. The companies give two examples of how this can work; first responders can access GPS data remotely to determine both the location of an incident and the availability of other responders, saving critical moments, while retail buyers and planners can work more effectively by remotely monitoring inventory at different locations.

“In every industry, enterprise mobility is a top priority and considered a critical factor in digital transformation,” said Mahmoud Naghshineh, general manager of the Apple partnership at IBM. “By combining Bell’s network leadership with our expertise in consulting and system integration, Canadian businesses now have a powerful mobile platform that improves business processes and elevates on-the-go employee productivity.”

“Supported by secure and reliable connectivity on Canada’s largest and fastest broadband wireless network, and access to Bell’s broad suite of IoT solutions, enterprise customers can further transform their business,” said Nauby Jacob, Bell Mobility VP of products and services.

Back in 2014, when the IBM and Apple partnership was originally announced, it was of course a major story – this publication putting it as the biggest story of the year, ahead of the VMware AirWatch acquisition by a nose. While it has not all been rosy in the garden for the two behemoths since then – analysts were less than convinced when 10 new enterprise apps were rolled out in July 2015 – the customers announced in 2016 have been solid. Automobile insurer Amica Insurance announced it was equipping more than 170 adjusters with iPad Pros and iPhones, while Finnair, Finland’s largest airline, said it was developing a set of enterprise apps on iOS for mechanics.

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