IBM expands mobile enterprise offerings

BYOD products are a focus of Big Blue's mobile initiatives

IBM (NYSE: IBM) is expanding its mobile software and services capabilities in a market that is predicted by McKinsey & Co. to reach $130 billion in revenue by 2015.

The new products span the gamut of mobile IT requirements, including mobile IT strategy planning and execution, mobile data analytics, mobile app development and deployment, mobile social media, and mobile device access control, which helps enterprises address the growing BYOD trend.

IBM said it is upgrading its endpoint manager for mobile devices to help enterprises deal with the BYOD trend. IBM said it has simplified processes to secure devices and enable employees to manage their own devices, so that IT departments can focus on the backend security and compliance needs.

"Clearly this product is an extremely valuable asset for organizations doing BYOD," said Phil Buckellew, vice president of IBM mobile enterprise.

The expanding use of mobile devices is placing a burden on Wi-Fi networks. IBM said it has improved the visibility and service of Wi-Fi networks to prevent outages and identify troubled spots by incorporating IBM Netcool/OMNIbus into its endpoint manager product. 

"There are a lot of challenges with BYOD. We have a lot of assets across our portfolios that are oriented to ensuring that as more information goes out to mobile devices" it remains secure, Buckellew told FierceMobileIT. "Additionally, we are working to create integration between our platform and traditional security solutions," he added.

According to Forrester Research statistics provided by IBM, mobile spending is predicted to reach $1.3 trillion by 2016. In addition, there are expected to be 200 million employees bringing their mobile devices to work by 2016.

IBM is adding its IBM Tealeaf data analytics capability to its mobile portfolio. IBM Tealeaf provides chief marketing officers, e-commerce and customer service professionals with access to real-time and automated insights into online customer buying experiences across online and mobile devices.

With its social business enhancements, IBM explained that an enterprise's mobile workforce can use their mobile devices to blog, get live updates from their social networks, and access and edit files. New remote data wipe capabilities also help protect company data in case a device is lost or stolen.

In addition, IBM is enhancing its Mobile Foundation, which includes app development, cloud integration and device management, to better support native app development and provide offline data synchronization. IBM supports, integrates, manages and deploys mobile applications for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Android, Windows and Blackberry devices.

"With the trend around BYOD, there is more fragmentation [in mobile applications] ... Being able to cost effectively build applications that span multiple platforms is important," Buckellew said.

IBM also launched  IBM Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution, which helps app builders develop across multiple platforms. The company said the product improves app delivery time by 25 percent, reduces the cost of development and reduces defects by 20 percent.  

Gartner identified IBM as a niche player in the mobile application development platform market, competing with leaders SAP and Antenna, among others. So IBM has a long way to go in the mobile application development space, but these initiatives are step in the right direction.

For more:
- check out IBM's release
- see Forrester data

Related Articles:
SAP, Antenna lead large mobile app developer pack
Big Blue takes on BYOD security