IBM hones mobile strategy

IT companies around the world are honing their mobile strategies as staff and customers spend an increasing amount of their time doing work on tablets, smart phones and laptops.

The latest to join the movement is IBM Corp., which on Thursday took the wraps off what it calls its MobileFirst platform, which pulls together a number of its mobile-related app development, security and analytics software under one roof.

The announcement says a number of them have been updated with expanded capabilities:

–For example, its Worklight mobile application platform has been improved to simplify deployment, and adds single sign-on capabilities for multiple applications. A new beta of the Rational Test Workbench for mobile helps to improve the quality and reliability of mobile apps. 

–an upcoming release of its AppScan Source code analysis software will help organizations reduce the security risks to iOS enterprise applications. AppScan Source 8.7 for iOS, to be released March 25, will include complete language support for Objective-C, JavaScript and Java with the ability to do call and data flow analysis that will generate trace information.

 More APIs that might introduce security risks have also been added to AppScan Source’s security knowledge base and tied to the analysis engine. AppScan Source is a module of AppScan Enterprise.

–mew updates to IBM Endpoint Manager include enhanced support for bring your own device (BYOD) programs and increased security standards that are critical to governments and regulated environments. 

–the Tealeaf CX Mobile solution, which measures customer experience with mobile apps, is being improved to give enterprises more visual insight into mobile behaviors. This app is an add-on to Tealeaf CX, one of a range of products IBM got when it bought Tealeaf Technology last year.

IBM also said it is offering a number of consulting, design and workshop services under the MobileFirst umbrella.

“To date, mobile computing has been dominated by discussions of new smartphones, operating systems, games and apps,” Robert LeBlanc, IBM’s senior vice-president of middleware software, said in a release. “But enterprises have yet to tap into the potential of mobile business. Just as the Internet transformed the way we bank, book vacations and manage our healthcare, mobile computing is also transforming industries. As these devices become ingrained in everything that we do, businesses are now in the palms of their customers’ hands. IBM MobileFirst is designed to make the transformation to becoming a mobile enterprise a reality.”  
IBM officials stressed in an interview that the creation of MobileFirst isn’t a marketing gimmick. Arthur Chiang, vice-president of mobile enterprise services, said it means IBM its focussing on mobile as much as it is on security, business analytics and what it calls “smarter commerce.”  Mike Gilfix, director of mobile enterprise products, said his mandate is to ensure that all IBM solutions have interfaces to the MobileFirst platform.
IBM’s [NYSE: IBM] software line is extensive, so the titles that are included under MobileFirst are ones that are also found under separate category headings within the company. For example, Lotus Domino Designer (for designing Web and mobile apps for mobilizing Lotus Notes applications), WebSphere MQ (a messaging backbone), Web Experience Solutions (for creating Web and mobile content) and WebSphere Cast Iron (a cloud integration framework).

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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