IBM pulls mobile enterprise toolkit together
Under Mobile Foundation banner, integrates products from three acquisitions plus new services for BYOD sites
Published: 1 May, 2012
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IBM has unveiled the latest offering in its stepped-up campaign to dominate the mobile enterprise. It has introduced a set of software and services under the banner of Mobile Foundation, some of them building on its January acquisition of Worklight, whose software simplifies development, delivery and securing of cross-platform mobile applications.
As well as those tools, IBM has also extended its support for the rising trend to BYOD (bring your own device) strategies in enterprises, plus strategy and deployment services. Showing off the new portfolio at its Impact2012 conference in Las Vegas, IBM said its own survey of IT chiefs had found that 75% were harnessing mobile systems to increase flexibility in business and working practices.
The renamed and upgraded IBM Worklight provides a set of cross-platform tools spanning iOS, Android and BlackBerry, and a set of resources via the firm's DeveloperWorks site. The product is based on the Worklight Studio IDE (integrated development environment), which claims to enable rich, cross-platform apps without requiring code translation, proprietary interpreters or unpopular programming languages."
IBM set out a much expanded mobile enterprise stall in June 2010 when it opened a huge new software R&D center in Littleton, Massachusetts, whose major focus is on mobile apps and services. In particular, IBM has been expanding its range of back end software platforms for wireless operators, aiming to help them create new web services for their corporate customers. "We're shifting attention in mobile from a device perspective toward things we can't see," said Al Zollar, general manager of Tivoli, IBM's key back end and middleware system for the enterprise, at the Littleton launch.
For administrators, IBM is rolling out a version of its Endpoint Manager for mobile devices. The system secures any kind of endpoint and is based on technology from another acquisition, 2010's BigFix. This will play in the increasingly important mobile device management (MDM) space, where enterprises are starting to invest large sums as they try to control the rising number of handsets, tablets and wireless notebooks accessing their central databases and services. The IBM offering will secure and manage those devices, enforce corporate access and security policies, and support remote data removal if they are lost or stolen.
IBM also added ways new capabilities in its DataPower appliances, designed to help IT departments bring existing resources easily to mobile devices. And WebSphere Cast Iron, based on yet another purchase, of cloud software specialist CastIron in 2010, links mobile apps to back end infrastructure and the cloud.