IBM Upgrades MobileFirst And Launches MessageSight

Big Blue launches the MessageSight appliance for the M2M sector and refreshes its MobileFirst solution

IBM is targetting the mobility needs of enterprises after it announced new software, hardware and services in support of its Smarter Planet strategy.

This included an extension of its MobileFirst initiative, at the IBM Impact 2013 conference held 28 April to 2 May.

Enterprise Mobility

IBM extended its MobileFirst portfolio with the introduction of new mobile analytics capabilities and cloud services that enable users to design more engaging mobile offerings to reach customers, partners and employees in new and compelling ways. As a result, mobile apps can be constantly tailored to meet the needs of the specific audience they are trying to reach.

Mobile phones © Fernando Gonzalez S, Shutterstock 2012Introduced in February, IBM MobileFirst is a collection of mobile enterprise software, services, cloud and analytics capabilities that help a corporation design, deploy, secure and manage mobile strategies and apps.

According to IDC, the market for mobile enterprise infrastructure software and services was $14.5 billion (£9.4bn) in 2012 and will grow at a compound annual rate of 16.3 percent to reach $30.9 billion (£20bn) in 2016.

In addition, using mobile analytics to collect usage data is an effective way for companies to create a better user experience and target their customers. IBM’s MobileFirst platform speeds the process of building apps by enabling companies to integrate analytics and capture the complete on-device experience of how customers are using apps, including insight into gestures, dwell time and navigation.

The IBM MobileFirst platform also now includes geo-location services for developers. Now, geo-location triggers can be used to extend applications to take contextual action based on a user’s location to provide personalised service. Featuring a new toolkit, developers can more efficiently monitor battery and network bandwidth. Additionally, newly integrated mobile app-testing capabilities enable organisations to improve app quality while reducing the effort needed to test across different mobile platforms.

Moreover, as mobile apps proliferate, the cloud has also emerged as a key enabler of this growth. Cloud delivery of mobile applications accelerates time-to-value and speed-to-market, making the availability of new capabilities instantaneous. According to a recent MarketsandMarkets report, mobile cloud services are estimated to grow from $216.5 million (£140m) in 2012 to $7.7 billion (£5bn) in 2017.

Software Delivery

To help organisations take advantage of this opportunity, IBM is also introducing new cloud services for mobile so that companies can focus on creating compelling user experiences, rather than spending time on back-end connectivity and integration issues. This includes a new mobile marketing service that helps organisations create digital passes for employees in Apple’s Passbook. Accessed through the cloud, the service enables organisations to quickly design and issue passes for loyalty, events, ticketing, payments and more without having to purchase on-premise development tools.

In related news, IBM’s recently announced acquisition of UrbanCode will also help its clients tap into new opportunities in mobile. Based in Cleveland, UrbanCode automates the delivery of software, helping businesses quickly release and update mobile, social, big data and cloud-based apps. UrbanCode’s software is designed to simplify and speed the entire software development and delivery process for businesses. This also is important in terms of the “API economy,” said Marie Wieck, general manager of WebSphere at IBM.

IBM said mobile computing represents one of the greatest opportunities for organisations to expand their business. Based on nearly 1,000 customer engagements, 10 mobile-related acquisitions in the last four years, a team of thousands of mobile experts and 270 patents in wireless innovations, IBM MobileFirst offers an array of solutions that helps businesses connect, secure, manage and develop mobile networks, infrastructures and applications.

Mobile Appliance

Meanwhile, IBM said its Smarter Planet strategy took a major technological step forward with the 29 April introduction of IBM MessageSight, a new appliance designed to help organisations manage and communicate with the billions of mobile devices and sensors found in systems such as automobiles, traffic management systems, smart buildings and household appliances.