Expanding the MobileFirst Platform

— May 01, 2014

IBM has expanded its MobileFirst Application Development portfolio, new industry-specific IBM Ready Apps and the opening of 18 new IBM MobileFirst studios around the world to help business leaders accelerate mobile initiatives.

The portfolio will help developers from the enterprise and born on the web companies, quickly design, deliver and deploy secure mobile apps—to prevent data leaks and vulnerabilities—with the same speed and simplicity that consumers have come to expect at the enterprise scale.

“As mobile apps become a primary touchpoint with clients, the stakes run high to delight consumers. At the same time, the cost of a poorly designed app can significantly impact both the brand and the bottom line,” said Marie Wieck, General Manager, IBM MobileFirst. 

Enhancements
The MobileFirst Application Development portfolio is a complete range of tools for developers to create, deploy and manage mobile apps, on-premise or in the cloud. The portfolio, comprised of IBM Worklight, Cloudant and BlueMix technologies and services, enables developers to quickly build and deploy mobile apps. 

IBM Worklight is a mobile enterprise, app-development platform deployed on a client’s IT infrastructure, while BlueMix delivers similar capabilities as cloud-based services. Both can be used with Cloudant, IBM's NoSQL distributed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) for mobile apps.

With the new portfolio, the company has addressed the evolving needs of mobile app developers by redefining the mobile application development platform—which offers enterprise-grade security and integrated quality assurance, so clients can build more secure apps, faster. The platform features a new app scanning capability to identify potential data leaks and vulnerabilities. 

IBM Worklight integrates additional mobile app lifecycle capabilities, expanding the definition of a mobile app development platform. The service allows enterprises to optimize mobile user experiences by supporting both native (via SDKs) and hybrid development models, as well as add new capabilities such as the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) protocol for mobile money solutions in emerging markets.

BlueMix is a Platform-as-a-Service that provides composable app creation and deployment capabilities in an open environment to reduce complexity. Both IBM Worklight and BlueMix offer assurance capabilities to help developers track user experiences and provide sentiment analysis, crowd sourced feedback submissions, and in-context crash reports that identify problems for rapid resolution.

Business-Ready Apps
The MobileFirst Business Acceleration portfolio offers IBM Ready Apps, a suite of industry-specific, pre-configured apps that can save clients up to 60% on time and resources. The Ready Apps streamline design and enable organizations to customize their app once and deploy it to any platform or device. Organizations can also tailor the look and feel of apps and add features using built-in integration with common industry APIs. The suite includes apps for banking, retail, healthcare, insurance, travel and transportation, government and connected devices.

“Mobile banking is changing not only how people bank, but also what they expect from their bank. Our goal is to use technology to make banking simpler, engaging, more relevant and accessible. Developments in mobile banking will continue to transform the industry and people’s relationship with their money,” said Charaka Kithulegoda, CIO, Tangerine. “IBM will help accelerate our mobile app development and provide value to our clients through richer and more engaging banking experiences.”

MobileFirst Studios
Expanding the company’s mobile ecosystem, providing clients direct access to local teams of IBM mobile experts—including designers, developers, architects and consultants in locations around the world—clients can work side-by-side with mobile professionals to quickly conceive, design, build and deploy working prototypes. 

In addition, clients will be able to access the new solutions and benefit from capabilities ranging from the creation of new apps to transforming the retail banking customer experience, to new solutions that can change the face of patient healthcare.

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