IBM gets over its fear of Siri, joins forces with Apple to push iOS to the enterprise

by tech on July 15, 2014

Ah, remember the good old days, when IBM forbade its own employees from using Siri or other non-enterprise software and devices for fear of data leakage or theft?  So much for that.

Now, IBM and Apple will collaborate on selling iPads and iPhones into enterprise accounts and developing business applications for iOS, in news that first appeared in Re/Code. Presumably this means that IBM has loosened up its restrictions on Apple device use by its own employees.

In what played out as a mutual admiration session, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty described Apple in Re/code as “the gold standard for consumers.” Since selling off its PC division to Lenovo ten years ago, IBM has not been a force in that market. Conversely,  Apple  has relied on consumers to bring its iPhones and iPads into the enterprise through the back door — Those devices were unsanctioned and unwelcomed by IT departments.  C-level execs led the charge that forced IT staff to change those policies.

“If you were building a puzzle they would fit nicely together with no overlap,” Apple CEO Tim Cook added. “We do not compete on anything. And when you do that you end up with something better than either of you could produce yourself.””

If this “landmark” collaboration bears fruit — and many such alliances do not — it will be a boon for both companies. Apple gets a new IBM enterprise sales force and 100 new iOS applications for business. And IBM can bask in the reflected glow of Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices. And both companies can take aim at mutual competitors Google and Microsoft, which is trying to position Windows Phone as an enterprise-friendly mobile option.

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