Earlier this year Apple announced a historic partnership with one-time rival IBM to muscle its way into enterprise. The plan called for IBM business apps on Apple products, with all of the former’s big data analytics and security capabilities built in. Basically, the two companies set out to make business apps that are as easy to use as consumer apps.
It was certainly a tremendous opportunity: With few promising signs of BlackBerry turning things around anytime soon, the table was set for iPhones and iPads to become indispensable tools for today’s workforce.
Today, Apple announced the first 10 apps in that portfolio, and they cover a wide range of markets, from the airline industry to finance to human resources. The Plan Flight app for airlines, for example, helps pilots manage flight schedules and monitor fuel usage, potentially saving airlines millions of dollars in fuel costs. Another app, Retention, gives insurance sales reps access to analytics and lets them set reminders for dealing with customers.
“To the extent they can take several back-end systems, integrate them and deliver an easy-to-use experience, that is potentially groundbreaking,” Van L. Baker, an analyst at the research firm Gartner, told the New York Times.