By Bob Sutor
Vice President of Mobile, IBM
This week I’m in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress which, for several days at least, is the center of the universe for all things software, hardware, network and services related to mobile. I traveled a long way to get here from New York, but given how much is going on in the world and at IBM around mobile, it’s the only place to be right now.
Mobile is not a new focus area for IBM, but several weeks ago we expanded our portfolio even further by announcing the acquisition of Worklight, an Israeli-based that develops a mobile application platform.
This acquisition gives our clients a leg up in the realm of mobile applications. Now, they will be able to write applications just once, and run them anywhere, whether it’s Google Android, Apple iOS, etc. This is a key priority in today’s fast-paced corporate environment where speed to market is critical for meeting client demands for innovation, and development teams often times don’t have the skills or resources to build for ALL platforms.
Combined with other products, solutions, and services from IBM, Worklight gives IBM customers an advantage in having one place to go for their mobile application development, security, device and application management and IT runtime infrastructure.
I’m pleased to announce that the acquisition of Worklight is now complete. While the Worklight employees will be part of the WebSphere organization, IBM’s complete mobile platform has capabilities coming from our broad software portfolio, including the new Security division we announced toward the end of last year.
So why am I at Mobile World Congress? Part of the answer is certainly that I’m here to talk about IBM’s strategy and vision for “Enterprise Mobile.” Initially you might think this would be confined to B2E, or Business-to-Employee, applications, but it is really so much more than that.
If you are a bank or a hospital, the mobile apps that you provide for your clients or doctors or patients need be “enterprise-class.” That is, you can’t take shortcuts on security, privacy, reliability, availability, and performance. The mobile apps must be able to tap into the infrastructure you’ve already built. They should also help you extend it to create new business opportunities and ways to better server your customers.
So “Enterprise Mobile” is for Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Business-to-Business (B2B), and, yes, even Business-to-Employee. I’m in Barcelona to discuss this mobile vision and strategy with IBM’s customers and business partners.
Second, I’m here to learn. Mobile is moving so fast and with so much innovation, that’s it’s important to immerse yourself in the latest developments. How do requirements for Mobile vary from country to country? What’s the latest technology? How are people approaching the BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, movement in new ways for multiple devices? What new business problems are people trying to solve with Mobile? How does mobile improve existing solutions? How are mobile user interfaces being used in creative ways to make us all more effective? What germs of ideas can be combined to provide real breakthroughs beyond what we are currently doing?
2012 is a critical year for Enterprise Mobile because I believe many organizations will be choosing the platform to support their Mobile implementations through the middle of the decade. The acquisition of Worklight, the security and management products, the social business solutions, and the services it provides shows that IBM is serious about putting together the right mobile platform with the right capabilities for our customers.
You can follow me during my adventures in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress: @bob_sutor.