IBM’s MobileFirst for iOS Garage in Bengaluru will serve as a key development hub with end-to-end capability of design, development and implementation of apps across mobility devices of Apple
The app environment, which remains ubiquitous with the consumers, is now steadily making its entry into the enterprise world where companies are now adding more business functionality on the mobile devices. To tap into the technology expertise in India, IBM recently launched its MobileFirst for iOS Garage in Bengaluru, which will be a technology development centre for building apps on the mobility devices of Apple.
The Bengaluru centre is the fifth such one for IBM after Atlanta, Cupertino, Toronto and Chicago. IBM partnered with Apple in July 2014 to transform enterprise mobility through a new class of ‘Made for Business’ apps—bringing IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities to Apple devices in the enterprise. To date, IBM has developed over 100 apps across 15 industries and delivered nearly 2,000 client engagements. Added to this, there has been $1 billion worth of global signings from clients for the partnership with Apple in 2015.
The Bengaluru centre is the first such location for end-to-end client engagement to design, develop and implement multiple iOS apps—including the MobileFirst for iOS portfolio and custom-designed iOS apps. This is also the largest concentration of Swift developers anywhere in the world. The employee strength across all IBM-Apple centres is around 500 and this is expected to double by 2016 end.
“With each IBM MobileFirst for iOS client’s success, we see the conversation shifting from wanting a single app to cultivating a broader business transformation led by mobile,” said Mahmoud Naghshineh, general manager, Apple partnership, IBM, adding, “Our global network of MobileFirst for iOS Garages are a key accelerator for our clients and a significant differentiator for IBM.”
The apps combine the power of IBM’s cloud with advanced analytics and cognitive insights that give professionals easy access to more relevant, personalised and intelligent information. This allows them to make better decisions on the job, according to the IBM officials. “Increasingly, we’re finding that clients start with our portfolio of MobileFirst for iOS industry apps to accelerate their mobile transformation, then want to work with us to create multiple apps totally customised to their unique needs,” said Naghshineh.
The Bengaluru centre will serve as a global development hub for iOS apps and work with existing design locations. IBM also plans to open satellite centres in Brazil, China, Romania and more. There are 22 interdisciplinary teams working in the Garage in Bangalore, using end-to-end DevOps, IBM Design Thinking and agile delivery approaches to deliver iOS solutions in weeks if not months.
The team in Bangalore has already led app projects for dozens of clients—including Amica Insurance, Boots UK and Etisalat Misr—and been engaged in the delivery of about 50 iOS apps. In India, IBM has got Kalyan Jewellers as one of its clients. G Venkatraghavan, VP—Service Lines, IBM, said, “Clients in every market, in every industry across the world want and need to digitally transform to survive. That digital transformation begins with mobile.”
IBM also announced Mobile at Scale for iOS, a new offering specifically for clients looking to invest in digital transformation projects that include more than three iOS apps over a multi-year period. Clients opting for this model have full access to IBM’s portfolio of MobileFirst for iOS apps to jump start their digital transformation, iOS App Accelerators for rapid app development and customisation, and enterprise design services that align the app experience to the needs of the user.
According to Venkatraghavan, IBM’s approach allows clients to start with bite-sized projects, quickly see a return on investment and scale from there. “With each client’s success, we see the conversation shifting from wanting a single app to a broader business transformation led by mobile.”