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The formidable alliance of IBM and Apple

I love my iPhone. Who doesn’t? It’s a great product, as millions of users would agree, but it’s not exactly the most efficient tool to get my day job done. That’s about to change, IBM and Apple hope, with their announcement this week that the two iconic brands — can we call them Big Blue Apple? — are teaming up.

The official take: IBM will build, from the ground up, enterprise-specific mobile applications for Apple’s iOS to support the management of employees’ mobile app use. Touting IBM’s big data and analytics capabilities and  Apple’s “legendary consumer experience,” the partners promise they  will “create apps that can transform specific aspects of how businesses and employees work using iPhone and iPad….” And “new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction” will follow.

“This is a radical step for enterprise and something that only Apple and IBM can deliver,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in the press release.

As SearchCIO’s associate editor Fran Sales points out in this week’s Searchlight news roundup, the mutual admiration was glaringly absent 30 years when Steve Jobs equated an IBM-centric victory with a return of the Dark Ages. Of course, today, the partnership not only makes sense, Sales reports, but when you combine IBM’s enterprise cred with Apple’s loyal followers in the enterprise (did I mention that 98% of them work for Fortune 500 companies?) you get a formidable alliance. Not only poor beleaguered BlackBerry should be worried — shares were down 9.4% in the wake of the announcement. The deal also has competitors like Google and Microsoft plotting their next moves.

Speaking of Microsoft, the rumors are official and they are cutting 18,000 employees from their roster of 125,000. This week, big tech is disrupting itself. Read all about it and more, here in Searchlight.

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