In a move that will help expand the enterprise mobile capabilities it offers to clients, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Worklight, a privately held Israeli-based provider of mobile software for smartphones and tablets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
With this acquisition, IBM’s mobile offerings will span mobile application development, integration, security and management. Worklight will become an important piece of IBM’s mobility strategy, offering clients an open platform that helps speed the delivery of existing and new mobile applications to multiple devices. It also helps enable secure connections between smartphone and tablet applications with enterprise IT systems.
In a recent study conducted by IBM of more than 3,000 global CIOs, 75 percent of respondents identified mobility solutions as one of their top spending priorities. In fact, for the first time ever, shipments of smartphones exceeded total PC shipments in 2011.
“Our clients are under increased pressure to meet the growing demands of a workforce and customer base that now treat mobility as mission critical to their business,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM application and infrastructure middleware. “With the acquisition of Worklight, IBM is well-positioned to help clients become smarter mobile enterprises reaching new markets.”
Worklight accelerates IBM’s comprehensive mobile portfolio, which is designed to help global corporations leverage the proliferation of all mobile devices — from laptops and smartphones to tablets. IBM has been steadily investing in this space for more than a decade, both organically and through acquisitions.
As a result, IBM can offer a complete portfolio of software and services that delivers enterprise-ready mobility for clients — from IT systems all the way through to mobile devices. This builds on IBM’s deep understanding of its clients and their evolving IT needs over the last several decades. Today, the world’s top 20 communications service providers use IBM technology to run their applications, while every day more than one billion mobile phone subscribers are touched by IBM software.
Worklight supports consumer and employee-facing applications in a broad range of industries, including financial services, retail and healthcare. For example, a bank can create a single application that offers features to enable its customers to securely connect to their account, pay bills and manage their investments, regardless of the device they are using. Similarly, a hospital could use Worklight technology to extend its existing IT system to allow direct input of health history, allergies, and prescriptions by a patient using a tablet.
In addition to Worklight, IBM today is also unveiling IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices, a new software system that will enable corporate users to manage and secure their mobile devices these applications are running on.
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