Warren Tomlin On How IBM And Apple Collaborated For 150 Apps

July 13, 2015 James Rubec

Think about the work you do today – if you are in retail or aviation or even social work what does your dashboard look like? How do you track the work you do or interface with your process and visualize your Key Performance Indicators?

Today, one of the great opportunities to improve your work life is by integrating digital into your day-to-day and that’s what IBM is trying to do – but they are getting some interesting help.

When Warren Tomlin, a Partner of Global Business Services with IBM, learned that Apple and IBM had formed a partnership it came to him in a cryptic almost Mission Impossible format.

Later we’re brought onto a conference call and it was so obvious we were about to work with Apple, the hold music was promoting buying music on iTunes.

“I get this call, maybe in April of last year. It starts with an email, as you know IBM acquires a lot of software companies. So we get an email that means you’ve been disclosed about project X,” said Tomlin and by opening this email for a project titled P30 and that he’d signed a non- disclosure agreement, then his phone rang and the voice on the other end had asked him to find seven iOS developers as soon as he possibly could.

Warren Tomlin 2

“Later we’re brought onto a conference call and it was so obvious we were about to work with Apple, the hold music was promoting buying music on iTunes,” said Tomlin.

What the two organizations partnered on was to build 150 applications for ten different industries. “Basically when you build a retail app, an airline app or a banking app 80% of what you are building is common. They can differ on experience, front end design and the branding but the balance is common,” said Tomlin.

In their presentation they displayed a series of applications – built for the aviation industry to improve how pilots and flight crews do their jobs. For pilots it lets them calculate how much fuel they need to get from point A to point B, the weather patterns they’ll confront and the likelihood of success. It also would let them manage their crews, and for the crew themselves the tools were even more impactful for day to day passengers and the customer experience.

“We’ve all had our luggage lost, through this app the flight crew will know in flight if a passenger’s luggage will be late and where it will connect them. They’ll also be able to book new flights for anyone who will miss a connection, helping keep the flight crew empowered and passengers calm,” said Tomlin.

Today tools are being built not just for the business to consumer audience, but for businesses to their employees, or B2E.

Another example application was a dashboard that a social worker could use, that in a few swipes of an iPad could give a social worker a full workup of a family.“How many times they’ve visited the child and family, what recommendations that were made by the social agency previously you have a holistic few on the service given to that child and his guardians.”

Whether you are an employee or an employer the tools that will turn your processes or checklists into an integrated experience are either already available or just around the corner.

For a full review of the Dx3 Conference Speakers, download the Dx3 2015 Session Review Presented By Moneris.
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