This is another in a series of my notes on Lotusphere 2012. I am very pleased to be back again after last year thanks to IBM’s support. These notes cover the Monday individual press session, Mobile, Bring Your Own Device, with Rob Ingram, Senior Manager, Mobile Communication Strategy, IBM.
Rob said there are three parts to IBM’s mobile strategy: collaboration for end users, mobile apps for consumer Web sites, and security and device management including such issues as VoIP. In the past 12 months they have released many apps for end user collaboration. Now they are announcing extension to Connections. There is also Traveler for Andriod and Sametime meetings on mobile. They are making it easy to turn Domino apps into mobile apps. They are not trying to do it all themselves and are also making it easy for third party developers to cerate mobile apps for Domino.
IBM now has a “bring your own device” mobile policy. There are now two ways to get mobile at IBM. First there is the existing corporate deployment on Blackberry and about 30,00 employees have this. After piloting a BYOD policy they are releasing it for the general population. They will endorse two operating systems, Apple iOS and Andriod. This will allow hundreds of thousands of employees to participate. They are using Notes Traveler to deploy email. You go to the internal company Web site and find a url and download the mail client for your phone. It will install what is needed. You just set up your password and are good to go.
IBM has several security features. First, there is the password that is encrypted. Then the content itself is encrypted. Finally, they can remotely wipe out all the business content while preserving the personal content of a user. There are tens of thousands of users now but they expect the number to grow significantly now that it is generally available. They are also starting a pilot for SameTime for BYOD with same goal of getting everyone involved.
Rob said that you need separate apps for iOS and Andriod if you are doing them as native apps. In fact you need separate development teams, as Apple does not allow developers who work on iOS apps to work on Andriod ones.
HTML5 allows for cross-platform apps but they have to be Web apps and not native ones. They do have a new capability that allows for hybrid apps that have a native app on the outside and HTML5 on the inside. These are easier to develop than pure native apps. However, pure native apps will have better UI capabilities such as gesture response. Rob said that he advises clients to think about the business issues first before deciding on native, hybrid, or pure HTML5.
Rob said they tried an HTML5 version of SameTime but it did not work so there withdrew it. There was too much to go through for an IM app that was constantly used. However, for less used apps, a hybrid app may work fine.
IBM is making a major move in mobile. Rob said they are doing it more by actions that announcements or promotions. Here is a complete listing of my notes from last year’s Lotusphere 2011 including what they said about mobile then.