International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), the world’s biggest computer-services provider, is acquiring Worklight Inc., a closely held maker of software for smartphones and tablets to enhance its mobile-service offerings.
Worklight’s software accelerates the delivery of employee and consumer mobile applications to multiple devices and enables secure connections to a company’s information-technology systems, Armonk, New York-based IBM said today in a statement. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Using the software, an organization can write single mobile applications to operate across any device including Apple Inc.’s iPhone, Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM)’s BlackBerry and devices using Google Inc.’s Android operating system. That saves time and money while better managing employee access and creating more consistent consumer applications, said Bob Sutor, vice president of IBM Mobile Platform in telephone interview.
IBM has said it plans to spend about $20 billion on acquisitions from 2011 to 2015, and has bought more than 100 companies since 2003. IBM last year acquired companies including Tririga Inc., i2, Algorithmics, Q1 Labs, and Curam Software, extending “Smarter Commerce” efforts, as it expands offerings to business customers.
Linking to Employees
“The big difference here is the link between businesses to employees, so they can increase their productivity and transform the way they work,” said Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM application and infrastructure middleware, who spoke in the same interview. It also helps companies “reach their partners and their customers, who are increasingly using this for their own productivity as well.”
IBM today also introduced new software it calls Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices, which helps companies manage and secure devices used by employees, including their personal phones or tablets.
The offering allows employers to remotely set policies, identify potential data compromises and wipe data from lost or stolen devices, and configure and enforce password and encryption policies, IBM said in a separate statement.
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