In a move that will help expand the enterprise mobile capabilities it offers to clients, IBM (New York, USA) has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Worklight (Tel Aviv, Israel), a privately held independent software vendor providing 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.
Worklight Builds on IBM’s Comprehensive Mobile Software and Services Offerings
Ubiquitous connectivity provides businesses with unique opportunities to better connect with their customer base, interact with external users and employees in more efficient ways, drive productivity and reach new audiences. IBM’s strategy is to offer its customers a complete set of the software and services they need to effectively bring mobile devices into their business infrastructure. These capabilities include:
- Build and Connect Mobile Applications: The explosive growth of mobile has created a fragmented landscape for enterprises to support, often with limited budgets and skills. IBM’s development and integration tools, complemented by Worklight, help clients to develop mobile applications and their supporting infrastructures for a variety of platforms just once – including Apple iOS and Google Android – while offering capabilities to securely connect to corporate IT systems.
- Manage and Secure Mobile Devices: As Bring Your Own Device or “BYOD” gains popularity, IT departments are looking to find an efficient and secure way to enable employees’ use of mobile devices in the work place. Rather than implement a separate infrastructure solely for mobile devices, IBM’s offerings are helping customers deliver a single solution that effectively manages and secures all endpoints. These unified capabilities can now extend from servers and laptops, to smartphones and tablets.
- Extend Existing Capabilities and Capitalize on New Business Opportunities: The rapid adoption of mobile computing is also creating demand for organizations to extend their current business capabilities to mobile devices, while capitalizing on the new opportunities that mobile devices uniquely provide. For instance, IBM’s software, services and industry frameworks offer clients the ability to use mobile to engage with their customers around growing business opportunities such as analytics, commerce and social business applications.
“In the last year, we have seen surging demand from enterprises for mobility solutions that will support the unique set of challenges introduced by new smartphone and tablet platforms,” said Shahar Kaminitz, CEO and founder, Worklight. “Building on our existing partnership with IBM, the acquisition of Worklight further enhances IBM’s broad mobile portfolio. Now it will be easier than ever for our clients to offer secure and connected applications to their customers, business partners and employees.”
Today Worklight delivers mobile application management capabilities to clients across a wide range of industries including retail, financial services, technology, travel and hospitality and manufacturing.
This enables organizations to efficiently create and run HTML5, hybrid and native applications for smartphones and tablets with industry-standard technologies and tools. Worklight’s unique capabilities provide a complete and extensible integrated development environment (IDE), next-generation mobile middleware, powerful management and analytics. Worklight dramatically reduces time to market, cost and complexity while enabling better customer and employee user experiences across more devices. By enabling organizations to only develop and integrate the applications once — for any platform — it frees up time, resources and skills to focus on other business opportunities.
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.
The acquisition of Worklight is expected to close in 1Q12. Worklight will sit within IBM’s Software Group.
**The Economist, 2011.