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United Airlines Working With Apple, IBM For Employee Apps

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United Airlines wants its employees to be productive on-the-go and is working with Apple and IBM to develop solutions for more than 50,000 of its workers.

Reports Thursday (Feb. 2) said the airliner is collaborating with the technology giants to develop enterprise apps for iPhones and iPads used by its employees to help its workers access critical corporate information without having to get onto a desktop.

“Over the past several years, United has increasingly sought to untether its global workforce by putting the unique capabilities of iPhone and iPad in the hands of employees,” said United Airlines in a statement. “This collaboration will further heighten that strategy, with IBM set to develop a suite of IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps — both market-ready and custom iOS apps — for the airline’s growing deployment of iOS services.”

The solutions will be developed for the airline’s “front-line employees,” reports said, and will be analytics-driven. United will take advantage of IBM’s IBM Studios and IBM iX, as well as Mobile at Scale for iOS, all units that focus on widespread deployment of employee mobile apps.

United Airlines has already deployed apps for its employees. One of them enables flight attendants to handle payments and access manuals, as well as other general needs, according to reports. The companies did not indicate exactly what types of mobile apps it will look to create and deploy for United workers.

Apple and IBM struck a deal in 2014 to develop the MobileFirst for iOS solution, enabling Apple to use IBM resources to support the use of iPhones and iPads within the enterprise. They have since collaborated on the development of enterprise-targeting mobile apps.

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