Enterprise App Showdown: IBM, Apple Get Challenge From Samsung, Red Hat

Of the plethora of news coming out of the 2015 Red Hat Summit this week in Boston, the one getting the most attention is the company’s new mobile partnership with Samsung.

The alliance brings together Samsung’s large mobile-device portfolio and Red Hat’s open-source middleware, mobile and cloud technologies. The companies’ joint goal is to offer mobile enterprise solutions that can be developed, then deployed and integrated quickly by businesses adopting mobile-first strategies.

“We are excited to collaborate with Red Hat to deliver the next generation of mobile enterprise applications and solutions, and are committed to shaping the future of innovation,” said Robin Bienfait, executive vice president, chief enterprise innovation officer, Samsung. “Samsung firmly believes that strategic alliances with organizations such as Red Hat that deliver open-source enterprise infrastructure and provide reliable, secure integration from the back end to the end user will help businesses more readily adopt a mobile-first environment.”

There are reasons that this partnership could be appealing to more businesses than a similar one announced by Apple and IBM a year ago.

“Targeting large deployments, its impact has yet to be felt by the market, and driven by IBM’s Global Services, it is targeting larger, more complex mobile projects,” noted Chris Hazelton of 451 Research, commenting specifically on an Inquirer article. “The partnership between Red Hat and Samsung will provide a set of out-of-the-box apps, as well as the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform to build new apps and provide the ability to customize pre-built apps targeting the broader market.”

Red Hat’s new Mobile Application Platform came about after its $82 million acquisition of FeedHenry last year. Samsung plans to optimize the apps to work with its own Android devices, although Red Hat said the new apps will not be restricted to the Android platform.

“The partnership for Samsung provides a significant avenue for pushing devices into the hands of mobile workers in organizations that have built their infrastructure and services on top of Red Hat,” Hazelton added. “Getting mobile apps into the hands of mobile workers is not easy, but this partnership will help ease this challenge by providing both development and app management tools. The timing of this partnership is interesting as Apple begins to roll out its own partnership with around two-dozen mobile ISVs to streamline the deployment of a set of iOS enterprise apps.”

The companies’ first five apps, which are industry-ready, are being showcased this week at the Red Hat Summit.

Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter.

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