IBM and United Airlines Collaborate

IBM and United Airlines today announced a collaboration to deliver a robust suite of enterprise iOS apps, unleashing the power of the more than 50,000 iOS devices in the hands of the airline’s front-line employees. As part of IBM and Apple’s global partnership to redefine the way work gets done, these made-for-business apps will be powered by analytics and customized to further drive the airline’s digital transformation, enhancing how United serves its customers.

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. 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 devices.

“United Airlines is committed to delivering positive traveler experiences that begin with front line engagements during all points of the passenger journey – from check-in to departure to destination,” said Dee Waddell, Global Managing Director, Travel & Transportation Industries, IBM. “This enhanced strategy with mobile solutions from IBM and Apple allows United Airlines employees to tap into the right information at the right time to instantaneously address the needs that matter most to passengers.”

United’s mobility strategy is designed to empower its employees to better meet customer needs in real time. With data and insight at their fingertips, flight attendants will have greater visibility into which customers are connecting in order to assist them in finding their gates upon arrival. Customer service agents, long tied to their work stations and gate podiums, will have more freedom to move about the concourse assisting customers instead of being tied to a fixed position. Those are just some of the ways that fliers will enjoy a more tailored, customer-friendly travel experience once the apps reach the field.

“We want to put our employees in a position to deliver exceptional service at every step of the travel experience,” said United’s vice president of operations technology Jason Birnbaum. “We have incredible employees out in the field who rely on technology to help our customers. The mobile solutions and working closely with IBM and Apple enables us to provide innovative solutions for them on an unprecedented scale.”

United Airlines is leveraging Mobile at Scale for iOS, a new IBM app design and development model for the rapid development and deployment of multiple iOS apps. This unique, integrated approach enables United to work closely with IBM to quickly and efficiently design, develop, deploy and maintain iOS apps over their lifecycle. Apps will be seamlessly integrated with United’s core enterprise processes, equipping employees with the expertise, solutions and data to change how they work. United will also have access to IBM Studios in multiple cities, as well as a dedicated IBM iX team specializing in design, development and integration team to rapidly deliver new apps that are tailored specifically to support the needs of United’s employees.

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