IBM announces Enterprise iOS app collaboration with United Airlines

IBM and United Airlines have announced a new collaboration to develop a new suite of iOS business applications to help drive the airline’s digital transformation, as part of IBM’s MobileFirst partnership with Apple. United Airlines currently has more than 50,000 iOS devices being used by its front-line employees, and this new collaboration will see IBM developing a set of both market-ready and custom iOS apps for improving a number of aspects of United Airlines’ customer-facing operations, such as providing flight attendants and gate personnel readily available access to customer travel data at their fingertips without being tied to a fixed workstation or podium position.
In an interview with Business Insider, United Airlines CIO Linda Jojo, who spearheaded the deployment of iPhones to front-line staff, explained that the airline is also actively seeking input from its front-line employees to decide which functions and features should be a priority in the coming apps, and has even sent flight attendants and gate agents to Cupertino with United Airlines’ technical team, IBM, and Apple. Jojo provided examples of iOS app solutions such as being able to assist customers with flight information,” issue boarding passes and bag tags right from a printer that’s on their hip” and even “allow flight attendants to communicate maintenance items discovered on the plane back to the maintenance teams.” The deployment of iPhones and iPads will also remove the traditional limitations of fixed gate workstations, allowing the airline to call in as many people as it needs, with mobile devices on hand, to help deal with congestion during emergency and high-traffic periods.

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