|By Maureen O'Gara||
|February 25, 2013 08:00 AM EST||
Pity IBM won't say what it spent on mobile last year sans acquisitions, but whatever it was it's going to double it this year under a big new " second wave" initiative decreed by its new CEO Ginni Rometty, who has apparently sensed an inflection point that will grow Blue by a few billion dollars.
It's Ginni's first big initiative, and Mike Riegel, IBM's VP in charge of mobile solutions, has been heard to say that the rise of mobile connectivity and e-commerce is "bigger than the web."
That makes the new initiative the equal of IBM's famous push into analytics and the cloud.
So, the company is mustering its troops and its 270 mobile patents and its R&D people behind the effort and has carved a new MobileFirst platform out of the products and services bought in by its 10 acquisitions in mobile that it will hawk.
It's supposed to help enterprise customers, faced with workloads and transactions shifting to tablets and smartphones, enhance their e-commerce widgetry, adding security, device management and data analytics, offering application development and tying them into the cloud. IBM will support all the major platforms like Apple, Android and Blackberry.
It's arranged with AT&T for developers to use AT&T's cloud and incorporate widgetry like speech recognition, mobile payments, GPS location data, instant messaging and texting into their apps.
IBM claims it's already built up a customer base of a thousand concerns. It is also anticipating new acquisitions.
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