Samsung is partnering with Red Hat to build mobile apps for business users, in a deal that recalls Apple's tie-up with IBM this time last year.
Red Hat and Samsung will build "enterprise-ready, industry-specific" apps in areas like business intelligence, customer service and inventory management, they announced Tuesday. Companies will be able to deploy the apps on Red Hat's new mobile application platform, which Red Hat announced separately the same day.
The apps will run on Android and other OSes, and they'll be configurable to work with common back-end systems, the companies said. Red Hat and Samsung will jointly market the apps, focusing initially on the U.S.
The deal is similar to the one between Apple and IBM, though perhaps not as grand in scale. Apple and IBM have already pushed out almost two dozen industry-specific apps, and Apple has introduced new AppleCare plans tailored for businesses.
Red Hat is much newer to the mobile apps market than is IBM, which has invested billions in the area. Red Hat's Mobile Application Platform comes from its acquisition of FeedHenry late last year and provides a "full stack" of software for developing and deploying apps, Red Hat says.
The deal looks like a good one for Red Hat, aligning it with the world's biggest smartphone maker to target a growing market for mobile apps in the workplace. It's less clear how much it will benefit Samsung, given that Red Hat is so new to the space. As part of the deal, the companies will try to build up an ecosystem of tools and partners around Red Hat's mobile platform, they said.
Samsung has already been working hard to get more of its gadgets deployed in the workplace. Through Samsung Business, it offers technical support and software for managing its phones and tablets.