Apple, IBM, and United Airlines announced a partnership on Thursday to build out a suite of iOS apps to be used by the airline’s front-line employees, reads a new report from Business Insider. The apps will be a part of the IBM MobileFirst for iOS project, and will be used by more than 50,000 United Airlines employees.
They should help United Airlines employees “tap into the right information at the right time to instantaneously address the needs that matter most to passengers,” Dee Waddell, global managing director of travel & transportation industries for IBM, said in a statement.
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 iOS apps for the airline’s growing deployment of iOS devices.
One of the goals of the new apps is to improve customer service for passengers with a connecting flight. According to the release, airline employees will have access to more useful data to help passengers find connecting gates when they arrive from their flight, for example. The use of more mobile devices could also help free up customer service employees in the airport itself to move around the gate area and help customers where they are, instead of staying behind a podium.
“We want to put our employees in a position to deliver exceptional service at every step of the travel experience,” United’s vice president of operations technology, Jason Birnbaum, said. “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.”