The big news yesterday was that IBM and Apple are joining forces to sell, integrate, manage, and support Apple iOS devices in the Enterprise.

This is a big deal. And I bet it’s a partnership that will become deeper over time with more offerings to come.

Apple’s iOS dominates in the Enterprise already with 98% of the Fortune 500 using iPhones and iPads. But IBM is going to ensure that dominance continues and in a much bigger way. With iOS device management, enrolment, deployment, and AppleCare tied into IBM’s solutions and with over 100 native business apps IBM has developed, it’s going to be a no brainer for even the largest organizations to adopt iOS on a large scale.

IBM and Apple both have something fundamental in common: Both have re-invented themselves to the point where each company looks very little like it did even a decade ago. Both are massive American business success stories in their own right. And both are prefect for each other.

If you know your tech history, then you get the image above of Steve Jobs giving Big Blue the finger. Could this have happened under Steve Jobs’ watch? Possibly. But the most important thing to take away from this announcement is that this is Tim Cook’s Apple.

For Apple, the rebel has become the establishment and for IBM, the corporate stiff just became friends with the cool kid.

Chris Marriott