Thursday, June 02, 2011
One-stop shops that service all mobile operating systems can be leveraged by organizations to make approved apps for all platforms available to a company’s workers. Last year, Apple quietly let the enterprise begin opening their own company stores from which employees could download private-label applications. Now entrepreneurs are pursuing a vision of one-stop application stores for Android, iOS, Nokia, RIM BlackBerry and Windows Phones.
Today, users in pursuit of applications visit either Apple's iTunes App Store, Google's Android Market, Nokia's Ovi, RIM's BlackBerry App World or Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace, depending on the make of their smartphone. Each of these services allows users of their smartphones to download applications—which are growing by the thousands monthly. Often without a smartphone of the right brand, it is difficult to even browse available applications. And for corporate users trying to decide which smartphone to buy, comparing one smartphone’s available applications to another’s is almost impossible.
The problem is more acute for so-called "company stores," where corporate IT would like to provision house-designed applications alongside third-party and built-in applications so that employees have a single portal where they can browse IT-approved and provided applications regardless of the user's smartphone operating system.
Google Apps Marketplace and SalesForce's AppExchange solve some of these problems, but a new service was recently unveiled by Partnerpedia that claims to provide a complete solution for one-stop application stores serving corporate IT customers.
"Organizations need solutions that can bridge the needs of IT while satisfying requirements from end users," said Mark Sochan, CEO of Partnerpedia, which allows IT to "maintain corporate policies and procedures while reducing support costs, all the while enabling end users to be as productive as possible."
Partnerpedia, which cites a Strategy Analytics report claiming that 61 percent of U.S. corporations now support employee tablets, offers enterprises their own private-brand application store. This approach gives IT full control over the licensing, distribution, installation and management of applications on end-user devices.
Called the EAS (Enterprise App Store), it can house applications written internally at an enterprise as well as offer the IT-approved applications from third parties all in a one-stop application store. The private-branded Enterprise App Store today can house both Android and iOS apps side-by-side, and is currently being expanded to cover the other popular smartphone operating systems.
By focusing on IT concerns regarding security, control, management and maintenance, the Partnerpedia Enterprise App Store coordinated distribution of internal developed applications at the enterprise as well as approved third-party applications from independent software vendors. EAS submits both to the same approved corporate policies and procedures, thus reducing IT support costs while offering users a uniform comprehensive experience.
Enterprise App Stores use Partnerpedia's private-label cloud service to manage user license management, application provisioning and decommissioning, remote installation of updates, code signing, ratings and recommendations. Enterprise App Stores also enlist partnership among enterprises for enablement, collaboration and go-to-market solutions.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 10:35 AM