Guest Blog: Businesses need to tap into mobile app management

Aug 3, 2011
Real estate

Mobile apps are all the rage. There are more than 300,000 apps in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market  is gaining on this number every day. Discerning which apps are effective and worthwhile among the hundreds of thousands floating in the “app-mosphere” is getting harder and harder. In fact, isn’t that why you came […]

Mobile apps are all the rage. There are more than 300,000 apps in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market  is gaining on this number every day. Discerning which apps are effective and worthwhile among the hundreds of thousands floating in the “app-mosphere” is getting harder and harder. In fact, isn’t that why you came to Appolicious—to help you pick out the good apps from the bad?

The app avalanche is bad enough for consumers, but what about business users looking for mobile apps? According to Forrester analysts, five years from now, almost half of U.S. workers – about sixty-three million people – will work virtually, and so effective, secure business applications will increasingly become important to all of us. Typically, business apps are not free and rarely do they offer trial apps like many games. So what’s a mobile business professional to do?

Companies need to take control and help out their employees. Mobility is a way of life and work; many employees have corporate issued smartphones and tablets, and many more are using their own personal devices for work. Businesses have to be prepared to meet the needs of all these users or risk possible security or compliance issues with their sensitive corporate data.

Mobile application management (MAM) and white-labeled app stores are two recent technologies that offer enterprises the ability to control their distribution of apps and content to their employee’s mobile devices. MAM allows corporate IT to secure and manage devices—both corporate and employee-liable ones. Using MAM software installed on the devices as a native app, IT can centrally provision and deploy mobile web apps based on user roles within an organization. For example, a sales person would be set up with mobile sales force automation (SFA), expense reporting and travel management apps, while a field service employee would be provisioned with mobile customer relationship management (CRM), asset management and expense reporting apps. Employees can automatically get the apps they need to do their jobs, and these apps would be vetted by IT and centrally managed for more control and security.

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Using MAM, a company can centrally deploy and manage apps for their entire workforce to ensure tighter security and enforce compliance with corporate policies. Moreover, the native MAM “app of apps” can be installed on an employee’s own personal device and IT can just track and manage the individual apps used for work.

Software for building white-labeled or private enterprise app stores on the other hand enables more of a “pull” model than the “push” model of MAM solutions. Instead of publishing apps to the public app stores, companies can build their own app stores to distribute apps and other digital content throughout their company and even to their partners and consumers. With their own apps stores, enterprises can regain more control over the branding and messaging of the store, as well as bypass all the scrutiny and gating requirements of the public stores.

Whichever approach—MAM or private app store—companies go with, it’s clear that businesses need to get a handle on mobile apps and how their employees are getting their apps and which ones they are using. By using a mobile platform as the underpinnings of the enterprise app store to secure, monitor and analyze usage, CIOs can achieve that perfect balance between usability and control. It is this kind of synergy that delivers peace of mind to IT, apps that people love to use, and happiness that is measured in satisfied and empowered employees and customers.

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Jason Wong is Product Marketing Manager of Antenna Software, the largest, independent provider of mobility solutions for businesses to design, publish and manage mobile websites and apps across all Internet-connected devices, including smartphones, tablets, feature phones and IP TV. The company is the creator of Volt, a patent-pending technology that provides people with a simple way to keep their work and personal apps separate on any mobile device, while providing businesses with the ability to publish apps directly to employees, and secure, manage, protect and control these apps and corporate data.

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Jason Wong

Jason Wong is Product Marketing Manager of Antenna Software, the largest, independent provider of mobility solutions for businesses to design, publish and manage mobile websites and apps across all Internet-connected devices, including smartphones, tablets, feature phones and IP TV. The company is the creator of Volt, a patent-pending technology that provides people with a simple way to keep their work and personal apps separate on any mobile device, while providing businesses with the ability to publish apps directly to employees, and secure, manage, protect and control these apps and corporate data.

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