When the concept of an enterprise app store first appeared, it didn’t take long to convince people it’s brilliant. That’s because an enterprise app store uses a consumer model for mobile application access that is tuned to the workplace. Instead of burdening IT staff with pushing out apps to individual devices, an app store provides a central distribution mechanism for employees to download applications whenever they need them. Employees at General Electric, an early adopter that launched a corporate app store in 2009, downloaded apps 350,000 times during the first two years of the store’s existence.
Over the years, thanks to massive adoption of mobile devices in the workplace and bring your own device programs, more and more companies are thinking about setting up their own app stores. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2017, 25% of enterprises will have an app store.
But what about key challenges such as security and user experience?
More than just an App store
A store itself is not enough. The advent of IOT, mobility in the enterprise and BYOD programs are pushing enterprises to deal with security, privacy, agility, compliance, complexity of app development, and integration across platforms and backend systems. All these issues must be met head on!
SAP recently announced Mobile Place, a cloud-based management service, which simplifies smartphone and tablet use within enterprise environments. Part of the SAP Mobile Secure portfolio, Mobile Place is a cloud-based service designed to help IT managers in global organizations manage, configure and assign mobile applications to employees, business partners and consumers in multiple ecosystems. Mobile Place doesn’t just deliver apps; it simplifies enterprise IT and makes mobile technology more secure. Not only that, it provides a brandable, localizable end user experience.
Partnering to make it simple and secure
The good news is that SAP is now partnering with VMWare to make the customer experience better than ever. As the popularity of SAP mobile apps built on the SAP Mobile Platform continues to grow, it’s important for our customers to have a streamlined solution that makes it easy to enrol, provision, distribute and manage these apps, regardless of which MDM solution they may already have in place. The integration of Mobile Place with AirWatch is the first such example that demonstrates our commitment to making the customer experience simple and secure. VMWorld attracts thousands of IT admins and app developers. For them, Mobile Place is a single destination to publish, manage and analyze apps, content and profiles — including those of other MDM, EMM and MCM offerings. For end users, it is a single location to easily discover, download, and manage apps and related services such as network access, email, identity and more – across all devices.
Meeting the needs of today’s workplace
I believe it’s essential to continuously accelerate mobility transformation to provide a secure virtual workspace that allows people to work at the pace demanded in today’s networked economy. Hyper-connectivity is reinventing the world economy; individuals, businesses and societies are becoming inter-connected in real time, leading to a new era that is more collaborative, intelligent, responsive, and efficient with dramatic increases in productivity and economic value. Employee demands are transforming the way companies personalize the relationships they have with their employees. The right strategy and right enterprise mobile apps will help employees handle the challenges of a changing workplace.
In this new world, it’s important for us to remain open, integrating with other vendors, even when they offer solutions that are competitive with parts of our portfolio. That’s why I’m so excited about the VMware partnership. Not only will it enable us to keep our mobile app customers satisfied, but it’s a prime example of how we want to be collaborating for a better future.