The enterprise application store concept always made sense. The category continues to grow, and now the concept is broadening.
John Mathon’s list of 10 reasons that the stores are a good idea, at CloudRamblings, gives us a look at how we arrived at the current state of enterprise app stores. The rationales range from easing life for end users to lowering costs, increasing innovation and enhancing security.
What’s next? The basic concept of the enterprise app marketplace, which is not new, is growing in sophistication and breadth.
IT Business Edge’s Mike Vizard already blogged on the opening of CliQr’s open source app store. Ann All at EnterpriseAppsToday writes about CDW’s App Marketplace, which takes a broader view: Instead of simply focusing on the app store itself, the platform includes planning, enablement, security, support and development, and distribution, which is handled with the company playing more of an advisory role:
Companies do not purchase apps directly from the marketplace. Instead, Woods said, the marketplace aims to walk them through three steps: educating companies by providing information about mobile app development; highlighting sample apps from vetted developers to demonstrate the kinds of capabilities that are available; and finally, connecting them with their chosen developers.
Another wrinkle is AppDirect, which announced a $35 million round of funding led by Mithril Capital. The cloud-based company essentially is an aggregator for software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers:
The company provides both a marketplace and a management platform. SaaS providers such as Box and Google and New Relic integrate once to AppDirect, which enables single sign-on, user management, and centralized billing. Then they’re available in private white-label app stores that companies like Rackspace, Samsung, Staples, Comcast — or your local IT consultant — can offer to their business clients.
Enterprise app stores, and the innovations around them, will continue to gain adherents. Vision Mobile’s Andreas Pappas points out that research by the organization suggests that enterprise app stores are growing at the same rate as those aimed at consumers, but that the sector is less crowded. This offers developers better revenue opportunities.