Apple, Google, Microsoft, Blackberry and Amazon are leading the race to build app distribution platforms for smart phones and tablets. In recently concluded WWDC Apple announced distribution of $10 Billion to developers since the inception of their AppStore. In other words, app economy is real and the good news is its just getting started. Most of the big players have thus far focused only on direct consumers leaving much wanted in the enterprise space. In essence, most of these commercial app distribution platforms are business to consumers (B2C) platforms.
Enterprises, on the other hand, are trying to build their own MDM solutions that address enterprise security needs to some extent but lack sophistication and scale of commercial app stores run by smart phone manufacturers. Given that mobility is going to be major enterprise trend, I think there is an open white space to develop a cloud based integrated Business to Business (B2B) app store
A B2B enterprise app store of future needs following functionalities :-
Given that Apple, Google and Microsoft have huge cloud footprint and have already existing B2C app distribution platforms, its very easy for them to build this B2B platform, however, the challenge is if they will support applications from the competitors. Or allow company specific appstore on their devices? SAP has a major play in enterprise mobility with Sybase Unwired Platform, Afaria and Cyclo. SAP can also very easily integrate this with back end financial systems given their huge presence in ERP space and they can build a high performance application of cloud scale using their HANA platform.
There are number of offerings in MAM and MDM space that partially meet above specs. Leading players are Cirix (XEN Mobile), VMWare (Airwatch), MobileIron, Good Technology, MaaS360 and Apperian.
Most of the enterprise software companies are have built AppStores around their core applications. For example Salesforce wants developers to deploy applications on force.com that integrate with Salesforec; SAP wants apps for there new Hana/SAP Cloud Platforms with ‘Cloud Connector’ opening the access to on prim ERP systems. Google has a app development program for Google Apps. Mobility is just one piece of this strategy. Primary objective is to lure developers as well as increase the stickiness of their core applications…