With the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) market set to cross $9.6 billion in the next three years, the need for tackling mobility security and deployment challenges is of paramount importance to enterprises. But it isn’t that simple; businesses have to perform a fine balancing act between respecting end users’ privacy and meeting organization’s needs. “And invasion of privacy does not sit well with users these days,” begins Brian Day, President and CEO of Apperian. Born out of the need to develop enterprise mobile applications that met the demands of both businesses and users, Apperian has transformed from being an app developer for enterprise clients to the leading provider of Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Enterprise App Stores. Today, the company’s enterprise mobility platform is widely recognized as the best way to secure, manage and deploy enterprise apps.
Enterprises spend a considerable amount of time and money developing apps. As a result, they simply do not want to use public app stores, such as iTunes or Google Play, to deploy these apps to their employees’ devices. Public app stores expose an organization’s private apps to the world and also make it difficult for employees to sift through millions of apps to find what is relevant for them. Apperian comes into its own in such scenarios. It is a best-of-breed MAM platform and Enterprise App Store with a broad range of capabilities around securing, managing and distributing enterprise mobile apps.“Apperian not only facilitates the deployment of apps, but also helps companies effectively manage the lifecycle of those apps, including the security of the data that resides within them, as well helping customers with app rollout and promotion so the apps achieve maximum ROI,” comments Day.
Ever since the days of BlackBerry’s dominance in the enterprise mobility arena, there have been mobile device management platforms that enable companies to control devices of employees. Today however, there is a shift in this trend. “In many cases, organizations don’t really need or want to manage the devices anymore,” points out Day. Instead, they are looking to deploy, secure, and organize the apps that they build for their employees through individual app policies. Apperian’s approach enables its customers to secure and manage just the apps they care about without needing to manage the device itself. This is friendlier to end-users— particularly BYOD or contracted workers who do not or cannot have their devices under IT management. More and more companies are turning to this approach and pushing out apps to thousands of end users, which further challenge legacy mobility management and device-centric methods. As daunting as this might be to some vendors, these challenges are right up Apperian’s alley. “We like to work with companies that have a progressive mobile mentality,” affirms Day.
Respecting Employee Privacy
Apperian’s solution is radically different from those offered by the mobile device management providers. “We can easily protect corporate apps without putting any kind of MDM profile or agent on end-user devices, so we do not invade the privacy of the end-user at all,” remarks Day.
Application centricity is deeply engrained in our DNA and this is what makes us the industry's number one platform for mobile app management and enterprise app stores
Apperian’s approach is commendable, especially in the wake of a Gartner report indicating that 20 percent of BYOD projects will fail because of IT heavy-handedness. The only thing Apperian places on an end-user’s device is an enterprise app store that allows organizations to deploy apps to mobile devices without any kind of invasive technology. Apperian architected its solution keeping in mind that it needs to be invisible to the end user so the user doesn’t feel like the employer is taking over their device.
This app-centric approach plays a vital role in driving user adoption of mobile apps in BYOD environments. And for organizations leveraging workers who are not employees, it may be the only choice for securely deploying apps. Increasingly organizations are turning to contracted workers, partners, dealers and other non-employee workers. These individuals are using devices that cannot be managed by the legacy MDM-centric tools and are therefore unable to receive corporate mobile apps. In contrast, Apperian’s approach of wrapping company apps with security and management policies enables those apps to be deployed to any device regardless of management state. Apperian has quickly become the de-facto choice for delivering apps to the “extended enterprise.”
“We are a multitenant, cloud-based solution that allows companies to have their very own privately branded enterprise app store,” says Day. The Apperian platform is designed so that every single customer can have their custom branding and identity with features like single sign-on. Furthermore, companies can apply policies to their apps without the need for any coding or a Software Development Kit (SDK). “The benefits of using policies are numerous,” he adds. For example, if an app is only suitable for executives of a company, its usage can be restricted to C-suite users through appropriate policies. Apperian developed this dynamic app policy engine in a way that enables companies to apply and write any kind of policy they want. For instance, a customer can write a policy to ensure that an app will only work within the presence of a beacon.
“We are the only solution that can deliver an organization's mobile apps to 100 percent of their workforce”
Apperian manages every step of the app lifecycle—all the way from inspecting the app built by an external developer to applying policies and finally signing the app. “Unfortunately, signing an app is not a trivial task and can be a lot more difficult than it sounds,” says Day. Nevertheless, Apperian has automated that process as well. “From a system administrator standpoint, we’ve got the most elegant solution in the market right now,” he claims. With BYOD in full swing and enterprises investing in ‘apps that matter,’ Apperian brings rich security and management at the app level rather than at the device level—a more ingenious and robust approach in the long run.
Securing Applications; Not Devices
Since its inception, Apperian has always been about apps and not about devices. “We are device and platform agnostic, and this resonates with customers and prospects,” emphasizes Day. Irrespective of the platform—iOS, Android, or Windows Phone—Apperian has a native app store for all of the major device and platform manufacturers.
Apperian understands that deploying apps is just half of the equation. Enterprises want to make sure that employees are actually adopting and using those apps, and this in large part depends on the user friendliness of the apps and the enterprise app store.“Nobody knows more about apps than we do,” states Day boldly. Apperian has delivered more than 1.5 million enterprise apps to end-users through its platform—more than any other company in the world. “We are the only solution that can deliver an organization’s mobile apps to 100 percent of their workforce,” he adds. The success of Apperian’s app delivery platform is reflected in its impressive client roster, which includes significant deployments at many of the Fortune 500 companies. When DLL, a commercial heavy equipment leasing company, developed a mobile application to enable their sales team to instantly configure solutions for their customers, they were keen to use Apperian to deploy that critical app to thousands of users across the U.S. The impact of the app was felt immediately, as the company’s three-week leasing cycle was cut down to two hours. “This considerably improved their productivity,” remarks Day.
Day is passionate about ensuring that his customers are happy and embraces solving their mobile challenges. For example, one of Apperian’s customers was using the platform to test their apps internally before releasing them. Since these were test versions of an app, the customer sought a way to remotely view and control their mobile app as it was being used so they could troubleshoot problems users were having. “We took it upon ourselves to develop an in-app remote control capability that allowed system administrators to take control of the employee’s app and troubleshoot,” says Day. This is a brilliant illustration of how, in the process of solving one customer’s problem, Apperian invented technology that is now a part of its core product— the first of its kind, remote control for iOS apps. “If you have an employee that is working on an oil well in the middle of Texas—hundreds of miles away from headquarters—and he has a problem with the app, asking him to send his device via FedEx to fix the issue is not an option.” In such situations, Apperian’s in-app remote control becomes a highly valuable asset that solves the problem in minutes, rather than days.
With 81.9 percent of enterprises believing that BYOD is the appropriate strategy for their business and more organizations turning to extended enterprise workers, Day anticipates mobility to continue influencing every walk of life. “A few years from now, a customer is not going to want multiple vendors handling his desktop, mobile device or car. It is going to be one vendor handling everything,” he comments. Having already successfully brought to market a robust MAM platform by envisioning the impact of BYOD while it was still in its infancy, Apperian is well positioned to be the smart vendor of tomorrow capable of handling all these endpoints.
This shift complicates an enterprise’s ability to see its full communications strategy, and is leading to growth of shadow IT, solutions used without organization approval, causing one big headache for the CIO and CFO. CIOs are less able to gain real insights into critical resources such as the network, which could ultimately lead to missed business opportunities.