Yahoo Acquires Flurry—But What About Your Data?

Just a couple days ago, Yahoo announced that it would be purchasing Flurry, a mobile analytics, monetization, and advertising company. This is big news for a lot of reasons.

To start, congrats to the Flurry team—well done! This is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times in the team’s history and I’m excited about the acquisition. Even though Flurry focuses more on consumer apps than they do on the enterprise app space, this shows continued focus on the mobile app space (just like Apple’s purchase of Testflight), which, if you ask us, is always great news.

Yahoo’s acquisition of Flurry also points towards another important trend in mobile apps: analytics. Sure, they’re doing it mostly for consumers, but in all cases, companies still need to be aware of analytics if they want to develop better apps and ultimately, track ROI. No matter whether you’re an enterprise developing an in-house app or a consumer brand developing an app to streamline customer experience, you can’t know how effective your app is without analytics.

All of that said, Flurry’s sale does bring up a worrying point: data privacy. One of Flurry’s biggest ‘selling’ points for companies is that it’s free. Sort of. Flurry’s entire model is built off of generating ad revenue from the data they get from all of their customers, and now, all of that data is in the hands of Yahoo. That’s fine, of course, and it’s great for customers like indie developers or Fortune 500 companies building consumer apps, but this absorption by Yahoo does leave some questions as to how private data will be, and how it will be used now that it’s a part of Yahoo’s larger ecosystem.

This may not be as big of an issue for consumer apps, but is absolutely something to worry about in the enterprise. With a platform like App47, all of the data that’s collected through our platform—namely our app store and analytics—belongs to you. We won’t do anything to jeopardize your privacy, we don’t derive revenue through the use of your data (that’s why our platform isn’t free), and your privacy is an important concern of ours.

Whether you’re managing your app with Flurry or not, this should serve as a reminder to always be careful about what’s done with your (and your customers’) data. Privacy matters.

We’re very happy for Flurry, and for Yahoo—but we hope that this can start a conversation about app data usage in the enterprise and how you know your data is private.

Posted in Data Privacy, EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

The App47 Free Trial: Stop Waiting for Your Enterprise App Store!

Here on the blog, we’ve covered our extensive feature list in pretty great depth. So if you’ve been keeping up with the blog, by now, you ought to have a pretty good idea of what our platform can do.

So what’s the next step? Well, we’d certainly like it if you got in touch and registered right away. But of course, we’d understand if you wanted to get to know us a little better before taking that next step. And that’s exactly why we designed our free trial.

Here’s how it works. To start, head over to our free trial page (it’s that big orange button on the top right of our site). There, you’ll see a few things, including a brief overview of the features and benefits of App47. What we’re concerned about right now is the registration form, which looks like this:

registration form

The registration form is pretty self-explanatory. Fill it out with all the required information (to start, we recommend preloading the popular apps with the check box below your password). After that, you’ll receive two emails. One to confirm your account:

thank you

And one to download App47 on your mobile device:

app47 mobile app install

Start by confirming your account—you can install the app store afterwards!

After you confirm your account, you’ll be prompted to read to and agree to an End User License Agreement (we’ve all done those). Once you do that, you’ll be at the App47 dashboard!

app47 main dashboard

This is where the magic happens.

With your free trial, we recommend starting by poking around the different tabs at the top of the page.

You might notice that certain pages (Manage—Configuration; Analyze, etc.) are disabled when you first log on to the dashboard. Web and internal apps have analytics, but public apps don’t, so we don’t enable the Analyze, and most of the Manage menu, until you create one of those types of apps. Once you create an appropriate app type—a private app for analytics, for example—these menus will be enabled.

Until you do that, however, you can still poke around the app store. When you click the app store tab, this is what you’ll see (if you preloaded the app store, at least):

app47 app screen

You’ll notice that we preloaded the store with some of the most popular business apps from our experience. And if you look to the right of the app icons themselves, you’ll see room for information like total downloads and daily sessions. This is how you’ll track your users and see what your adoption rates look like across the board.

With your free trial, you’ll also have access to add users (to the right of ‘My Apps’), track emails sent on your behalf, and change branding—among other things.

While you’re first getting familiar with the trial, the App47 Wiki is a great place to get started. It’s loaded with information on how to use our platform so you can make the most of your 30 days.

With our free trial, all of App47’s features are fully functional during the trial period, so give them a try! Register some users within your organization and have them test out some of the preloaded apps (or any apps you choose to add). That will give you a feel for how the platform works, what it tracks, and whether or not it’s right for the needs of your business.

So—what are you waiting for? Head over to our free trial page to register and give it a shot. We’d love to have you on board. 

If you’d like to learn more about App47 or how to use our trial, please reach out to us in the comments or via the contact page of our site. We’d be happy to discuss our enterprise mobile app management platform, or any questions you have about our free trial. And If you run into any problems, don’t hesitate to contact our awesome support team at either support@app47.com or our Support Portal!

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

No—MDM Isn’t Dead

Globo’s Yad Jaura recently told Enterprise AppsTech that, among other things, “MDM was only ever a starting point for enterprise mobility.” Adding that “it’s data where the real value is, not the devices,” Jaura made clear in his talk with Enterprise AppsTech that he viewed MDM as a stepping stone in EMM, and nothing more.

To Jaura’s main point, data is certainly important. What about the apps your employees are using, and the usage data of those apps? What about crash log reporting? What about managing and distributing apps for partners or customers? All of this data is critical to finding true value in EMM across the enterprise.

Where we disagree is in the importance (or as Jaura sees it, the unimportance) of MDM. While there’s more work to be done after you’ve secured the device for your employee, securing the device is still important. There’s a lot that goes into an effective EMM strategy, and to underplay the importance of secure devices is to compromise your strategy altogether. Data’s important—but so are the devices.

I don’t think that MDM is dead—nor do I think that it’s going away. Even as organizations mature past MDM to MAM and MBaaS, MDM will continue to be an important component of enterprise mobility management.

It may not be the most important part of EMM, but to deny the role that MDM has played (and will continue to play) in the evolution of enterprise mobility management would be doing all of EMM a disservice. It’s more than just a starting point—it’s an important cornerstone of any EMM strategy for any type of organization today.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile App Development, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

Why It’s Time for You to Get an Enterprise App Store

“Corporate mobile app stores can go a long way to giving users the experience and choice they want, and putting IT back in control.”

That’s the conclusion of a recent article by Phil Barnett, VP of Global Accounts at Good Technology. His article, “Why the Corporate Mobile App Store is on the Rise,” gives a great look at what enterprise app stores can do well. The story is similar for a recent article by Ripyal Vyas, Founder and President of Softweb Solutions, who recently spelled out five key reasons for enterprises to have an app store.

All around the web, folks are singing the praises of the enterprise app store (EAS), and we’re here to tell you that we couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot to like about the EAS, and we’re glad to see so many people calling attention to it.

Using a combination of the great perspective these two articles bring to the table and our own experience, here are four big reasons why it’s time for you to get an enterprise app store:

  1. Self-service improves employee experience: As Barnett notes, self-service ensures that the end users get what they want quickly and effectively—an essential trait if you’re looking to maximize adoption rates in the short- and long-term. For businesses looking to maximize their impact and app usage, an EAS is an ideal solution.
  2. An EAS allows you to “reach the extended enterprise”: Barnett notes quite brilliantly that an effective EAS can help organizations reach not only employees, but also contractors, partners, distributors, and more. With a fully-branded, customizable app store, no one will ever know you’re going through a third party, and your business can be positioned as a useful authority on whatever space it is that you occupy. It never hurts to strengthen your business partnerships by helping out.
  3. The EAS is a quick, easy deployment method: Follow Vyas’ lead, you should aim to “have an EAS at the drop of a hat.” While MDM deployments are viewed as long, challenging development cycles, MAM/EAS provides quick, easy deployment for both the administrator and end user. If you ask us, there’s no better enterprise app distribution method than an EAS.
  4. Feedback makes you better: An EAS gives you an outlet for tracking feedback and analytics, which can have an immense impact when used correctly. Using the proper tools allows you to take the guesswork out of the equation and start fully utilizing the power of what mobile apps can bring to the table.

An enterprise app store won’t cure all evils, but it can certainly help make your business better in a wide variety of ways. It’s a secure, efficient, effective way to distribute mobile apps (whether they’re developed by you or others), and as we’ve discussed before, those apps can have real productivity gains across the enterprise.

So yes, it really is time for you to get an EAS. The enterprise app store is home to a wealth of opportunities for businesses of all kinds. What will you use it for?

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Tips for Creating a Useful and Successful Enterprise App: The Redux

Matt Hunt, business development manager at enterprise app developer Apadmi, recently weighed in on how to develop a successful enterprise app. And you know what? We really liked his list of ten tips for creating a useful and successful enterprise app.

In his list, Hunt covered (nearly) all the right things: everything from defining the purpose of the app to selecting the right technology and testing extensively. What Hunt unfortunately missed are a few of the other key considerations that fall somewhat outside the scope of app development itself.

Although we certainly recommend giving Hunt’s tips a read, we thought we’d give a few of our own recommendations a go. Here’s how we’d round off the (now thirteen) tips for creating a useful and successful enterprise app:

Prepare for deployment and enrollment

How are you going to deploy your app and enroll users? Apps don’t exist in a vacuum, and you’re not going to see the success you’d like if you don’t take this into consideration. Do you have an enterprise app store already? If not, it may be time to think about getting one, as releasing an app into a public app store is a good way to get lost in the mix.

Enrollment in the app store is equally as important. A few enrollment options we like to use? Self-service enrollment, where you send out an email to all users, and they can self register; manually adding users (just what it sounds like); AD or LDAP integration, a seamless process; and API integration, if you’d prefer something more transparent. 

Find a platform for tracking and managing analytics

The app itself is only half the story. Think about how you’re going to track the impact of your app after it’s released. We’re at a point where “just having an app” isn’t enough. Find a platform that will help you track the stuff behind the scenes (we know a thing or two about that).

You need to know things like how often your app is being used, how often it crashes, what types of actions and transactions are being performed within your app, and whether or not your app is performant. Having an app is one thing, but tracking analytics is how you build a great app and find true success.

Don’t forget about ROI 

We know, we know: ROI is something that companies should already be tracking as it relates to enterprise apps. The trouble is, many aren’t. Those analytics we just mentioned above will take you to the next step and tell you whether or not your app is doing what it’s supposed to do—saving you money, making you money, or increasing productivity. Once again, just having an app isn’t enough. It’s time to start thinking about how that app is impacting your business.

App development is obviously an important stage of the enterprise app process, but if you ask is, it’s really only half the picture. A brilliantly developed app means little without a proper support structure to back it up, and that support structure also helps you track ROI—an important next step for enterprise users.

When you’re developing a mobile app, be sure to take the steps after development into consideration. Are analytics and deployment as sexy as development? Probably not (although we wish they were)—but they’re still a key piece of the puzzle.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile App Development, Mobile App Security, Mobile Application Deployment, Mobile Application Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

App47 Video Roundup: Who Needs a Walkthrough?

Here on our blog, we’ve already spent a significant amount of time covering some of the most-used features of our MAM platform. But did you know that we have educational videos, too?

We get it: some people learn best by looking at text on a page. Others are visual learners. And some would rather ‘read’ their books by listening to audiobooks on the way to work. (Others still learn best using some combination of the three.) We all learn differently—and that’s okay.

It’s also exactly why we’ve taken the time to answer some of our most frequently asked beginner’s questions in video form. Have a look below for the first round of our video walkthroughs. We encourage you to take a look!

  • App47 In 47 Seconds: If you know nothing about App47 and are looking to start from the ground up, this is the place to begin. This brief video gives a quick rundown of what we’re all about here at App47. And plus, it’s only 47 seconds—you have no excuse not to watch it!
  • Create Your App Store: Did you know that it’s possible for anyone to go to our website and sign up for a free trial? This walkthrough covers how to register and confirm a new App47 account, and the initial account setup process.
  • Recover a Password for an App47 Account: If you’ve lost your password and are unable to log in, or even if you just want to create a new password, fear not: our password recovery/reset process is very easy. This video walks you through how to do just that. Did we mention that the recovery process is easy?
  • Manage App47 Account Members: Now we’re finally getting into the good stuff. Don’t worry if you’re starting from the very beginning and know nothing about how to use App47. This video covers adding members to your account, editing a member’s information, and managing a member’s permissions, the three most important steps in the initial App47 setup process.

Be sure to check back later for more videos in this series. And if you’d like to see more videos or walkthroughs for App47’s platform, see our wiki at App47.com/wiki.

Have questions about any of App47’s many features? See the App47 feature roundup or features page, or connect with us via the contact page of our site. We’d be happy to provide a free demo and would love to answer any questions you may have.

Posted in App47 Product Tips/Tricks, EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Curated App Store: What Is It Good For?

Here on our blog, we haven’t given curated app stores the love they deserve. Short of a few brief mentions in other posts about App47’s features, we haven’t mentioned them much, and we think it’s about time we changed that.

What’s a curated app store? Put simply, it’s a set of publicly available apps in an enterprise app store. At App47, our customers set up a curated app store by pulling the public app information from a public app store (like iTunes), presenting a curated subset of apps to a user, and running the install from the public app store.

We act as a third party between the public app store and the user, achieving two main goals for our customers: easy app discovery for their users, and an additional branding opportunity for our customers to their users through App47’s branding features.

If you’re having a hard time conceptualizing what that may look like in use, fear not: we have examples. Here are a few ways our clients are using curated app stores: 

  • Providing information and services as part of their yearly fee. We work with a large food manufacturer that has relationships with producers all over the country. Part of their yearly fee includes providing those producers with the best information and services around.

    Based on the users and their roles within our system, we’re able to pair individual users with the best apps they need (e.g. the best wheat farming apps for wheat farmers, and the best ranching-related apps for ranchers in the Midwest). This saves producers the trouble of surfing through hundreds of thousands of apps, all while giving them great, trusted information from the food manufacturer we’re working with.

  • Empowering the customer. Another company we work with builds products for public libraries to manage their books. In addition to helping this company with their internally-distributed app that helps folks run their libraries, we also helped this company set up a (fully branded) curated app store to empower their customers.

    With this curated app store, not only do their customers have access to all of their own unique solutions, they also have access to other apps that our client believes are productive and interesting. No one outside of the organization has any idea that they’re dealing with a third-party solution, and everyone gets access to apps that can help them use the library system more efficiently.

  • Onboarding and managing who sees and gets which apps. Finally, a global distributor we’re working with has a set of apps in the public app store that they want their business partners to use. Some are publicly available, some are B2B, and different partners need access to certain apps, while being restricted from access to others. They were looking for a way to onboard those partners and easily manage who sees and gets which apps, and all of that is easily managed within the App47 system.

We’ve been talking about enterprise app stores for the last three years, and that market continues to grow and be very exciting. This notion of the curated app store is picking up a lot of steam—and for good reason.

Public app stores are great for distribution, but discovery still remains hard when you’re trying to present a unified message from your store. And while a lot of companies have provided solutions that do this for the consumer, not many have done the same thing for businesses. All-in-all, the curated app store is a new opportunity in the world of MAM that’s taking hold and becoming more prevalent throughout our current customers.

Want to learn more about what a curated app store can do for you? Get in touch and let us know!

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building the Perfect Enterprise App Store

According to a forecast by Gartner from last year—one that we already addressed right here on our blog—about one-fourth of all enterprises will have their own app store by 2017. Not exactly the boldest prediction we’ve ever heard, but hey, it’s something.

And while we discussed that report last summer, we came across another blog post about the report from Kinvey, a platform for mobile, tablet, and web apps, and thought it might be worth chiming in again. 

To keep the discussion going, we though we’d address a few of Kelly Rice’s assertions in her post about whether or not an enterprise app store is a good idea:

Building an enterprise app store can be costly.

Building an enterprise app store can be costly—if it’s tied to MDM. But if you focus on an MAM vendor that already has its own enterprise app store, the cost is lower, and the reach is far greater. Doing the latter allows you to do the following, all in one platform:

  • Deploy apps internally to testers
  • Deploy apps internally to all employees
  • Deploy apps on all platforms—HTML5, iOS, Android, Windows, et al.
  • Deploy B2B apps to your employees
  • Deploy apps to business partners
  • Provide a curated app store to your customers—a great marketing tool to let your customers know how best to get value from your mobile platform

Don’t let cost scare you off from having your own enterprise app store. Instead, focus on a vendor that can give you the functionality you need without building things from the ground up.

User-friendliness is a key challenge.

We definitely agree that making your app store “as user-friendly as the public stores employees are used to” is essential. However, Rice misses out on something else that’s just as important: the app store onboarding process.

If getting users’ information and onboarding them with the chosen solution isn’t extremely easy, you’ll create more support calls into your IT department than you will see value from your app deployment. It doesn’t matter how much your app store mimics public app stores if it isn’t easy to get your employees on board, so don’t leave onboarding out of the mix when setting out to build or adapt your own enterprise app store.

More feedback means more effective apps.

Although she mentions it in a different context—prompting competition amongst development teams to deliver the best apps—Rice’s note about feedback being a powerful tool in the EMM world is spot-on.

User feedback in your enterprise app store is key. Including everything from which apps are being downloaded, to which apps are being used, to which apps are your employees’ favorites and more, there’s really no limit to what you can do with your feedback. It’s extremely useful for building better apps, and aside from actual analytics about your apps, user feedback is the best way to tell whether or not your apps are effective.

Okay, so we may have been a little too ambitious in looking at these comments as ways to build a ‘perfect’ app store. However, it’s a lot easier to get close to a perfect enterprise app store than you might think—provided that you’re asking the right questions and focusing on the right things.

Rice’s look at whether or not you should have an enterprise app store is generally pretty good, but we couldn’t help but add in a few comments of our own. Will this get you a perfect app store? Maybe not. But it’ll at least get you involved instead of sitting back on the sidelines and wondering when it’s time to join the many businesses with their own app stores.

Interested in learning more about how App47 can help you build a better app store for your business? Reach out to us in the comments or via the contact page of our site. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management | 1 Comment

Cleaning the Mobility House | Analytics Lead to ROI

Mobility in the enterprise is a hot topic these days. And in doing our regular light reading, we’ve found a wide variety of articles discussing just that. Some are good, some are bad, and some we’re indifferent to—but it’s not often that we read articles that we truly, strongly agree with.

Enter a blog published last week by Brillo, a provider of software products and technology consulting services. Titled, “It’s Time for Enterprise to Clean Its Mobility House,” we just had to take a moment and give some credit to Sahara Alexis of Brillo for publishing such a great piece.

Here’s the gist of it: Alexis sees employees with mobile apps that create true business value as the future of the enterprise. The trouble is, just “having a mobile app”—which many companies today are unfortunately doing—really isn’t enough. Alexis outlines elements of the so-called ‘mobility house’ that may need cleaning, ranging from metrics, to productivity gains and user experience.

The whole post really is a great summary of what’s wrong with so many enterprise mobile apps today, explaining why “most apps are dismal deployments of existing desktop applications.”

This entire post reflects (nearly) exactly what one of our goals is here at App47: to enable enterprises to start seeing mobile apps as value adds and true productivity gains instead of cost centers and something that they have to do just to “have a mobile app.” Gone are the days when rushing to create an app and releasing it into the wild was acceptable (we saw a similar thing happen with the dawn of web apps—it took a while for businesses to realize that there’s a real need for analytics).

A favorite point from the blog? Alexis’ note that “79% of companies believe mobile applications will provide productivity gains.” That’s not “79% of companies know” or “79% of companies are certain”—that’s believe. It’s time to move beyond belief—there’s no reason for companies to simply believe that mobile apps will provide productivity gains. There are ways to track these gains and move from belief to true knowledge of fact, and that’s exactly what cleaning the mobility house requires.

The tools for tracking productivity gains and, in turn, ROI, exist (we know a thing or two about that). The problem is that many businesses aren’t utilizing them. And because of that, they’re missing out on the incredible gains that a well-developed, researched, and tracked mobile app can provide.

We appreciate the message in Brillo’s article: it’s time to clean the mobility house. Stop thinking about mobile apps as a cost center. Stop haphazardly releasing apps just so you can say you have them. And stop believing that apps might be a good thing.

Instead, start tracking the things that can help you determine the ROI of your apps. Start making informed decisions through the development cycle and beyond. And start seeing—and tracking—the gains that mobile apps can give you. In cleaning your mobility house, you may be surprised with what good things you find.

Posted in Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, Mobile App Development, Mobile App Performance, Mobile App Security, Mobile App Testing, Mobile Application Management | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Overcoming the App-Ocalypse : Mobile Application Management

In a recent article on ZDNet, writer Charles McLellan discussed a series of surveys that help frame the state of enterprise mobility here and now in 2014. In his post, he wonders: are we currently experiencing ‘App-Ocalypse Now’?

While enterprise mobile apps greatly increase productivity—respondents to a July 2013 Mobile Helix survey expected, on average, “a 36% boost in productivity if key enterprise applications were mobilized”—there’s still something holding back wider deployment of enterprise applications on mobile devices.

That holdup is, as McLellan notes, cost. 65% of respondents in that same Mobile Helix survey cited development costs as a factor leading to a slowdown in the deployment and adoption of enterprise mobile apps, with 48% citing increased support and maintenance costs. IT decision-makers in the middle of this so-called app-ocalypse are afraid of costs that apps can bring.

As it turns out, however, overcoming this obstacle is easier than you might think. With budget being a main reason that apps aren’t being developed across the enterprise, it’s time to stop looking at the app as a cost center. You can focus solely on the cost of what it takes to build and maintain an app, sure, but doing so completely misses the point of what enterprise mobile apps are all about.

Instead of thinking about how much your app costs to develop or how much you’ll spend maintaining mobile apps across the enterprise, IT decision-makers need to view enterprise mobile apps as a way to save time or generate revenue. Even though an app could cost $50-100 thousand over the course of its lifetime, the analytics offered in an enterprise mobile app management solution like App47 can allow you to track the ROI of the app you invested in.

We’re not saying that IT decision-makers need to ignore the cost of mobile apps. Instead, we’re saying that if you’re not building your apps to save time or generate revenue, you’re going to have problems. Being able to measure and quantify ROI helps with this process, and can allow those that are hesitant about investing in enterprise mobile apps to see the benefits that come along with investing in these apps, instead of just the costs that go into them.

Are we in the middle of the ‘App-Ocalypse Now’? Hardly. Nothing in your business should be losing you money, and enterprise mobile apps are no exception. Increased productivity, efficiency, and revenue generation are all realities of mobile apps in the enterprise that can all be tracked with the right analytics, and the sooner that IT decision-makers can realize these benefits, the better off the entire business will be.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile App Development | Leave a comment

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