App47 Turns 4!

We have big news, folks: App47 turned four this month!

The enterprise mobility landscape is, unsurprisingly, quite a bit different than it was when Sean McDermott (current CEO of WindwardITS) and I first started App47 a few years back. Then, most apps were consumer-facing, and the idea of mobile apps in the enterprise hadn’t really taken off yet. Today, most businesses are sold on the idea of mobile apps for their employees, vendors, contractors, and more—it’s the execution that varies so greatly between companies.

Nonetheless, it’s still a very exciting time to be in the industry. In keeping with our tradition of tracking our progress with stats, here are some concrete numbers for you to chew on that show roughly where we’re at. Currently, we have:

  • 37 million agents on user devices
  • 20,000 total app stores, with more to come
  • 10 billion events per month. That means 322 million per day and 224 thousand per second!

Last year at this time, we had 22+ million agents on user devices, were processing 6 billion events per month, and had over 7,000 app stores. The year before, we had 10+ million agents on user devices, were processing 4 billion events per month, and had some 3,000 app stores. Hard to complain about that kind of growth!

The exciting thing moving forward—that was solidified for us at Enterprise Mobility Exchange 2014—is that there’s still a lot of room for growth in the industry. 3/4 of the people we talked to there either didn’t yet use mobile analytics, or had plans to but hadn’t deployed a solution yet. If this is the case across the market, as we think it is, then there’s nowhere to go but up for EMM.

The increasingly complex needs of our clients also reinforce our thought that, through this year and beyond, businesses will continue their search for a robust, all-encompassing mobile management solution.

So, to all of our clients, partners, associates, and friends, we’d like to extend a warm thanks for helping us get to where we are today. Here’s to another great year ahead!

Posted in App47 Customer Success Stories | Leave a comment

App47’s Resolutions for 2015

We’re already over a week into the New Year. Time really flies, doesn’t it? In light of the many millions of people all around the world who are using this time as an opportunity to get more fit, or lose weight, or be more kind to people, we thought it might be fun to put together some New Year’s Resolutions for App47 as a company.

As a mobile application management company, it probably wouldn’t make sense for us to tell all of our readers that we’re striving to run more in 2015. What we can tell you are a few other things about how we hope to operate throughout this New Year:

  • Be more aggressive with our marketing spend. This year, we’d like to take more risks when it comes to marketing (and R&D). While the market really wasn’t there before, it’s started shaping up and gaining some momentum. With that happening, we’re going to strive to be less conservative with our spend so that we can really capitalize on all the great stuff happening in EMM today.
  • Upgrade our technology. App47 is almost 4 years old, and we’re due for a technology update. This year, customers can expect to see a number of things, including a handful of new features. On the backend, we’ll also be working to ensure better performance, sustainability, and cost effectiveness. Staying with the times means making sure technology stays up-to-date, and we’re devoting a good bit of effort to doing just that.
  • Become even more security-focused. Finally, we’re also in the process of developing even more security features for our EMM solutions. Our platform is already very secure, but we want even more security features to fit the growing concern about security. This resolution applies to other businesses, too: if you don’t know where you stand on security, now is the time to make sure you’re giving it the attention it deserves.

Resolutions don’t have to be complicated to be good, and we like to think that’s exactly where we fall with these goals for the New Year. We already know we’re ready for 2015, but we’re always taking small steps to improve our customer experience and our product. You can hold us to these resolutions, too! At the end of the year, we’ll check in and review how far we’ve come with the resolutions we set today.

We know we’re not the only ones in the space making a point to ramp up for 2015. If you have any resolutions you think we should be focusing on, or if you’d like to share a resolution of your own, contact us directly through the comments, or via our Twitter feed @App47. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility Management, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

App47 Is Ready for 2015—Are You?

Those of you who have stayed with us on the blog throughout this year (thank you!) have seen a year filled with all kinds of exciting news for enterprise mobility.

We took a trip to Washington to connect today’s Congress with tomorrow’s coders. We saw Yahoo acquire Flurry, a mobile analytics company. We watched on while mobile analytics picked up steam and moved towards critical mass. We acquired many new clients with many different needs. We even went to Vegas (and learned quite a bit about the current state of enterprise mobility while we were there). Needless to say, it’s been a very exciting year for App47 and, more generally, for our industry.

So where does that leave us heading into 2015? We’re headed straight into the explosion of enterprise mobility and it’s time to gear up. But you don’t just have to take our word for it.

You don’t have to look far to find others who are thinking along the same lines for enterprise mobility in 2015. GSX sees enterprise mobility going nowhere but up next year. SAP (via The Guardian) believes that “enterprise mobility megatrend will drive some of the largest corporate expenditures.” MobieInTech thinks that next year is full of possibilities for mobility (and that 2015 will be a “breakout year” for EMM). Snappii says that 2015 will be the start of exponential growth—with employees using at least 5-10 apps each on their mobile devices. And Srishti Interactive notes that enterprise mobility “has become one of the top five strategic initiatives in most business around the world.” If there’s one thing to take away from this flood of content about enterprise mobility, it’s that 2015 holds a lot of promise for EMM.

Here at App47, we’ve been preparing for this since we started the company around 4 years ago. We’ve grown our capabilities and expanded our support for many different types of clients. 2014 saw a lot of growth, and all signs point to 2015 being an even better year for enterprise mobility.

As we wrap up the holiday season, we encourage all of our readers to think about their plan for enterprise mobility in 2015. We know that we’re ready for all that lies ahead—are you?

Are you ready for the year ahead? Let us know your thoughts by contacting us directly through the comments, or via our Twitter feed @App47. We’d love to hear from you!

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

5 Last-Minute Holiday Apps

christmas tree with reflective ornamentsIt’s almost Christmas! While some of us are scrambling to get last-minute gifts, others among us are getting ready to take off of work and get in the holiday spirit.

No matter where you are during the holidays, Christmas apps are a great way to get in the spirit and create a more interactive holiday experience. Check out our list below for 5 holiday apps you can use to get the most out of this Christmas:

  • NORAD Tracks Santa: NORAD Tracks Santa made our list last year, and for good reason: it’s the original Santa tracker! Track Santa all the way up to bedtime with this great app from the organization that first started tracking Santa.
  • PopOut! The Night Before Christmas: We all know The Night Before Christmas–but why not make it a little more high tech this year? Whip out your iPhone or iPad and bring this old story to life with a great interactive version of this Christmas classic.
  • Hello Santa: This one’s an app, but you can also try it from your PC. Hello Santa brings Santa into the 21st century with video chat! Although appointments are a bit expensive (starting at around $30), the experience is great. Who knew Santa was so high tech?
  • NOAA Snow Forecast: Wondering whether or not we’ll see a white Christmas this year? It’s hard to beat NOAA’s Snow Forecast app, which gives by-the-hour, detailed reports of snow forecasts in your area. Extremely useful if you’re making holiday travel plans.
  • ReindeerCam: Who doesn’t love Rudolph? ReindeerCam gives you a live stream view of reindeer getting ready for the big holiday! Tune in at the right time, and you might even see Santa feeding his reindeer! A great app for getting in the spirit.

Have a favorite holiday app that you’d like to see added to this list? Reach out to us in the comments or on Twitter and let us know!

photo credit: kawaiikiri via photopin cc

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App47′s Must-Read Matrix for Selecting Enterprise Mobility Vendors

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time putting together a few useful resources for businesses that need to select an enterprise mobility vendor. Along the way, we’ve stressed two things: 1), that you need to understand what type of enterprise mobility profile your business fits, and 2), that you must also understand what kind of security needs your business has.

But knowing both of those things isn’t enough. You may have a great understanding of your business’ needs and a general understanding of what you need to consider regarding security, but still be overwhelmed by the myriad options of enterprise mobility vendors. (In our experience, many businesses feel this way.)

The trouble is, unlike a server farm, for which you can go to one vendor and just be done with it, enterprise mobility is still a nascent market that hasn’t yet seen many vendors offering comprehensive solutions. To cover all of your mobility needs within the enterprise, you’re likely going to have to contract with more than one vendor. For example, a business may have a BYOD policy in place but also offer full-scale private apps–in which case an MDM vendor wouldn’t cover all your needs.

To help you make sense of what matters and what doesn’t when selecting an enterprise mobility vendor (or vendors), we put together a table using our mobility and security profiles that shows you what needs your vendor or vendors needs to cover. Have a look below to see the full table:

Platform/MDM Container App Cloud Web None/Virtual Desktop
Inactive Consider
BYOD Consider Consider
BYOD + Public Apps Consider Consider Consider
Web-Based Apps Consider Consider Must
Limited Private Apps Must Consider Consider Consider
Full-Scale Private Apps Must Consider Consider Consider

Using this table, if your business is BYOD only, you should look for a solution that covers platform/MDM and container-based security. If you deploy a limited number of private apps, your enterprise mobility vendor(s) must cover apps, and may also cover the cloud, the web, and virtual desktop-based solutions. It’s possible to exist in more than one category or profile, so don’t be afraid of addressing multiple needs at once.

To get started in enterprise mobility, you’re probably going to have to work with multiple vendors–at least until enterprise mobility sees the same type of convergence that we’ve seen in the past with other emerging technologies. We hope this chart is useful for figuring out what you must or should consider when selecting your vendors!

If you have questions about this chart or how to use it, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments or on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!

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

What’s Your Outlook On Enterprise Mobile Security?

Last week, we kicked off our series on enterprise mobility with an overview of the many different types of enterprise mobility clients. Ranging from completely inactive (somewhat of a unicorn these days) to full-scale private app deployment, enterprises these days can and do take many different approaches to enterprise mobility.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the same is true for mobile security in the enterprise. There are many different ways for a business to approach mobile security, and those approaches should influence that business’ security solution. Of course, it’s just not possible to know what kind of security solution you need without first understanding where you fit within the many different enterprise mobility profiles, and what your outlook on enterprise mobile security is.

To that end, this week, we’re going to continue our series by offering an overview of the different possible outlooks on mobile security in the enterprise. Have a look below:

Platform: MDM is well-known and widely-adopted, and is where most businesses start. Platform trust secures the platform itself, but that’s it. The predominant focus with an MDM solution is securing the device.

Pros: Platform trust is the most prolific and predominant form of trust in the enterprise. There are many solutions for securing devices.

Cons: With platform trust, you’re just managing the device—nothing else. This makes you vulnerable in other areas that different outlooks cover.

Container: Secure containers start to focus on applications, and ultimately where we want to get: the data. A container contains apps that have a known set—email, contacts, and calendar, normally—and secures the data within them.

Pros: Containers are very secure. You know exactly what people are doing with corporate emails and calendars, and can control data leakage.

Cons: Containers are clumsier to use than native apps, and are often limited to ‘functional’ apps like email and calendar. Though they’ve gotten better, containers are still cumbersome to use.

App: When an app doesn’t live inside of a container, it’s on its own and needs to be secured (often via an app wrapper). Now, we’re not managing the device any more—we’re managing the data.

Pros: App trust manages data—not just the device. Native apps drive adoption and offer better immersion, capabilities, and functionality than many other security solutions.

Cons: Cost. Releasing a consumer app on another platform builds incremental revenue. Within the enterprise, that’s not the case; 5,000 employees is 5,000 employees, and getting an app to them on a different platform only makes things more expensive for you.

Cloud: With the cloud, we start to bifurcate where we trust the data. It’s managed on the device when it needs to be, and removed when it doesn’t. Cloud solutions start to move control of the data back onto the server.

Pros: Cloud trust helps address the issue of cost. A cloud-based UI allows you to dramatically lower your cost to develop and deploy.

Cons: You now have to worry about data in a few places: cached, in transit, and on your server. Without proper procedures in place, this can get difficult. What’s more, cloud-based UIs look the same on all your devices, which can alienate users who are used to apps looking and functioning a certain way.

Web: In a web app, data is cached locally when it needs to be, and otherwise, stored on the web. With the web, trust is placed predominantly on the server, although data leakage can happen on the device, as well.

Pros: Web-based deployments simplify your security by limiting the number of places your data is stored.

Cons: Native apps generally offer more immersive, usable user experiences. For some apps (HR- or accounting-based, for example), this doesn’t matter. For others (centered around complex business operations, for example) web-based apps may not be a great fit.

None: If you don’t trust any of the above, you may run a virtual desktop where you have full access. Data is encrypted between the virtual desktop server and the device, and nothing is cached locally.

Pros: Zero data leakage. You’re securing your data, and you know exactly where it is because nothing’s ever cached locally.

Cons: Virtual environments need to be fully connected to the web, and also don’t always carry over well to tablets and phones. If you’re on a device that has enough screen real estate to function like a desktop, however, this can be a great solution.

As with last week’s enterprise mobility client types, these security outlooks aren’t all-or-nothing—it’s possible to take parts of a few different outlooks and then mix and match. That said, evaluating this list and your business’ place on it is key to the ultimate goal of a well-rounded, form-fitting security solution for mobility.

You’ve stuck with us through the first two parts of our series—so why not check back next week? On Friday, we’ll wrap this all up with more information about how you can combine your enterprise mobility profile with your security strategy for a tailored security solution. In the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments or on Twitter.

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

What Type of Enterprise Mobility Client Are You?

Even though enterprise mobility is maturing and evolving heading into 2015, there’s still no one-size-fits-all set of needs in the space. Thanks to differing business structures, industries, client needs, and more, different businesses have chosen to tackle enterprise mobility in a variety of ways.

In addition to offering a snapshot of enterprise mobility today, understanding these different types of enterprise mobility clients (and what type of enterprise mobility client you are) can help your business better recognize and address its needs for everything from mobility to security. To help frame that conversation, we thought we would take a minute to lay out a spectrum that covers most enterprises’ mobile needs today.

Based on our experience with clients and our conversations with other enterprises, here is a basic outline of the several different types of enterprise mobility clients:

  • Completely inactive: Your business does nothing related to mobile apps at all. Enterprises that are completely inactive in the mobility space don’t really exist these days. (Or if they do, we haven’t seen one in a long time.) We’re including this more as a formality than anything, because nobody today truly does nothing in this space.
  • BYOD only: Your business allows people to use devices to do things like access corporate email and use a mobile browser, and you may also offer a stipend to help offset data and voice charges.
  • BYOD + public apps: The next type of enterprise mobility client is one that has a BYOD structure like the one outlined above, and in addition allows public apps for corporate use. Public apps may be free (Dropbox) or paid (OmniGraffle), and if they’re paid, you may use Apple’s Volume Purchase Program to pay for your employees’ apps.
  • Modified web-based apps: Moving on up, your business has taken steps to run web-based apps on employee devices either as-is (which we don’t recommend) or repurposed as mobile-ready. Rather than building a suite of apps, you’ve taken web-based apps you already had around and adapted them to fit mobile.
  • Limited private apps: Getting to the top of the spectrum, your business has developed a small number (1-5, give or take) of apps internally, and deployed them throughout the enterprise. This may be a hybrid app, a native app to run on various platforms, or any of the many solutions in between. Most important is that you’ve developed these apps internally.
  • Full-scale private apps: Finally, we have the full-scale private app user, which, like the limited private app user, has developed apps internally. This final type of enterprise mobility client differs because of the number of apps they deploy; an enterprise that deploys dozens or hundreds of apps has different needs than one only deploying two.

One important thing to note here is that these enterprise mobility client types aren’t completely segmented out—this is a spectrum more than anything. It’s possible for a client to exist in more than one category, for example both BYOD and web-based apps. That said, these different categories are extremely useful in framing the security needs of different types of enterprise clients, which is exactly what we’ll be doing in the coming weeks.

Next week, we’ll give a rundown of different types of security profiles, and after that, we’ll wrap up our series with information on how to use your full client profile to evaluate a proper security solution. In the meantime, let us know where you fall on the enterprise mobility spectrum by reaching out in the comments or on Twitter!

Posted in BYOD, EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, Mobile App Development, Mobile App Security, Mobile Application Deployment, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

4 Trends on the Horizon for App47 in 2015

The end of the year is getting closer every day, and that means a lot of things for the team here at App47. Certainly, it means that we’re getting excited for visiting family over the holidays and maybe—if we’re lucky—taking a few days off of work. More importantly, though, the end of the year marks a great time for New Year’s resolutions and predictions as we get closer to the fresh start that a new year brings.

In the ever-changing enterprise mobility space, the predictions we just mentioned are an important part of our product and our business strategy heading into 2015. With that in mind, we thought that now would be a good time to review our biggest predictions for trends that will matter in EMM next year. Have a look below for the 4 trends on the horizon for App47 in 2015:

  1. Increased SSO integration: Single sign-on integration is becoming more and more relevant every week; in-house, our new customers are requesting it as part of new deals, and our current customers are requesting that we add the capability to our current offerings for them. With continued momentum behind SSO integration, it only makes sense for us to be able to support it through the onboarding process and beyond.
  2. A stronger focus on security: As we mentioned in our follow-up from Enterprise Mobility Exchange 2014, app security is more top-of-mind than it’s ever been. Currently, most enterprise mobile app security takes place through MDM vendors that control data on devices or, if nothing else, at a fairly narrow scale.

    As we develop new capabilities around security, we see a future focused on controlling data on a much wider spectrum of devices and on a much wider platform than through MDM. That means everything from geofencing, remote wiping, and jailbreak detection—app policies—to app actions like remote wiping data and enforcing encryption of data at rest and data in transit. Again, what we see on the horizon here at App47 is a single platform that allows you to control your data on a very large scale.

  3. Expanded analytics capabilities: Current app analytics, including those at App47, are very useful. The future is not with broad-based market adoption rates or even CTRs; while those are useful, they don’t tell you much about users and their usage patterns on an individual scale.

    Proactive alert thresholds alert you when a certain number of events (like crashes) occur outside of your set threshold. User-centric analytics expand your capabilities even further by allowing you to remotely diagnose users’ issues and fix them, and understand in greater detail how your users are using your apps. We’re confident that the future of EMM is even more analytics-focused than it is today, and we’re planning on expanding our capabilities to suit heading into 2015.

  4. Greater support for ecommerce app stores: Our customer base continues to expand their needs surrounding ecommerce app stores, something that we expect to continue well into 2015—so much so that we’re adding two new capabilities in this area. One, supporting version 3 of Google’s in-app API will allow apps written on version three to be run on our platform. And two, supporting bundles will allow our customers to utilize highly specialized curated bundles that enhance user experience across the board.

    Although they’re not our most requested feature, our customers are requesting ecommerce app stores frequently enough that we’re continuing to build out our to build out our capabilities to support our customers’ needs. They may be a small part of our focus now, but don’t be surprised if ecommerce app stores grow in importance in the enterprise through next year and beyond.

Every day, more and more businesses are dipping their feet in EMM as they evolve past strictly MDM strategies, and often, hastily-deployed mobile app strategies. As that happens, we expect those same businesses to seek out capabilities similar to those we discussed here.

Although we can’t predict the future, if the evolving needs of our current customers are any indication, all of the trends you see above should move directly into the spotlight as we turn the corner and head straight for another great year in 2015.

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

Happy Veterans Day 2014

Departing from our normal blog strategy for a bit, I’d like to take a moment to wish all of our country’s veterans a happy and safe Veterans Day 2014.

My father served for 23 years in the military; my brother-in-law served for 21; and my sister just retired from the military. I’m not a member of the military myself, but I have close ties to the military and have nothing but respect for all of our country’s many veterans.

Myself and the rest of the team here at App47 have nothing but respect for our country’s veterans, and would like to extend our sincerest thanks for all that they do for us. Thanks, and have a safe Veterans Day.

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What We Learned at Enterprise Mobility Exchange 2014

Several flights, six time zone changes, lots of handshakes, and a handful of presentations later, the App47 team is back from the 2014 Enterprise Mobility Exchange. And we have to say, we certainly learned a lot. We promised a few weeks ago that we’d come back with some insights from this great conference, and today, we’re here to do just that.

Let’s start with the surveys. In person, we surveyed 8 businesses supporting anywhere from 500-70,000 users. (We know we’re dealing with a small sample size here, but remember—this was a show about enterprise mobility. At EME 2014, we had access to a very powerful sampling area.) Here’s what we asked and what we found:

  • 100% of the businesses we surveyed currently use an app store
  • 63% of businesses used 0-25 public apps, and 37% of businesses used 75-125
  • 37% of businesses didn’t use any private apps, but of those who did, 40% used 75 or more private apps
  • 75% of all the businesses we surveyed developed their own apps in-house
  • 25% of businesses supported both iOS and Android; the other 75% only supported iOS
  • 25% of businesses surveyed supported 500 users or less, 25% supported 500-5,000, 13% supported 5,000-10,000, and 37% supported 10,000 or more users
  • Only 2 respondents currently have a strong focus on mobile analytics; the other 75% either didn’t use them or had plans to use them, but hadn’t yet done so

Meanwhile, we ran a brief online survey and had a few (5) of our readers respond. (Thanks to all of you who did!) Here’s what we found with our online survey:

  • 60% of respondents are currently investigating an enterprise app store solution; the other 40% already have enterprise app stores
  • 100% of respondents currently use 5 public apps or less
  • 60% use 0-5 private apps, and the other 40% all use 5-10
  • 80% don’t currently develop their own apps
  • Online respondents had a much better mix of platform support; 80% support both Android and iOS, while 1 respondent supports Android, iOS, and Windows apps
  • Employees were the most widely-supported group at 100% support, followed by partners (60%) and consultants (40%)
  • Only 1 respondent believed mobile analytics for enterprise apps to be mandatory; the other 80% believed they’d be relevant 6 months-1 year from now

Interestingly, our online respondents were much smaller businesses supporting less users, but they supported more platforms—possibly because their businesses can be more flexible. That said, from our in-person surveys and other conversations we had at EME 2014, we found much more support for mobile device management (MDM) than enterprise mobility management (EMM). Many businesses are still coming out of the fog of MDM and still trying to get their feet on the ground in deploying a viable EMM solution.

Another interesting observation we had was just how security-centric many businesses are headed into 2015. In asking businesses what they’d most like to have in 2014—a predictive app store, an enterprise mobile analytics platform, or an app store with fine-grain access controls and data security built in—the overwhelming majority said they’d most like to have the security-focused app store over everything else. This makes sense as our world seems to see more and more security threats every day, but it was still surprising to see just how greatly businesses prioritized security over other factors in an enterprise app store.

All-in-all, we had an excellent time at the 2014 Enterprise Mobility Exchange, and learned a lot about our customers and our market. We’re heading into exciting times for enterprise mobility, and if the businesses we talked to at EME 2014 are any indication, there’s nowhere to go but up with mobility through 2015 and beyond.

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

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