In Enterprise Mobility, “There’s An App for That” Is Not Enough

Watching the explosion of mobile apps has been, in a word, incredible.

In less than a decade, consumers have gone from having low-tech cell phones to early-stage smartphones to powerful machines that house dozens of mobile apps that do everything from stream music to order you a ride to work.

But as mobile apps have exploded, a problem has followed—and it’s one that often follows industries that see tremendous growth and success. Now that a small handful of people have struck gold by developing popular mobile apps, everyone wants to get on board. And that worked. For a while. But now it’s becoming a problem.

In an article for ARC, Dan Rowinski explains this rather well:

In the end, “there’s an app for that” is not a business model. Successful developers (mostly) do not succeed because they are more talented or imaginative than the next person. The best app publishers, the ones that can distinguish themselves from the fray, are the people that attack the market with a full on strategy that takes advantage of the best aspects of the Web, optimized mobile Web experiences and apps that provide significant engagement opportunities.

Translation: mobility for mobility’s sake just won’t cut it these days. And Rowinski has a point. The mobile app space is so overcrowded that it’s difficult, if not impossible to get noticed and gain traction if all you do is build a good app. The best apps create experiences. They’re transformative. They do more than just take some everyday task and convert it to mobile. And they know how to sell.

Rowinski’s analysis may be directed towards developers of consumer-facing apps, but it’s good food for thought for the enterprise, too.

If you want to do well and sell the value of mobility to your leadership, you need to do more than just “go mobile.” You’ll never get your project off the ground and to the rest of your organization if you don’t have a more cohesive and convincing selling point. And, even if you do happen to convince leadership to adopt mobility with your shortsighted mobile strategy, we can almost guarantee you’ll have a hard time driving user adoption if all your enterprise mobile apps do is take tasks and translate them to your employees’ smartphones.

So what does it take if “there’s an app for that” is not enough? It’s simple: highly functional apps paired with even more precise analytics. Your apps need to be great—they need to transform business processes rather than just translate them. But that’s only part of the puzzle. The more important part is having tools in place which enable you to track and manage analytics. That’s how you find ROI and make a real business case for enterprise mobility.

For your enterprise mobility efforts to succeed—from buy-in to execution—mobility needs to be fully integrated into your business strategy. It can’t just be a loose end or a box you check that says “we’re mobile.” Unless you take your mobility strategy seriously and prioritize mobile analytics, you’re more than likely going to suffer the same fate as that consumer app developer trying to hit it big on the next Candy Crush.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Mobile Application Analysis | Leave a comment

How Recent Mobile Technology Trends Affect Your Business

mobile phone explosion Mobile shopping is beginning to replace Black Friday, AdAge reported this October, citing Google data. According to Google, 54 percent of shoppers this year plan to do their shopping on their smartphones during free moments while eating or commuting, and 52 percent plan to consult their smartphone before visiting a store.

Smartphone shopping has gone up 64 percent since last year and now constitutes 30 percent of all online purchases. Meanwhile in-store shopping over Thanksgiving fell 5 percent last year, and total in-store spending fell 11 percent.

These holiday shopping trends reflect a broader increase in smartphone shopping year-round. In 2015, mobile shopping accounts for 22 percent of digital commerce, according to Gartner. By 2017, this will rise to 50 percent. To keep up with today’s market, it’s essential for your enterprise to stay current with the latest mobile technology trends.

Responsive Web Design

Mobile devices come in an increasingly diverse array of screen sizes, from smartphones and tablets to phablets and smartwatches. To adapt to this diversity, e-commerce websites have adopted a responsive approach to web design, which detects user device and adjusts display scale accordingly.

Microsoft says enterprises that want to implement responsive design successfully should adopt a mobile-first approach which uses mobile screen size as a primary default and adjusts secondarily to other detected devices. In conjunction with this, enterprise web designers should use CSS3 Media Queries and HTML5 to design fluid content that adapts to device size.

Touch & Audio Engagement Features

Microsoft also recommends that responsive enterprise websites should include gesture support. Where traditional desktop design is based on mouse point-and-click user interaction, smartphone users rely increasingly on touch features. These include tapping, swiping, pinching, and now, pressure-sensitive 3D peek and pop options introduced with Apple’s latest iPhone 6s upgrade.

In addition to touch, many smartphone users interact with their devices using voice recognition software such as Apple’s Siri. Smartwatches with their small screen sizes also promote voice recognition command interfaces. Including audio support for your site will increase your visitor satisfaction.

Mobile Promotion

Promoting your company website to mobile audiences means distributing content that appeals to smartphone users. Effective mobile content marketing must emphasize video, which Cisco projects will account for 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2017. YouTube and Facebook are the most effective sites for distributing video content, VideoBlocks CEO Joel Holland says.

Twitter is another essential content channel for effective mobile marketing. While Twitter does not display video content as well as other sites, it is extremely effective for distributing short blog excerpts and other quotable text. For example, LifeLock’s Twitter feed features useful information, interesting facts and intriguing questions that highlight content from the company’s blog.

Mobile Payment Processing

Doing business effectively with mobile customers increasingly means accepting mobile payments. Sixty-nine percent of global mobile consumers used their devices for banking activity in 2014, and 66 percent used them for some type of transaction, according to MEF’s most recent Global Money Survey.

In 2015, mobile payment processing has continued to grow with the increasing competition between providers such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Companies that market to mobile users should make it easy for customers to make payments using these services.


The growth of mobile payment processing has naturally raised consumer security concerns and raised the bar for enterprise security standards. If you’re going to accept mobile payments and process other sensitive data, your customers need to have confidence that you can protect their information.

Technology writer Ed Tittel gives a roundup of enterprise mobile security best practices. These include using anti-malware, securing mobile communications through measures such as virtual private networks and encryption, using strong authentication and password controls and managing access to third-party software. Visa has published security guidelines for companies accepting mobile payments.

Posted in Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility | Leave a comment

MAM: The Answer to Security Woes In Enterprise Mobility

As we mentioned last week, there’s a security problem in enterprise mobility.

But the problem isn’t that it’s impossible to have truly secure apps, or that stakeholders don’t value security. Neither of those statements is true.

The problem is that many enterprises today are approaching security in the wrong way. They’re using outdated methods like MDM, which do indeed secure the device—but they do so without addressing the nuances of the way people purchase and use devices today.

So: what’s the answer? That’s something we didn’t resolve last week.

It’s simple: a mobile app management, or MAM, solution is what today’s enterprises need. If MDM is the digital equivalent of a 10,000-pound anvil, MAM is a precise, efficient piece of machinery that does the job without causing any “collateral damage.”

MDM often operates under the expectation that all devices are owned by the business; MAM recognizes that employees can and will use their own devices, and does so while keeping data secure. MDM locks down the whole device even if one or two apps are all that need to be secured; MAM is laser-focused and separates only the data and applications that need to be separated. MDM may depend on all devices operating on the same platform; MAM can be deployed in different ways across any number of mobile platforms.

It’s no wonder that companies that have deployed MDM solutions are having trouble tackling security. Companies in that situation would be well-suited to deploy an MAM solution. MAM can help address security concerns while at the same time giving end users an easy-to-navigate experience, as well as the freedom to continue to use outside applications as they please.

Is MAM the security silver bullet for enterprise mobility? Maybe not. But executed correctly, it’s a whole lot better than the way most enterprises are addressing security concerns today.

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

The Enterprise Mobility Security Problem

There’s a security problem in enterprise mobility.

Don’t believe us? Just ask other organizations trying to address security. According to a global survey of 900 IT decision makers by Gemalto, 95% of IT departments are battling with security challenges in their attempt to increase user mobility within their organization.

And then there are the lists. You don’t have to look far to see that security concerns are top of mind for IT leaders trying to increase enterprise mobility adoption. Security is one of the biggest concerns for businesses when it comes to deploying an enterprise mobility solution. Law in many places will soon hold companies accountable for protection of mobile data. And on and on.

Clearly, enterprises know that security is important. But at the same time, they’re struggling to find a solution that addresses all of their concerns.

Where’s the disconnect? The trouble right now isn’t getting stakeholders to understand how important security is. We’re already there. Rather, it’s the way most organizations are approaching security. MDM, which has grown in popularity over the past few years, mainly because it’s been around for longer than other mobility solutions, provides security at the device level. It’s also how many organizations are trying to tackle mobile security today.

That sounds good in practice, but in reality, the lines aren’t so clear. Can, or should, an enterprise secure a device it doesn’t own? If not, are no external devices permitted? Is securing the whole device really the right solution to ensuring that data from one or two apps stays where it should? What type of MDM solution is needed to keep devices on multiple platforms secure?

In today’s complex, BYOD world, MDM seems to raise a lot more questions than it answers. It’s a clunky solution at best—the digital equivalent of a 10,000 pound anvil when what’s needed is a precise piece of machinery. Yes, it’s an approach to security, but it’s only one of many approaches a company can take to protect its data. And increasingly, it seems like it’s the wrong one.

So yes: there is a security problem in enterprise mobility. But it’s not impossible to solve.

Using the right tools will enable your organization to significantly mitigate security threats. When MDM was the only solution around, it made sense as a way to secure data. Now that more nuanced solutions like MAM exist, it’s no wonder that organizations attempting to use MDM as their only path towards secure enterprise mobility are feeling frustrated.

Posted in Bring Your Own Device, BYOD, EMM, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile App Security, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

Optimize Your Website Across Devices

animated desktop macApps and websites are more connected than ever. It frustrates users when a website isn’t optimized for a smartphone or tablet, as it does when an app has no sister website that can be accessed by a laptop or desktop user.

All this means your business faces some challenges in terms of optimizing your apps and websites across all devices.


When your company optimizes its website for mobile devices, it must take smartphone web traffic seriously. Smartphones are the most commonly used mobile device these days. Mobile websites must focus on your business’s core content and functionality.

There’s no room for clutter in a mobile site, especially on a phone where the real estate is limited. You don’t want mobile users scrolling back and forth on their phones because the website is wider than their screens are. A dedicated mobile-only site is ideal. Most smartphones don’t run Flash, nor does iOS. Errors in CSS and HTML code are also common, as are framed images.


While phablets may be part phone, they still offer a different experience for users. While a mobile-optimized site will work as well on a phablet as it does on a phone, some aspects of the website may not use the full real estate of the larger screen. Aesthetics count, and consumers want a clean experience, which can mean optimizing for larger mobile devices as well as smartphones.

There is one major difference between smartphones and larger mobile devices: conversion rate of sales. A measly 1 percent of visitors make purchases while on smartphones, while 2.4 percent of people make sales on larger mobile devices. Phablet and tablet optimization suggests a more than 100 percent increase in sales per 100 users.

An app might be more accessible for smartphone and phablet users, as it streamlines the checkout process to increase your conversion rate. The low rate of sales on traditional websites visited on smartphones hints at a lack of compatibility.

Laptops & Desktops

Traditional websites still reign supreme. People appreciate the durability of the computer set up and the accessibility and viewing options of a full website. Some laptop models offer hybrid tablet options providing a digital environment where apps meet the traditional website. Many of these models swivel, tent, and even disassemble (keyboard detaches from screen) to make for an impromptu tablet when needed.

While traditional websites are still a must-have, you can utilize responsive web design, instead of creating multiple websites for different devices. Responsive web design (RWD) is accomplished with special coding techniques that make your website adjust to any device, platform or screen size. This eliminates the need for the same information and material to be collected and implemented in a company app.

However, responsive web design is only appropriate for your company or business if you don’t need advanced features on your website. When a website has advanced options such as music, videos, checkouts for purchase, and other bells and whistles, RWD has difficulty converting those options.

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MAM Deployment Models 101, Part V: Conclusion

This post is the last in a five-part series on MAM deployment models. For previous posts in the series, see: IntroductionPart II: WindowsPart III: Android; Part IV: iOS.  

Mobile Application Management (MAM) is more popular than ever before. Increasingly, clients and prospects know a good bit about MAM before we ever pick up the phone.

Still, occasionally we run into prospects who approach us and know very little about MAM deployments, whether they’re on Android, Windows Mobile, or iOS. For those prospects, we’ve spent the last few weeks giving 101-level overviews of how MAM deployments work on each platform, as well as potential roadblocks along the way.

To recap:

  • Windows deployments currently require an Application Enrollment Token (AET), but change is coming with Windows 10. For Windows-only enterprises, the private app capability offered by Windows 10 Mobile could be a great solution.
  • Android deployments are about as no-frills as they come; all you need to do is build an app, sign it, and put it into your corporate app store. So long as the third-party app option is enabled on your users’ phones, your app will deploy. Note that for some, security on Android may be a concern.
  • There are quite a few options for iOS deployments, depending on whether you’d like to deploy your app publicly or limit it to a specific set of users. Some of the deployments may seem tedious, but once you understand the process it’s actually relatively straightforward.

The great thing about MAM is that depending on your platform(s) and specific needs, there are a number of ways to skin the proverbial cat. If you want to experiment outside the boundaries of typical enterprise mobility, Android deployments can be great. If you’re looking for predictable, structured deployments, iOS is hard to beat. And of course, the best deployment also depends on what devices your users own and use.

No matter what, the App47 team is here to match your needs to a deployment model or models, as well as explain in detail what you can expect throughout the process. Looking to deploy a mobile app in your enterprise? We’ll help guide you on where to start.

Have a question about this post or any other posts in the series? Wondering which deployment model is right for you? Reach out to us in the comments or on Twitter @App47.

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

MAM Deployment Models, Part IV: iOS

This post is part four in a five-part series on MAM deployment models. For previous posts in the series, see: IntroductionPart II: Windows; Part III: Android.

They say to save the best for last, and while we’ll leave it up to you to decide which mobile platform is best for your needs, we can say one thing: enterprises hoping to execute an MAM deployment on iOS have quite a few options.

We’ll just get right into it. As it relates to MAM deployments on iOS, there are several different ways to manage and deploy apps, all of which have their benefits and drawbacks depending on your company’s specific needs.

For internal developers:

For internal developers who want to build an app and distribute it to test users, the process is fairly straightforward:

  1. Sign up for Apple’s Developer Program and create an adhoc profile, which binds specific devices to your profile using an ID system
  2. Build and upload your app
  3. Get a UDID (unique identifier) from every test user to whom you’d like to distribute the app
  4. Register the UDID in your account, and;
  5. Once that’s done, your test app can be installed on those devices and those devices only 

Under this method, Apple can control how many devices you can test with.

Although this method used to be quite tedious, today, it isn’t so bad. You can manage UDIDs manually, but through App47, we can help extract data automatically after a new user registers a device, tying the UDID to your profile at the same time. This streamlines the process and makes things smoother for everyone.

Through the public app store:

So: you want to put an app in the public app store. Here’s the basic steps:

  1. Sign up for iTunes connect and sign in
  2. Build and upload your app
  3. Wait out the Apple review process (usually 1-2 weeks)
  4. After it’s approved, users can go to the App Store and search for and download your app

Most people are familiar with this method, and for a general release, it’s a pretty simple process. Sign up, upload, search, and download.

Through the Volume Purchase Program:

A variation on the public app store process we mentioned above is the Volume Purchase Program from Apple, which starts to be handy if you’re looking to distribute an app to (and manage app security for) a larger number of users.

Unlike the two deployments mentioned above, this is less about the publishing side than it is consumption. The VPP uses the same technology you’d see for a free app redemption code. When you want to purchase, say, 1000 copies of a paid app and distribute it out to your users, you work with Apple to purchase the codes. You’ll receive a spreadsheet that contains however many codes you purchased.

If you were doing this all manually, it would be up to you to hand them out—and to reclaim them when users leave. Through MDM solutions or an MAM like App47, however, you can load the spreadsheet in and better manage distribution. Solutions like App47 allows you to manage distribution, reclaim tokens when employees leave, and in general, have more precise control over the purchase and distribution of apps through the VPP.

For enterprises looking for even more precise control, it’s possible to deploy B2B apps using the same Volume Purchase Program. The app is still published through the App Store, and it’s still reviewed by Apple, but with one major difference: you have full control over who can download the app. That is to say, these apps aren’t searchable through the public App Store.

Using this deployment method, the developer gets the Apple ID of the purchaser and approves that user. When the purchasers signs in, they’ll see that they can download or purchase codes for application X. If you want to distribute using the VPP but the app is strictly B2B (or you otherwise don’t want it to be searched), this is a time-tested method for doing so.

As with all the other deployments we’ve mentioned today, an MAM vendor can help you with this process, as well.

Through an enterprise or in-house profile:

And finally, we have the space where we spend most of our time: the enterprise, or in-house profile. The enterprise profile is a way to sign the application in such a way that it can only be downloaded to devices meant for enterprise apps.

Whereas an adhoc profile uses technical enforcement to determine how many devices you can test your app on, enterprise profiles use legal enforcement. To sign up for and use the Enterprise Developer Program, you have to agree to terms and conditions from Apple which say, in essence, that you’ll only use your profile to deploy apps in direct support of your company. It is up to you to have your legal team review this agreement and decide if you’ll be able to work within those parameters.

The good news is that once that’s done, you can sign in with your enterprise profile and distribute apps out to anyone; they don’t have to preregister or give a UDID. A recent change to iOS 9 means they will have to accept your profile with a UI that’s a bit different than years past, but that’s it.

This, unsurprisingly, is where we come in: using our app store, you can distribute apps, but also get a handle on security and make sure only authorized users can get your app. MDM solutions can help with this as well, but if you’re an enterprise developer and need an MAM solution, that’s exactly what we’re here to do.

And there you have it: a 101-level overview of performing an MAM deployment on Apple’s iOS. Have a question about this post or any other posts in the series? Reach out to us in the comments or on Twitter @App47!

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

MAM Deployment Models, Part III: Android

This post is part three in a five-part series on MAM deployment models. For previous posts in the series, see: Introduction; Part II: Windows.

When it comes to MAM deployments, Android is about as no-frills as they come.

Unlike Windows Mobile, which requires Symantec certificates to sign your apps, or Apple, which requires a developer account, Android is a bit like the Wild West of mobile apps.

Through Google Play and other Android app stores, you can do a lot on your own—without having to check with Google. And that includes deploying apps.

The only “gotcha” of Android MAM deployments is that in order to sideload an app, the user must first enable the third-party app option on their device. Once that’s enabled, any app that is properly constructed will work on the user’s device.

It really is that simple: build an app, sign it, and put it into your corporate app store. As long as the third-party app option is on on your users’ phones, the app will deploy. That’s it!

Of course, we would be remiss not to mention the potential drawback for end users in this open environment: security. Take, for instance, a scam that happened a few years ago. Many Android users downloaded apps for major banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The only trouble was that the banks hadn’t created the apps.

As it turned out, a developer had impersonated these major banks, and used the apps as a way to earn money and possibly even skim user data. Stuff like this happens because there are fewer controls in place to authenticate developers and apps.

The good news is that Google has cracked down quite a bit on these kinds of apps, and generally, the Android app marketplace is much friendlier and safer than it used to be. But still: there is a risk that comes with all the freedom afforded by Google when it comes to Android apps.

Android is by far the simplest platform for MAM deployments, and it’s also the most open by far. Though that does come with some drawbacks, for developers, the benefits that come with this “Wild West” of mobile apps are hard to ignore.

Have a question about this post or any other posts in the series? Reach out to us in the comments or on Twitter @App47!

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

MAM Deployment Models 101, Part II: Windows

This post is part two in a five-part series on MAM deployment models. For previous posts in the series, see: Introduction. 

Last week, we kicked off a new series with an introduction to MAM deployment models. And when we say “introduction,” we mean it: we want to go back to the basics to talk at the 101-level about how different MAM deployments work.

Few platforms are as misunderstood as Windows Mobile—which is what we’re starting with today.

The complexity of Windows Mobile deployments lies in the fact that Microsoft has attempted mobility a number of times. Each time, they’ve changed the way they run it.

This creates a scenario where a Windows 8 phone is different than a Windows 8.1 phone, which is different than a soon-to-be-deployed Windows 10 phone. This brings additional complexity for vendors when deploying on the platform.

There are a few challenges related to Windows Mobile deployments:

Binary bundles: You can build apps that go across Windows 8.1 Desktop and Mobile—but you need to bundle them with an ARM binary, as well as x86 and x64 binaries. It’s great to have a bundle, but keep in mind: users are downloading a file and only using a third of it for their specific platform. What’s more, when you’re packaging an app, telling which version is which is challenging. Handling multiple chip architectures at once is complicated for developers, and uses up excess bandwidth for users.

The Application Enrollment Token (AET): All Windows Mobile apps (until Windows 10) have something called an Application Enrollment token, or AET. When you’re building an app, you first need to start with purchasing a certificate to distribute the app. Then, after your app is built, you need an AET. This tells phones which developers and apps are trusted. This is a measure to help mitigate security concerns.

Unfortunately, this can present a challenge for enterprises and employees not familiar with PKI technology. It’s an additional step for downloading apps, and each time, employees must download the AET to be able to use the app. It’s not an obvious step and can easily confuse employees through what should be a relatively simple process.

Luckily, relief is on the horizon with Windows 10 Mobile… sort of. Windows 10 will soon introduce a business app store which will allow you to easily deploy apps to enterprise users and take advantage of Microsoft’s deep understanding of the back office.

Through Windows 10, you won’t need to do the AET dance mentioned above. You’ll be able to easily distribute apps in a single package, and the phone will know how to install and manage your apps. The catch is that to use this functionality, you’ll need to have an Active Directory Account in Office 365. This isn’t a cross-platform solution, and you won’t be able to get it out to people who aren’t on Office 365 or in your domain.

If you’re a complete Windows shop, it will be worth looking at the private app capability within the Windows 10 mobile app store. Otherwise, it likely won’t solve all of your issues.

No matter what your back office looks like, one thing is for sure: MAM deployments on Windows Mobile are far from impossible. They may be more complicated than Android or iOS deployments, but we’re here to help you navigate the challenges associated with Windows Mobile. 

Have a question about this post or any other posts in the series? Reach out to us in the comments or on Twitter @App47!

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

MAM Deployment Models 101, Part I: Introduction

The momentum gathering behind Mobile Application Management (MAM) has been great for our team.

A couple of years ago, we’d have to explain what MAM was before we could even begin talking about App47. Now, people understand what MAM is before we ever talk—and that makes our lives much easier.

That said, every so often we’ll get a question like, “How do iOS deployments work?” That isn’t the norm, but there are still people with whom our conversation must start at step one. And that’s okay! We’re glad the conversation is getting started at all.

In the coming weeks, we’re going to go back to the basics and cover 101-level overviews of Windows, Android, and iOS MAM deployments. We’ll discuss how they work and help set a foundation for anyone who’s not exactly sure where to start.

MAM may be picking up steam, but that doesn’t mean everyone is on the same page. Next week, we’ll kick off the meat of our series with an overview of Windows MAM deployments.

So: what goes into a Windows MAM deployment? How does App47 work for Windows mobile customers? Tune in next week to find out!

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

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