AppCentral to Provide an App Store for Enterprise IT

Apple's app store is a runaway success, but its consumer focus leaves IT managers cold. Ondeego says it has an alternative.

By David Needle | Posted Sep 10, 2009
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There is no question Apple's wildly successful App Store has consumer appeal, but IT acceptance is another matter. The App Store and other online smartphone storefronts are designed mainly for consumers to download free and paid applications ranging from entertainment to education and productivity.

Enter Ondeego, which says it's come up with an enterprise-friendly App Store alternative. The company, a developer of mobile business applications, is announcing a beta of its cloud-based AppCentral Thursday at the GigaOm Mobilize conference in San Francisco.

Ondeego CEO Ken Singer said the idea of AppCentral grew out of conversations with customers. "When we talked to them about mobile applications, everyone said they had to talk to the IT department first for approval and IT usually put the brakes on or raised issues like hidden costs," Singer told InternetNews.com.

Initially for Java-enabled handsets, including the BlackBerry line, Nokia handsets and many Windows Mobile devices, AppCentral is designed to give employees ready access to mobile applications that meet with both manager's and IT's approval. He said support for Android and the iPhone is likely to come next year.

Singer said a key point of differentiation he thinks will appeal to IT is a securitization layer Ondeego adds to apps in its AppCentral store.

"IT managers have raised a lot of concerns about any applications that need to go on their network and other issues like, what happens if the employee leaves the company with the phone or its stolen? Also, IT doesn't want to have to manage a whole new set of applications or technology or new support work," he said.

A layer of security for IT

Singer says Ondeego offers a layer of security software that can be added to any application in AppCentral as part of the upload process. These protected apps are shown with a little icon of a security lock next to them.

What the security layer does is give IT the ability to remotely deactivate any account, denying access to the mobile apps. Or an employee who simply lost or misplaced a phone can have IT use an AppCentral feature to lock the data so it can't be accessed by unauthorized users. Read the rest at InternetNews.com.

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