Enterprise apps slowly gaining inroad, driven by proliferation of smartphones, tablet PCs and cloud services - App stores serve as web-based application storage and distribution facility - Telecom carriers look to cross-sell existing customers through the cloud.
Stuttgart, Germany - Enterprise apps are slowly gaining inroad, especially among small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) driven by the increasing proliferation of smartphones, tablet PCs and cloud services. Customer companies access such app stores, which serve as web-based application storage and distribution facility and contain different kind of applications, some are proprietary, some are developed by third-party developers while others are developed by the customer enterprise itself.
Currently, three main types of players offer enterprise app stores. Telecom carriers offer enterprise stores with own developed apps as well as apps developed by business partners and other developers. Some apps are industry-specific (for instance for banks) or address specific business needs, for instance fleet management. Such stores aims at cross-sell apps through a single-point customisable portal/store integrated with other cloud-based offers of the carrier, targeting existing corporate customers. App aggregators, such as Partnerpedia or App Central offer a customisable, virtual "store" for apps, where especially SMEs find standard apps - developed by the provider - addressing needs like efficiency, improved communications and alike, as well as third-party developed apps. These providers target SMEs especially, offering the apps store as their main, core product as alternative to more complex solutions as offered by telecom carriers. Online companies, such as Google, represent the third kind of app provider. Such players offer mainly apps from third-party developers and offer a one-stop shop stored in a sort of app organiser but their core product are the single apps, therefore the target market of such players are mostly very small enterprises, which download single standard apps.
Video collaboration and social media are indeed the most interesting emerging enterprise apps. Video collaboration apps extend video collaboration services to smartphones and tablet PCs. Such apps are generally offered for free although often require a subscription to the providers' video collaboration packages. And not only: telcos providing enterprise solutions catalyse usage of video collaboration integrating own tablet offers, for instance through partnership with vendors. Social media apps for enterprises incorporate social networking functions to facilitate real-time collaboration among employees. Such social media apps mirror the interface of popular social networking websites - such as Facebook and Twitter - although, the platforms is shared exclusively among employees and is monitored by the customer. These social media apps are marketed via a sort of "Freemium" model: while the app with some very basic features is free of charge, full functionalities are available only on a per user and/or per month free.
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