Mobile Apps – Delivered Your Way, Right Away

Ray Pritchett, Business Unit Director
Synopsis: Enterprise distribution is a potentially game changing alternative to third party app stores for many organizations that might benefit from custom developed mobile apps, by offering:

  • Faster path from release to delivery with direct control over the timing and process
  • Elimination of third party review
  • More flexible control over who can install apps and updates
  • Enhanced administrative responsiveness – virtually immediate withdrawal of a “buggy” app or update

 
mobile-app-storeAs more organizations begin to consider and explore the potential that mobile computing holds for improving processes and building tighter relationships with customers, partners, and staff, many quickly realize that the traditional method of distributing apps – via proprietary “app stores” – simply doesn’t fit well. This should come as no surprise, given that app stores were built for the sole purpose of monetizing the distribution of a product aimed squarely at the broadest possible retail consumer market. By contrast, many enterprises have no interest in monetizing distribution of custom apps – conversely, their requirements often include controlled distribution to defined groups of users, while protecting apps and data from unscrupulous competitors and hackers.
To be fair, app stores have attempted to accommodate some of the concerns of the enterprise. For example, both Apple and Google have offered “B2B” or “Private Channel” features within their app stores, which do address some of the concerns by limiting access to enterprise apps. But other requirements associated with distribution of custom developed enterprise apps remain, due largely to conflicting objectives. For example, while an app store has an interest in protecting its reputation for trustworthiness by taking time to review and vet apps submitted by third party developers – an unpredictable process that can sometimes take 3-10 days – an enterprise that has developed its own app may find this process detrimental to their objective of speedy and flexible delivery of patches and updates that may be critical to business processes.
Enterprise Distribution – A key to successfully integrating the power of custom mobile apps into your organization
For many organizations, the ultimate answer is to forgo app stores altogether, and distribute mobile apps with the same flexibility they’ve long enjoyed with traditional PCs. As an open source platform, Android has generally supported more relative flexibility in distribution for some time. Fewer people may be aware, however, that with the somewhat recent advent of Apple’s Enterprise distribution program, organizations can freely distribute their own apps to iPhones and iPads, from any infrastructure they choose.
Now organizations can inexpensively and flexibly control the publishing and distribution of their apps for Android and Apple, without submission to an app store – often by leveraging their existing infrastructure. For example, an intranet can securely distribute apps to employees, using existing content management tools and access controls. Self-service portals might distribute apps to customers and other external partners. Email groups could expedite delivery of critical patches and updates, or these processes might be built directly into communications processes that facilitate integration of the apps into enterprise applications.
Could your organization benefit from mobile apps that are truly integrated into your business – both in terms of business processes and data, as well as in how they are distributed to your users? Contact Keller Schroeder today to begin exploring the possibilities and to learn more.

 


The Final Countdown

Brad Mathis, Sr. Consultant


Hackers Are Preparing for April, 2014…. Are You?


Windows XP is, by far, one of Microsoft’s most stable, successful, and long-lived operating systems. However, modern technology has long since surpassed the capabilities of the Windows XP operating system. They say all good things eventually come to an end. Windows XP is no exception.


WindowsXP-logoMicrosoft will officially end all support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. At that point, there will be no more service packs or security updates created for this soon-to-be defunct operating system. At that point, hackers will begin to target Windows XP systems that are still in existence at exponential rates, since they no longer will have to worry about being thwarted by Patch Tuesday security fixes and updates.


According to an IDC Report entitled ‘Mitigating Risk: Why Sticking with Windows XP is a Bad Idea‘, “Organizations that continue to retain a Windows XP environment not only are leaving themselves exposed to security risks and support challenges but also are wasting budget dollars that would be better used in modernizing their IT investments.”


Microsoft will be ending support for Office 2003 and Exchange 2003 at this time, as well.


For an excellent overview of why this is happening, what it means, and how to move forward, check out the information prepared by Microsoft:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/endofsupport.aspx


To discover how Keller Schroeder can assist you with your migration plan, contact an Account Manager today!





What Should We Be Doing For You?


A large part of our success at Keller Schroeder is a result of listening. That may seem simplistic, but if you have done business with multiple IT consulting firms, you have most likely felt the “push” at some point to buy in to their process, their product line, or their business model.


speakin-listeningAt Keller Schroeder, we have the audacity to believe that you may know what you need better than we do. We bring significant value to the table – serving over 200 clients annually with the most respected technical certifications and deepest enterprise-level experience in industry-leading skill areas – but it is you, our client, in the driver’s seat.


We have grown steadily and our business has evolved markedly over the last 10 years. Our growth has come from finding out what you need and letting that influence the paths we take, rather than selecting emerging products or services and trying to convince you to walk that path with us. This may seem like a subtle distinction, yet we believe it is one reason why our reputation and our relationships with clients remain so strong.




Since I have often personally asked this question of my client contacts, I want to ask it of you today: What are we not doing for you at Keller Schroeder that we should be doing for you? Is there a business model you wish we would adopt, or a product or service you wish we would offer? Please click here and take two minutes to give me your feedback directly. I would value it greatly and we will consider your comments like we always do – with a sincere willingness to be influenced by them.


Meantime, know that we continue to grow and evolve our business with a client-centric bias. We have become the region’s leading provider of IT services and products by listening to what you need, building and securing the expertise it takes to meet those needs, and then delivering with excellence.


Larry May
President