CDW this week launched its CDW App Marketplace, which aims to make it easier for companies to find developers and buy mobile productivity apps that have been vetted.
Unlike other app stores that offer only off-the-shelf public apps designed for individual users, CDW says its App Marketplace is specifically designed to provide customized enterprise apps. It includes a comprehensive guide to mobile app fundamentals and finding solutions that fit; the opportunity to browse proven developers and apps, searchable by industry vertical or business need; and use-cases with return-on-investment information.
“Organizations today already understand the need to leverage mobile technologies and work styles to enhance productivity, increase customer engagement and empower their increasingly mobile sales and field service employees. Yet in one recent CDW survey, only 21 percent of our customers said they have deployed mobile apps at an enterprise level,” said Andrea Bradshaw, CDW senior director and general manager of mobility solutions. “One frequent barrier is that most publicly available apps don’t connect with current enterprise applications and data, and customers are often unsure of whom to call to make that connection, what level of investment is required or what type of return to expect.”
How effective the program will be in the long term remains a question.
“In the medium term, I can see there is value for an integrator to be the curator of a mobile applications marketplace for the enterprise, but only really essentially as a means of lining up custom development business," noted Yankee Group analyst Chris Marsh, commenting specifically on a ZDNet article. "The reality for enterprises that will unfold over the next few years is a combination of prebuilt applications requiring little customization, applications that are templated and fairly easily modifiable (easy enough for an internal developer or business analyst), and custom applications built from the ground up internally."
The store currently has 60 featured applications from companies like IBM and Avnet. The software is vetted by CDW through developer interviews, demonstrations and support politics for enterprise accounts.