Mobile applications targeting enterprise customers most certainly have their place in platform-agnostic app stores like GetJar, device-agnostic stores like Android Market and vendor-specific ones such as the iPhone App Store and Palm’s App Catalog.
But finding enterprise-grade apps on these stores in between the plethora of games, music apps and general-purpose software programs for consumers that are crowding the platforms isn’t exactly a walk in the park.
Enter AppCentral, a venture of San Francisco-based Ondeego, which is in essence an enterprise mobile app only store that will be launching today at GigaOM’s Mobilize09 event. The goal of the new app store? To address the needs of enterprise workers and their IT departments while at the same time attempting to create a vivid ecosystem of enterprise-focused mobile developers.
Ondeego claims the enterprise market has been largely left out of the massive adoption of mobile applications for three reasons: employees are not able to effectively source applications they need without long purchasing and procurement cycles, IT departments have a hard time managing these applications across multiple platforms appropriately, and third party developers do not have the tools to make their applications enterprise-ready and sell them.
With AppCentral, the company hopes to change all that.
Interestingly, AppCentral allows companies to manage third party and proprietary applications remotely while simultaneously securing data within them. Mobile apps can use Ondeego’s patent-pending ‘Securitization’ technology, enabling 3rd party application data to be remotely locked or wiped.
AppCentral is platform agnostic, supporting applications for all major enterprise-grade smartphones, although Ondeego says it can’t support the iPhone yet due to ‘legal restrictions’.
An app store reserved for enterprise mobile applications is certainly an intriguing idea, and Ondeego is tapping into a large, lucrative space that is poised for growth in the years to come. The question is if the mobile app market is mature enough – and IT departments willing enough – for the AppCentral to make waves short-term. My guess is Ondeego will get their fair share of direct competitors sooner rather than later, startups and giant corporations alike, and time will tell if they’ll be able to stand their ground.