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App Store Essentials: Keeping Apps Ready for Intelligent, User-centric Deployment

By Laura Noonan

When you launch your enterprise app store, your users are
likely to be full of enthusiasm. But that initial enthusiasm will only take you
so far. If you want to ensure that the app-store-at-work concept succeeds in
your enterprise, you have to offer a wide selection of applications that are
available for fast, easy deployment. In fact, independent research firm
Gartner, Inc., says that “application selection is just as important as the
store mechanism itself.” (“Enterprise
App Stores Reduce Risk and Improve Business Results,” Gartner, February 2012)

But how do you go about keeping your digital shelves stocked with
apps that are ready for deployment? The best way is to tightly integrate the
app store with your application readiness process so you can automate the
publication of apps to your App Store catalog and the hand-off of apps for
delivery by an enterprise deployment tool such as Systems Center 2012
Configuration Manager (SCCM).

Here are a few of the ways that integration of the app store with
your application readiness processes can benefit your enterprise:

  1. Creating a wide
    selection of deployment-ready apps.
    The process starts with repackaging
    applications using a solution that includes automated application compatibility
    testing and packaging for a variety deployment scenarios —physical and virtual,
    as well as application-centric and user-centric deployment models. The job will
    be easier if you have a single solution capable of handling multiple deployment
    types and formats.
  2. Adding current
    apps to the app store catalog.
    One of the steps in preparing your app store
    for launch is adding apps to the online catalog. Your app store solution should
    automate this task so you don’t have to spend time creating catalog items
  3. Keeping the app
    store catalog up to date.
    As you acquire new apps, the apps are
    automatically added as items to the app store catalog at the same time they are
    handed off to your deployment system. As a result, there is no delay in making
    the apps available for request by employees.
  4. Managing
    request and fulfillment.
    If you have the right kind of integration with
    your enterprise deployment system, you can define policies and relationship
    rules to evaluate user identity, application dependencies, device type and
    network connection so that each application is delivered to the user’s device
    of choice in the most appropriate way.

The bottom line is that integrating your app store into your
application readiness process delivers many benefits, including greater choice
and easier application access for users and greater efficiency for IT through
the implementation of best practices.

next blog in our App Store Essentials series,
“Leveraging Software Asset Data to Achieve Continuous License Compliance,” we’ll provide guidance on
how you can leverage software asset data — for example, how many licenses you
own, how many are in use and how many are available — to help you maintain
compliance with software license terms. 



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