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App Store Essentials: Leveraging Your Enterprise Deployment Solution

By Laura Noonan

The
job of an enterprise app store is to give business people a convenient way to
request the apps they need. But actual delivery of the apps is best handled by
enterprise deployment tools. Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager
(SCCM), which is widely used in enterprise environments, is one example. By
tightly integrating your app store with a deployment tool such as SCCM, you can
take advantage of software distribution, status messages, and machine inventory
and collections for detailed reporting and access
control without adding services or agents to your environment.

The following list focuses specifically on ways integration
with SCCM can make your app store more efficient, effective and successful.
Many of the capabilities in the list are also available as a result of
integration with other deployment tools.

  1. SCCM deployment
    types.
    Support for both computer-centric deployment (the SCCM 2007 model) and
    user-centric deployment (the SCCM 2012 model) enables you to meet a variety of deployment
    and use case scenarios.
  2. Control and automation. Using SCCM collection membership, you can customize
    catalog views so users see only the apps they are authorized to request. This
    increases control over access to enterprise software. You can also use collection
    membership to trigger actions automatically, including dynamic approval routing,
    reclaiming unused licenses, reclaiming leased licenses after expiration and
    generating custom announcements and email messages.
  3. Flexible app
    delivery.
    The ability to request delivery of items to SCCM collections
    means you can deploy apps to groups based on such factors as geography or
    department.
  4. Request status. Access to real-time SCCM deployment status,
    including downloading, running and install success, permits users to get
    up-to-the-minute information when they check the status of their requests.
  5. Support
    for SCCM task sequences.
    You can define the installation order using SCCM
    task sequences to initiate a series of actions such as checking for the
    presence of existing software before an application is delivered.
  6. Inventory control. You can obtain installation counts
    from SCCM and compare them with manually entered counts of licenses owned.
    During approval processes, requests are routed automatically based on this
    data. You can also use this information to better utilize the software currently
    in place and to purchase additional licenses when they are needed.
  7. Software utilization data. Linking
    to SCCM software metering rules permits access to application utilization data,
    including frequency and duration of use as well as when the app was last used. This
    data is particularly beneficial in identifying and reclaiming unused licenses
    to reduce software spend.

By
integrating with the enterprise deployment tool you have in place, you enable your
enterprise app store to hand off applications for fast, efficient application delivery
and obtain robust data for enhanced management of software requests and
software assets.

Watch
for the next blog in our App Store
Essentials
series, “Keeping Apps Ready for Intelligent,
User-centric Deployment” for a close look at how tying your app store into an
enterprise application readiness process helps keep store shelves stocked with
apps that are ready for immediate delivery to the user’s device of choice. 

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