Congrats to Verizon for rolling out its own App store, V Cast Apps. We just have one quick question: What are you going to do with it?
We don’t ask this lightly, Verizon. We hope you don’t suffer the shortsightedness that appears to be effecting a lot of organizations. There’s a troublesome mindset emerging: putting in an App store means you’re done with mobile application management.
Still, let’s give credit to the overall recognition that we need to meet the mobile demands of today’s workforce. As Verizon VP of Business Solutions Janet Schijns said in a recent interview in FierceDeveloper:
“Workers demand to be mobile–if we don't give them the tools they want, they'll take them from the consumer world. But enterprises don't want to put their applications in a non-private app store. They want to keep their information safe and secure. Now you can download the apps you need from a branded store that offers the apps [your employer] wants you to have.”
Cheers, Janet — but before we tip that glass back, we have to demand follow-through. Downloading Apps from a branded store? Great stuff. But there’s more — a lot more — to mobile application management than just having an enterprise App store. Now, we hope, you realize that it’s time to think about the entire mobile application management lifecycle.
Our advice? Think about this from an application lifecycle perspective. Integration is a good start, but to make that the limit of your enthusiasm suggests a short-sighted view of App management. Verizon, let’s broaden your horizon. When it comes to mobile App management, customers need a few things to get optimal value from the App. Otherwise, the folks with an eye for ROI will pull the proverbial plug.
Good mobile app management delivers flexibility to update your configurations, is easy to redeploy in response to behavioral changes, and facilitates. even incentivizes, user updates. Overall, it encompasses:
This need for higher-level thinking is certainly not limited to Verizon, but as a major carrier with an enterprise App store, we need to urge you to think about what’s next. How should any organization that launches an App store, deal with configuration, security, crash logs, ROI calculation, protecting data on lost devices, etc., etc., etc.?
Getting that kind of data means you’re going beyond mere measurement of downloads or installs. You have to measure usage itself — you have to see what’s happening inside the App to create a complete picture of ROI. That’ll keep those bean-counters happy.
Again, congrats on the App store Verizon. We just ask you to keep a critical concept in mind: Be sure users can truly measure App performance so that they can justify investment in those mobile applications they’re buying. If you’re not measuring, as we like to say, you’re not monetizing. And isn’t that what a good enterprise mobile App is all about?