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A recent ZD Net article by Joe McKendrick discussing differences between enterprise and consumer app stores elaborated on “three major distinctions” the former have with respect to the latter:

  • Enterprise app stores seek to limit, not expand, sales.
  • Enterprise app store purchases/downloads need tight workflows.
  • Enterprise app store purchases/downloads are subject to existing corporate licensing agreements.

Elaborations of these points kicked off some confusion in the comments, specifically concerns that employers would be effectively extorting employees to pay for their apps via the proverbial company store.

Not the case, and in the interest of dispelling any additional enterprise app store misconception, we had to kick in more than a few cents:

As providers of (among other things) enterprise app store solutions, we’ve received consistently positive feedback from customers who appreciate the ability to create a single source for approved apps, easily control updates, ensure use of latest versions, etc. Mobilized employees are increasingly app dependent — it’s not a matter of convenience any more; it’s a matter of necessity. Mobility is speed, and giving people a dedicated app store effectively serves up exactly what an employee might need to do his or her job — with no concern that they are downloading an incorrect version or something for a different device.

With the enterprise app store you are the one dictating which users have access to what apps and therefore don’t need to have the added workflow of approval after they’ve selected an app to download; this is part of the process when selecting who gets access to what. It’s also a first layer of security for internally developed apps, which can be distributed via those app stores, rather than on the mobile app “open market”.