If we were to ask you what came to mind when you thought about use cases for an enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform, chances are, ecommerce probably wouldn’t top the list. And we’ll be the first to admit—our ecommerce clients are quite a bit different than the other clients in our portfolio.
App47’s ecommerce story begins a few years ago when we were just getting started. Right around that time, a company called CloudLink had the idea to build an ecommerce-based app store for Android tablets built by manufacturers that weren’t allowed by Google Play. CloudLink wanted to be integrated as part of the shipping operating systems on those tablets. What that would mean in practice is an interface that would allow in-app purchases, subscriptions, and more.
While we assumed at the time that our deal with CloudLink—now called ProPack—would be a one-off, fast forward to today, and we have three large ecommerce clients, soon to be four. Though they all use slightly different UIs and features, all of our ecommerce clients are built around the same set of technology with one goal: to be able to curate app stores out to customers, and conduct ecommerce. While you can’t do this on iOS, the Android market for such a solution is large—large enough that the App47 team now considers ecommerce to be the third branch of our business behind enterprise and B2C.
ProPack’s App47 mobility use case is a great representation of our entire suite of ecommerce clients. ProPack has its own development team working on apps full-time through app distribution. Instead of the app’s users being unknown when it gets released into the wild, though, ProPack knows who its users are because they’ve signed up for ProPack’s branded store, and potentially purchased apps.
ProPack has access to App47’s full suite of features, including the analytics, crash logs, and build management we’ve already talked about in this series. In addition to those features, they also have the ability to enable purchase, download, and in-app purchase ecommerce capability. This allows them to have their own branded app store on devices without Google Play, opening up an audience of users they wouldn’t otherwise have.
With ProPack as well as our other clients, the goal isn’t necessarily to make a Google Play competitor. Rather, the goal is to take a suite of products that you want to build an ecosystem around, and then create a targeted platform for those markets. In ProPack’s case, that market happens to be productivity. No matter what the space happens to be, the platform is what’s important.
Is ecommerce the most popular mobility use case for App47? Certainly not. But it’s growing in popularity and complex enough to warrant its own set of features. If you’re looking for an app management platform and want to throw in in-app purchases, downloads, and app purchases through a branded app store, App47 has just what you need.
Check in next week, when we’ll go into part III of our series. In the mean time, let us know your thoughts by contacting us directly through the comments, or via our Twitter feed @App47. We’d love to hear from you!