Salesforce.com launched its AppExchange in 2005 as a platform for partner ISVs to sell add-on apps for Salesforce's CRM system. Now it's rolling out a version with the security and management features that enterprises crave.
Salesforce's Private AppExchange, which launches Friday, is an enterprise app store for mobile, Web and desktop apps. It gives IT departments "a secure, central location for the distribution of approved apps to their employees," Salesforce said in a blog post Thursday.
Private AppExchange integrates with Salesforce Identity, the cloud identity management product it launched earlier this month to let IT departments "set access-level controls via profiles and permission sets" for corporate apps, Salesforce said in the blog post.
Employees could get apps from Apple, Google and other vendors' app stores, but IT departments generally freak out about this because of the security risks involved and the difficulty of managing them. The process of getting apps into employees' hands also slows down considerably when IT gets involved.
Salesforce says Private AppExchange balances the whole idea of self-service with the needs of enterprises, thereby getting apps into employees' hands more quickly -- and therefore making them more productive.
Corinne Sklar, chief marketing officer at Bluewolf, a New York-based Salesforce.com partner, told CRN that Private AppExchange also brings consumer-type ease of use to enterprise users.
"IT departments are always pushing apps and trying to educate employees about the solutions they need. Before, things were hidden inside complex and hard-to-navigate interfaces, but now it's a very user-friendly experience," Sklar told CRN.
User experience has become increasingly important to Salesforce and its partners, Sklar said. "Companies are waking up to the fact that it's not just what the app does, but the experience employees have with it," she said.
Salesforce Private AppExchange is free for customers with Enterprise and Unlimited Edition licenses for Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Communities, Platform and Chatter Plus. For everyone else, it's $5 per user per month, with annual billing.
PUBLISHED OCT. 31, 2013