CDW Steps Up Mobility Play With New App Marketplace


With millions of mobile applications out there, CDW is hoping it can help enterprises clear up the noise and choose the right apps for their businesses.

The national solution provider this week launched the CDW App Marketplace for enterprise clients. As part of CDW's Total Mobility Management Business, the online marketplace offers clients a variety of mobile apps from "vetted, proven developers" across a range of business functions such as sales support, CRM, and human resources, the company said.

CDW also said its App Marketplace will differ from other app stores that only offer off-the-shelf public apps; clients will also be able to find customized apps.

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According to CDW, despite the growth around mobility, only 21 percent of customers it surveyed had deployed mobile apps at an enterprise level.

"One frequent barrier is that most publicly available apps don't connect with current enterprise applications and data," said Andrea Bradshaw, CDW senior director and general manager of mobility solutions, in a statement. "Customers are often unsure of whom to call to make that connection, what level of investment is required or what type of return to expect."

While aimed at enterprises, CDW said the App Marketplace is designed for the individual user experience and serves as an app store to help business users discover useful apps. Included is an across-the-board guide with information on mobile app basics and use cases with investment information. There is also the ability to browse established developers and apps, all searchable by industry vertical or a specific business need.

The App Marketplace can also connect clients with developers that can provide new custom apps. After establishing a specific need, CDW will connect the partner to a developer and streamline the process. Developers currently participating include Avnet, IBM, Canvas, LexTech, SAP, Symphony Teleca and Willow Tree.

Mike Houghton, vice president of strategic sales, sales and marketing of the Americas at Avnet Technology Solutions, said his company is is eager in joining forces with CDW to focus on mobility.

"We thought that the App Marketplace was a key opportunity to help CDW with its overall strategy to funnel buyers for mobile technology to CDW.com and into the CDW App Marketplace," said Houghton. "The marketplace showcases the real-world mobility solutions that CDW is working on with companies like Avnet to deliver. It also helps demonstrate how these solutions ultimately help end-users."

Houghton said Avnet will provide guidance and support to customers along with CDW. "If a customer is interested in our healthcare application services [for example], they can complete a short form on the website to be connected with a CDW technology sales representative," he said. "The Avnet Services team is also available throughout the entire process to assist CDW with sales and technical information, helping to drive the solution sale for CDW as well as any associated services, software and hardware."

CDW's latest move will reinforce its mobility strategy, which the company highlighted last month during its fourth-quarter and full year earnings call as a key investment area for 2014.

PUBLISHED MARCH 26, 2014