AppDirect Introduces Mobile Capabilities To Its Digital Marketplaces

Many enterprises are struggling just to identify the best Software-as-a-Service vendors to fit the diverse needs of their internal business units and employees in a world proliferating with cloud-based applications.

San Francisco-based AppDirect is a pure-channel cloud services company that offers a solution to this problem by empowering its partners. AppDirect sells a platform that solution providers can white-label to create a self-branded marketplace where their customers can shop for and manage a portfolio of cloud-based applications.

’We make it easy for businesses around the world to find, buy and use cloud solutions from a trusted local provider,’ AppDirect President and co-CEO Daniel Saks told CRN.

[Related: AppDirect Secures $8.5M Funding Round, Rackspace Partnership]

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AppDirect Thursday said it is extending that marketplace and management platform to mobile devices.

’What we’ve done with our mobile capability makes businesses of all sizes able to buy the apps they want, and essentially an IT administrator can provide access to these apps across any device,’ Saks said.

The past three years have seen an explosion in the number of cloud-based applications available to enterprises. Just a few years ago, AppDirect identified 100 or so apps in that category, ’now thousands are emerging each year,’ Saks said.

At the same time, the number of employees accessing business data on personal devices such as smartphones or tablets is growing almost as fast, creating a headache for IT administrators who must manage applications across their corporate environments.

It’s a trend that explains why 90 percent of businesses say they are considering a BYOD strategy, according to AppDirect.

The expanded capabilities unveiled this week for the AppDirect platform lets end users purchase apps on their mobile devices and through the platform to manage mobile apps just as they would those delivered through a standard browser. The same centralized dashboard can provision Web and mobile apps, and the services are all wrapped into one bill.

The upgraded platform also now offers several capabilities geared toward mobile device management providers, including license-management tools.

AppDirect provides guidance to its white-label resellers on selecting the apps they offer their customers. The company shares with those partners a selection of software developers who are creating best-in-class solutions for productivity, security, backup and storage, accounting, CRM and several other categories.

NEXT: What Solution Providers Think of AppDirect

Nashua, N.H.-based MC Computer is an AppDirect partner. The company’s online tech support service, MyCloudCure, uses the AppDirect platform to disseminate software to customers, according to CEO Mark Constantino.

’AppDirect gives us the power to increase our revenue streams by bringing in new turnkey, value-added resources. Overall, their growing ecosystem is what enables our success because we utilize their catalog of app offerings to further support our growing customer demands,’ Constantino told CRN.

Constantino sees customers looking at a number of applications to fit their diverse software needs, ranging from Google Apps and affordable virus protection licensing to productivity and marketing tools along with scalable online backup, he told CRN.

’They’re looking for apps already set up, configured and scaled to fit their individual needs,’ Constantino said.

The AppDirect platform has enabled the company to deliver those products.

’By embracing AppDirect’s marketplace solution this year, we’ve further enhanced our own service offerings. We can now offer the right apps and support for those apps that our clients and partners need, keeping them happy, supported and operational. This makes us the most simple, reliable and affordable online help desk on the Internet today,’ Constantino said.

AppDirect powers some much larger digital storefronts as well for customers such as Comcast, Rackspace, Deutsche Telekom, Staples, Appcelerator and CloudFoundry, all of which needed a solution to directly provide software options to their own customers and users.

And in February, with the new mobile elements in sight, AppDirect unveiled a partnership with Samsung to power its KNOX marketplace for enterprise mobile security applications.

The KNOX marketplace leverages AppDirect’s new mobile capabilities to deliver business apps and IT tools to large enterprises.