Flexera Software, the leading provider of next-generation software licensing, compliance and installation solutions for application producers and enterprises, announced the latest release of App Portal, its market-leading enterprise app store. App Portal is the first universal enterprise app store, with unified application self-service across environments – from desktop to mobile. It also standardizes application service delivery with other Service Catalog processes through integration with IT Service Management solutions.
“Enterprise App Stores provide an employee-friendly interface for application and hardware requests – ensuring a positive IT services experience, explained Robert Young, Research Manager, End Point Device & IT Service Management and Client Virtualization Software, IDC. “To deliver their full benefit enterprise app stores must also allow IT to maintain security and control – and to do this, it is essential that they work seamlessly with key operational systems like IT Service Management, Software Distribution, and Software License Optimization tools.”
Universal Store: One Request, All Devices
As the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend accelerates, enterprise app stores are rapidly gaining popularity because they give employees a familiar, intuitive process to request and access enterprise-approved applications. However in most organizations, back-end services supporting the app store are immature and fragmented, requiring multiple systems and manual processes to approve, prepare and deliver desktop, virtual, and mobile applications to employee devices. With the latest enhancements, App Portal is now the first universal enterprise app store, providing governance and controlled self-service delivery of enterprise-approved apps. It enables employees to request apps for all their devices from a single store, using a single request that triggers all necessary processes behind the scenes to ensure efficient fulfillment and IT governance.
App Portal lets IT associate together mobile and desktop versions of an application, allowing employees to request an application once and have it deployed to all of their devices at the same time – eliminating the need to individually request software from each device. App Portal goes one step further by proactively suggesting apps that are available for other registered devices. With support for Apple iOS and Android public store and internally developed mobile apps – a single checkout process interoperates with AirWatch® by VMware Enterprise Mobility Management™, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Symantec™ Client Management Suite.
“AirWatch® Mobile Application Management™ addresses the challenge of acquiring, distributing, securing and tracking mobile applications, enabling enterprises to easily manage internal, public and purchased apps across deployment structures from one central console,” said John Marshall, senior vice president and general manager, AirWatch by VMware. “App Portal’s support of AirWatch enables employees to have the same seamless experience with desktop apps – from app request to deployment – while allowing IT to verify that key processes are managed efficiently and automatically.”
App Portal 2015 is optimized for use on mobile devices, giving employees simplified access to approved mobile apps directly from their mobile device. Employees can browse, select and check out corporate approved mobile apps from their Apple or Android device.
“Employees want the ability to request an app once and use it wherever they work – on their desktops, tablets or mobile phones – without having to go to each of their devices and request the same app over and over again. They want immediate access, and don’t appreciate that behind the scenes, a very complicated request has been triggered for IT to fulfill,” said Maureen Polte, Vice President of Product Management at Flexera Software. “App Portal is the first universal enterprise app store able to centralize and manage those back office processes, making ‘request once, fulfill anywhere’ a reality.”
IT Service Catalog Integration – Enhancing Value, Reducing Frustration
Providing out of the box integration with the two most popular IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions, BMC Remedy and ServiceNow, App Portal adds value to the IT service catalog by consumerizing software requests, automating approvals, verifying license availability, and initiating the delivery of software to end user’s devices. Using a configurable App Portal and ITSM combined workflow, enterprises can provide a transparent, friendly, personalized user experience while maintaining proper controls and governance over valuable enterprise software assets. Through this integration, App Portal reduces employee frustration with long response times and provides a single place – the IT Service Catalog – where employees can obtain the applications they need with minimal IT involvement. Once an employee selects the applications she needs and completes the checkout process, the only manual intervention required is a few clicks for the manager to approve the request. Employees trained to use an ITSM system for IT services do not need further training to use App Portal, as it is integrated directly into the ITSM service catalog interface.
App Portal automatically triggers the creation and updating of service desk incidents to enable proactive support of issues that may arise during application installation – eliminating the need for employees to open incidents themselves. It monitors all steps in the deployment request and automatically creates an incident ticket if there is an error or if the installation does not complete. The menu driven integration keeps service desk incidents in sync with actions performed in App Portal. IT can even select which actions, such as requests, approvals, and installation status – trigger incident updates to ensure app store actions are recorded and kept in synch with the service desk incident database.
“Service Catalogs offered by vendors like BMC and ServiceNow are powerful, and App Portal helps ensure their value by automating application license verification and deployment,” said Polte. “App Portal delivers critical IT governance over app requests, and triggers back-end processes like approvals, license checks, and service desk updates to ensure swift and efficient fulfillment of requests – without exposing the enterprise to risk or employees to licensing complexity.”
App Portal 2015 supports seven new languages out of the box: Russian, Korean, Thai, Portuguese (both Portugal and Brazil), Dutch, and Spanish (Mexico) in addition to English, German, French, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Spanish, and Italian. “Our larger customers are expanding their enterprise app stores to support offices all over the world,” said Polte. “Delivering a great user experience in the employee’s native language is helping them increase adoption of the technology.”