How to Distribute and Promote Multiple Mobile Apps Without Causing Confusion
10.6 – that’s the average number of mobile apps a large company created in 2016, according to our Enterprise Mobile Report. It’s a surprisingly high number, and – if the trend continues – one that is not likely to start stalling anytime soon.
Global organizations need a secure method of managing and scaling a number of apps. So, is there a simple way of distributing mobile apps to their intended users, without compromising sensitive data or causing unnecessary confusion?
The solution; a central hub which holds some, or all, of your organization’s enterprise mobile apps in one location. This is what we here at Fliplet refer to as a ‘portal app’, but it is also commonly referred to as a ‘private app store’, ‘enterprise app store’ or ‘app library’.
N.B. Throughout this article we will use the terms ‘portal app’ and private app store interchangeably. They both refer to the same concept: an app that holds multiple apps within, either private or public.
Why are private app stores important and useful for enterprises?
It’s fair to say that the problem private app stores solve for organizations wasn’t even a problem until recent times. It wasn’t until organizations realised that creating an ecosystem of mobile apps was a better solution than a ‘one app fits all’ approach.
With the demand for more apps came the demand for increased security, tiered levels of access to certain apps, and a need to accommodate both internal and external users. Meeting these demands can, ironically, be achieved by creating yet another app: a private app store or portal app.
This can be of benefit to an organization in a number of scenarios, for example:
Private app stores for different user groups
There are a variety of users whom an organization may want to give access to a specific app or group of apps. They could include:
- Internal users (employees)
- Departments e.g. Marketing, IT, Sales, HR, Management
- External users
- The general public
- The media
Each of these users will require access to different apps; some might need to access multiple apps and others might only require access to one stand alone app for a specific use.
There may also be users who have permission to view apps that are for a range of departments e.g. a technical employee who oversees the security of the apps.
Creating portals for specific user profiles will help the user find exactly what is relevant to them easily. On the other hand, app creators, managers and distributors will have an easier time distributing apps to the right audiences, without fear of apps being available to the wrong audience.
Deploy apps directly to your private app store
Deploying your internal apps to a private app store means that you don’t have to go through the public app store review process. You can instantly deploy new apps and update existing apps.
This is extremely useful for companies that want to share app prototypes internally, or who often get requests for last minute apps, when there is simply no time to put the apps through the app store review process.
Using private app stores for both temporary and permanent apps
Private app stores can hold both temporary and permanent apps. For example, if your organization had an “Events” app portal, it could have permanent event apps there (the annual company retreat for example), but also temporary event apps for unique events that won’t repeat.
The temporary events can be removed when they’re no longer needed, and new ones can be added anytime, without having to ask contacts to install or remove the main “Events” app from their devices.
What ways can organizations use a private app store?
Company information and updates
With your private app store, you can hold apps containing information relevant to specific departments. Employees will have access to their particular departments app, and be restricted from viewing any apps they don’t need access to.
Some enterprise training apps have evolved to become too bulky and difficult to navigate, hindering usability. By creating a training app store, companies can offer a range of multiple apps in a central location, which we refer to as a training suite.
Rather than creating a single app that tries (and fails) to have features for all departments, courses and training programmes, each group can have their own specific training apps on a training portal. Not only does this make it easier to navigate to each app for the users, but it restricts access of users to apps that they might not necessarily need.
As an added benefit, this gives users who access the private app store the perception of variety and choice.
Simply put, this skips the need to put the event app in the public app store. Once your event is over, or rather, once you’ve finished pushing content through your event app, you can can easily restrict users from accessing it.
Similar to the company information and updates app example, but specifically using content relevant to clients. You can display all your client apps in one store/portal, but restrict user access to only their relevant client apps.
For example, if David from ABC Foods International accesses your company’s portal, he will only have the details to log into the app for his company, and not others. He will then only see the apps that are relevant for himself, and perhaps to other food-related clients.
Different types of client e.g. tech clients, real estate, legal clients – will have different access details, which will in turn give them access to different kind of apps
How to create a portal app (private app store)
Creating a private app store using the Fliplet Studio platform is as simple as 1, 2, 3!:
- Create a new blank app (or choose an existing one), and drag the ‘app list’ component into any screen
- On the configuration options, select all the apps you like to be included into the store.
- Now select or upload a list of authorized users, with their email addresses. You can also choose to exclude some of these users from viewing certain apps.
It’s that easy! Once your users land on the portal screen of the app, they will be asked to enter their email address, and the list you uploaded will be checked for such an email. If it exists, the user will be sent a validation code to their email address, which they only need to enter once to access the portal app.
You can start creating enterprise mobile apps today with Fliplet, find out more about the product and how it works.