Apperian today rolled out the Enterprise App Service Environment (EASE), a platform that will help enterprise developers to build, secure and manage applications for the iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices.
EASE is initially available and free to iOS developers. The platform allows companies to basically set up their own internal app store, where employees can go to download apps that they use on the job.
David Patrick, CEO of Apperian, says that as executives realize the power of new smarpthones like the iPhone 4, as well as tablet devices like the iPad, there is a huge void in deployment and management of enterprise-grade applications for those devices.
"Obviously, not many enterprises are willing to put their applications on iTunes," Patrick says.
So if not on iTunes, then where? Patrick says that Apperian does the leg work and can create a fully branded storefront and management system for any company. "It actually looks a lot like the iTunes App Store," Patrick says.
Apperian knows a little bit about Apple's products. The company's founder and chief strategy officer is Chuck Goldman, who worked for eight years in charge of Apple's enterprise services team. Patrick says Goldman left Apple with blessings and a vision. "He really wanted to focus on deploying inside the enterprise," Patrick says.
Patrick says that perhaps the biggest catalyst for expanding the choice of devices and applications inside the enterprise has been the iPad.
"The excitement level is very high, and I think a lot of what's helped the iPhone market gain more momentum, is really the shipment of the iPad," Patrick says. "Executives now are seeing their email and on a brightly-lit screen...now we're seeing a push from the top, where the executives are saying, I want to do more with this device."
In addition to the iPhone, EASE will fully support the Apple iPad running iOS 4.2 or later with over the air app delivery. The company plans to offer an Android-based version of EASE in the first quarter of 2011.
Patrick thinks EASE is a very simple proposition. "If businesses want to reap the rewards from mobile devices without paying a high price, they require a platform that will allow them to create native mobile apps that are secure, and can be easily deployed, managed and updated," he says.