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Analysis

HP Access Catalog smooths the way for streamlined deployment of mobile apps
Dana Gardner By: Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst, Interarbor Solutions
Published: 14th February 2014
Copyright Interarbor Solutions © 2014
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HP today announced HP Access Catalog, a SaaS-delivered mobile app and content store that allows corporations to quickly and securely deliver resources across mobile and desktop devices to their employees anywhere.

IT organizations are facing pressure to deliver a marketplace experience to employees who expect access to content and apps from their device of choice. But non-business controlled exchanges and app stores lack enterprise security and control. Companies must also protect their apps from access by outsiders.

So the new catalog from HP, which can be branded as the business's own store, offers organizations a secure, private “app store” for employees to browse, search and download mobile applications and digital content onto their devices, including mobile and tablets, as well as desktops. The catalog supports Android and iOS platforms, which make up close to 94 percent of the mobile-device market share in the third quarter of 2013.

Earlier this week HP launched the HP Vertica Marketplace, a hub for developers, partners and customers to create and share extensions, enhancements, and solutions that integrate with the HP Vertica Analytics Platform. Both the Vertica Marketplace and HP Access Catalog are powered by technology developed by Palm, which HP acquired in 2010.

Delivered via native mobile clients and a web interface, the HP Access Catalog is a pure software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that helps organizations reduce the cost and complexity of managing applications on company-issued and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mobile devices, said Tim Rochte, Director of Product Management at HP Software Web Services. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Through the catalog’s native identity management system or seamless integration with enterprise identity systems, IT organizations ensure that users can find and download the right applications for their role, he said. Those organizations have 100% control over their content and apps.

In addition, the catalog allows IT organizations to drive updates to users to ensure they have the most current applications and data, increasing their mobile productivity and effectiveness without compromising security. Via a CDN, the delivery speed and global reach of the apps and content -- even large video objects and streams to remote branches -- is assured, something a home-grown app store may not be able to do, said Rochte.

The Access Catalog uses HTML5 and single-sign-on authentication and authorization capabilities with SAML 2.0 integration. It coexists with "public" stores like iTunes and Google Play.

Hosted in HP’s PCI-compliant data center, the access catalog also is offered as an integrated component of the HP Anywhere enterprise mobility platform, enabling customers to manage all their mobile apps

While the HP Access Catalog is currently used for free content, an e-commerce element that allows selling and/or charge backs is in the offing, said Rochte. As applications developers go mobile-first, the store may become a primary way to distribute, track and manage all corporate applications. Or at least it will help manage the expected huge growth in mobile apps in businesses.

You could even say the Access Catalog marketplace model is the new intranet, for those of you that recall intranets.

HP Access Catalog will be available worldwide from HP and its channel partners in March. Pricing will be based on a simple per-user per month or annual subscription. The means the more content and apps per employee, the better the cost ratio -- and productivity.

Additional information is available at go.pronq.com/HP-Access-Catalog.

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Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
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