Telcos Are Best Placed To Provide Enterprise App Stores

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Will businesses really want the operators to manage their enterprise app stores? HP’s Tim Marsden thinks so

Hewlett-Packard has launched a service that provides enterprise app stores for companies, but is using service providers to deliver those app stores.

The idea is that enterprises want to get the benefits of mobility, which makes staff more productive, and they want to use a variety of devices – generally referred to as “bring your own device” (BYOD). HP’s aim is to supply those enterprises with app stores for their business apps, and to make it easy to keep the devices under control .

But why did HP choose to deliver this through service providers?  Tim Marsden, director of applications and cloud at HP’s communications division, admitted during his speech that operators don’t generally have a great deal of IT expertise. We asked Marsden a couple of questions.

Companies don’t want to get their hands dirty

Do companies actually want the operator to manage things if they are moving to bring your own device (BYOD)? I thought for a lot of companies BYOD is a way to get out of the restrictive locking the the operators currently apply to them.
I think it is all about options. It’s all about what the profile of the enterprise is. A lot of enterprises don’t have the capability – to put in their own systems, to go in and manage all those devices make sure they are secure, and the apps are appropriate.

They are looking for a partner or a third party to help them with it. If they decide they want someone to help them with it, them the operator is very well positioned, having capability in that space. They already have a relationship with them in mobile devices.

But as you said, the operator doesn’t have a lot of experience in IT and apps. They are just good at shipping people devices and charging lots for the minutes.
And managing the networks, and managing the security, and managing the policies on the devices. There are a lot of components in the solution that are to do with the network and to do with the mobile devices, and the management side of that. It’s a good balance.

Many operators today are building very strong IT arms. BT does, for example – but others don’t. And that’s why we have this offering. HP can provide the IT competence, the managed services and go to market jointly with the operator, or we can provide the solution if the operator has the IT capability.

I think it is all about options, and about what the particular operator’s capabilities are.

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