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IT departments in knowledge-based organizations typically have a broad array of objectives against which they are measured including mandates like security, privacy, budget efficiency, governance and compliance.  But the end users in those same organizations only measure them on one – end user productivity.  The easier it is for employees to access the tools and information that they need to do their jobs productively, the better their view of the IT Department will be.

 

The challenge with providing this type of frictionless access to information and tools is that it often comes into conflict with the IT department’s other mandates.  Systems to support security, compliance and budget efficiency are primarily intended to limit people’s access to information and tools and at the best of times aren’t that end user friendly.

 

This is compounded by an increasingly complex technology environment in which IT has to deliver information and services.  Employees work on desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets.  Their devices are both company provided and employee owned.  They need to access systems and data inside the corporate firewall when they are on the road and they need seamless access to Cloud- and SaaS-based systems regardless of where they are.

 

Meanwhile, the consumer Internet experience employees have in their personal life is significantly driving their expectations around instantaneous access – read a book, download an app, order a pizza, all with the click of a button.

 

BMC AppZone was developed from the ground up to support an easy –to-use, consumer-like experience for accessing apps and information within organizations regardless of device or application type.  Our goal has always been to provide this type of Universal App Store to solve these IT friction problems – a single pane of glass to easily find and access mobile apps, desktop apps, SaaS apps and Enterprise web apps thereby unlocking the information and services employees need to do their jobs.

 

But by combining it with BMC’s existing, proven technologies for IT Management, we are able to do so much more.  It allows us to provide this seamless access to applications in the context of the IT Departments other mandates thereby balancing the needs of IT with the needs of end-users.

 

By leveraging the service catalogue and workflow-based ordering capabilities of BMC Remedy we will be able to give users access to both the pre-enabled apps in AppZone plus the orderable apps, devices and services managed and fulfilled via Remedy SRM.   We’ll provide application access plus application support and ticketing in the same end-user environment.

 

By combining BMC AppZone with BMC Asset Management we can enable IT to have real-time license tracking and enforcement within a self-service app store in order to optimize IT’s budget for software and services.

 

By combining BMC AppZone with BMC Client Management we’ll enable any end user to install desktop applications without having administrator privileges.  The end user clicks to install and instead of downloading and installing the application it is provisioned via Client Management to their desktop or laptop.

 

It’s the combination of BMC’s current IT Management capabilities with AppZone’s end user focused app store capabilities that will enable us to truly deliver on the promise of a Universal App Store – delighted, productive employees + a safe, secure and efficient organization.

 

If the business problem and technology solution I've described here rings true for you and your organization, I recommend you take a test drive of BMC AppZone at www.enterpriseappzone.com  and watch here for more announcements in the coming quarters as we further enable BMC’s existing product capabilities.

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A statistic that has come up many times at the AirWatch Connect event is: 22% of apps are downloaded and used once. For some this is a cause for alarm questioning the value of apps or the fact we are awash in a sea of apps and none can break through the clutter. I see it as a chance for app developers and enterprise app stores to recognize that apps can have a time sensitivity factor and should be deployed with that in mind. Some categories especially well suited for disposable apps:

 

Event Based Apps

Here at the AirWatch Connect Show in Atlanta, the event organizers have provided attendees with a app container with a suite apps for making the show experience more productive. Attendees get a Secure Content Locker with brochures, a video app, and a contact app where you can get info from someone you meet at the show via a scan of the QR code on their badge. The apps have an expiration date shortly after the show for future reference.

 

Activity Apps

For certain time sensitive activities like closing the quarter, training or team offsites a specific application can improve productivity. Having an app designed to address the aspects of specific activity focuses the user and interaction. Important milestones can have extra prominence in the UX. Training app icons can highlight the number of activities remain and automatically disappear when completed.

 

Location Based Apps

When arriving at a new location deliver a package of apps to help navigate the local area. Apps like MyIT are an excellent way to provide information on the local office with floor plans and office locations, and organizations can extend these by providing a container of apps from the public transportation, preferred hotel chain, or top local attractions. Once the traveling user goes back home, these apps can disappear.

 

In this world of disposable applications, I.T. needs to take design and distribution considerations to get them most from the disposable app deployments:

 

Allow for Longer Lifespans

While many of these types of apps will have a limited life span, for some users there is a need for them to remain on their device. Give users a way to transition an app out of a container time/location restriction and make it permanent.

 

Create Community Within App Users

The very nature of an app being tied to an event or makes them perfect for social components. Having features to share the app with others or have features that connect app users will engender more community among users.

 

Use the “Operators are Standing Buy” Effect When Promoting

For apps that expire in time window, use promotional areas in your enterprise app store to ensure people get them in time. With tools like BMC’s AppZone you can use high profile banners with calls to action to download before a deadline. The fear of missing out is a powerful motivator.

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This week, the mindful cyborg, Christopher M Dancy, takes the Zoo on a trip, showing us contemplative technologies, explaining digital duality, and bemoaning the stress of non-organic social media engagements. We also learn about mindfulness and how it can help us deal with the avalanche of technology and data flooding our daily lives.

 

Learn more at: www.servicesphere.com/mindful-cyborgs-podcast/

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This week, product managers Hema Mohan and Michele McFadden take the Zoo through the amazing innovations in IT. From how augmented reality and real-time collaboration make us more productive to basic change management, we discuss how new technology works in the enterprise. We also touch on mindfulness, sensor monitoring and those pesky little arm bands that measure every aspect of our existence.