by Mielle Sullivan, Janus Networks

Mobile applications have redefined the way we think about our smartphones. Nearly every day you can read about a great new iPhone app in the consumer tech press and the iPhone is just one platform. Blackberry and Android apps tend to get slightly less attention, but the cumulative interest in mobile apps is nothing short of an obsession for the tech media. But considering the amount of work that is done on mobile phones and the importance of the mobile web to so many workers and companies, where all the apps for them? Until now, enterprise has largely been left out of the app revolution. AppCentral, a venture of Ondeego, hopes to change that.

According to AppCentral, there are three primary reasons the enterprise market has lagged behind the consumer market in mobile app adoption: it is not easy to find apps for business amongst the thousands of consumer apps in app markets; Mobile apps can be difficult to manage for IT professionals and sometimes even dangerous to company data; and third party developers currently don’t have the right tools to make “enterprise-ready” apps or a good marketplace to sell them.

AppCentral says it tackles these challenges with it’s three part ecosystem. It addresses the needs of end users by providing an easy to use web-based portal for employees to find and download the mobile business applications they need. It helps IT professionals by allowing them to easily enable and disable applications as well as handle the data of each application. Additionally, AppCentral’s patent pending “Securitization” technology creates a “security wrapper” around apps enabling remote management. But how AppCentral claims to help developers is what may make it a real game-changer in the mobile applications space. The technology is platform agnostic, so it gives developers valuable tools to efficiently create and market their apps to a wide audience. The securitization layer is also added automatically, so no additional work is required from the developer.

AppCentral just launched a private beta in early October, so its claims have yet to be tested. However they have definitely identified a pain-point in the marketplace and the concept is different from anything else currently available. Being platform agnostic also gives them a leg up on any similar marketplace that might be created by Google, Microsoft or Apple. Although, at the moment AppCentral cannot support development for the iPhone because of “legal reasons.” However, if technology is as easy to use Ondeego says, AppCentral will tap into the largest, most lucrative, yet currently least accessible mobile application market.

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