FeedHenry buddies up with AirWatch for enterprise app development

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Enterprise mobility management (EMM) provider AirWatch has collaborated with cloud-based mobile app platform FeedHenry to enable quicker creation of enterprise apps.

The partnership integrates FeedHenry’s mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) platform with AirWatch’s EMM solution which aims to allow IT to do its job managing policies and access controls while enterprises can develop content for mobile devices.

Enterprises can create native, hybrid and HTML5 apps quickly and securely whilst tracking them via the AirWatch console.

The MBaaS space is certainly an intriguing one, with companies such as FeedHenry, Kinvey, Parse and others spotting the opportunity in the market to provide middleware which takes requests from an app and formats them into the backend.

Cathal McGloin, CEO of FeedHenry, believes that while these players have been focused on the consumer space, there’s no reason to suggest they couldn’t move into the enterprise.

“The FeedHenry platform has been built from the ground up with the enterprise in mind and offers enterprise MBaaS capabilities,” he told Enterprise AppsTech via email.

“When looking at the differences between enterprise and consumer mobile applications, there is a marked difference between the backend requirements of both paradigms,” he added. “While consumer mobile apps typically make use of social network profiles and public data sources, enterprise mobile solutions normally need to incorporate backend capabilities that reside in corporate systems.

“In order for MBaaS technologies to be seamlessly adopted in the enterprise, they need to provide efficient mechanisms to broker the communication between mobile applications and line-of-business systems, whether those are hosted on-premise, or SaaS-based.”

According to McGloin, FeedHenry chose AirWatch because it was “one of the best in class” for MDM and EMM, citing the recent acquisition by VMware as the clincher.

This isn’t a first, of course, with IBM’s purchase of Fiberlink predating VMware’s move – and McGloin expects this trend to continue apace.

“Consolidation in the market was anticipated because enterprises now demand end-to-end mobile application platforms that support strategic mobile app development, deployment and management,” he explained. “What we are starting to see is that, rather than being managed separately, MDM, app development and app distribution are linked by the common thread of data security: securing apps and devices and managing user policies through the same platform.

“As a result of this emerging requirement for single platform delivery, MDM and MAM vendors need to partner with next-generation mobile application platform providers as enterprise mobility matures and standalone solutions are phased out.”

Naturally this is where FeedHenry, who secured $9m in funding back in May, comes in. McGloin argues that EMM and deploying mobile apps through a mobile application platform (MAP) are “two sides of the same coin.”

“As business customers start to think about mobile deployment strategies and policies, both markets help move the needle for enterprise mobility,” McGloin said.

“We have been seeing that as companies have been trying to get control over their employee liable devices, they have engaged with an EMM vendor such as AirWatch.

“As business customers seek flexible, scalable and open environments to integrate and deploy mobile apps that meet critical security and management policies, next generation MAPs and EMM solutions will support each other and together address growing enterprise demands,” he added.

Do you agree with McGloin’s analysis? Let us know in the comments…

Read more: AirWatch: A billion dollar journey from Wi-Fi to EMM


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