Hewlett-Packard has announced the launch of the HP Access Catalog, an enterprise app store which aims to “transform the way enterprises deliver services to the mobile workforce.”
The store leverages HTML5 technology and is integrated with the SAML 2.0 language to add security as well as cross-platform flexibility.
Dragan Milanovich, VP of HP Web Services, explained to Enterprise AppsTech the grouping technology of SAML which allows certain employees on certain devices to see content.
“The idea behind the catalogue is to attach it to the identity mechanism that’s available and bring the best of breed for app stores,” he explains. “For example an enterprise can submit an app that goes out to the finance people, and what we’ll do is distribute it around the world via CDN, and have a back end authorisation mechanism to make sure that access is only to the appropriate people.
“So what they get is an enterprise catalogue, but what they get is a very consumer-like experience that doesn’t have the kind of features you’re not interested in, that’s real easy to use,” he adds.
Because of the HTML5 technology, Milanovich notes how the product can keep the enterprise’s branding yet still contain best of breed features.
“We’ve gotten really good feedback,” he explains. “What [customers] are looking for is a way of accessing, for example, information, as well as applications and making it easy to use.”
The compatibility with HTML5 again helps when looking at the supported platforms, currently only iOS and Android.
Milanovich says that legacy BlackBerry is “a bit of a question mark”, but everything else is “fairly straightforward”, on mobile and desktop.
“Because of HTML5 we can handle all the desktops via a browser,” he notes. “So whether you’re running IE, Chrome or Firefox we actually run the same code there.
“The cool thing about the app store is the fact you can submit the executables for Windows as well as iOS. If you go through your desktop and you go through the browser you can actually install applications on iOS or Android.
“So what it does is give the employee the ability to really manage their mobile devices and their desktop at the same time from their desktop, and then operate everything off the mobile device when they need to.”
For Milanovich, the consumerisation of IT is something that cannot be ignored for vendors.
“What’s happened is that [CIOs] want control what devices they’re seeing, but what they’re finding [is] employees are bringing in their home iPads, copying all the presentations, putting them on an iPad and then going out and meeting customers with that,” explains Milanovich.
“So I think there’s a very big need to allow people to use what they’re really used to, and I don’t think there’s a choice.
“I think a really good way to attack the problem is the whole app store concept, because people are used to it and they understand how to operate it.”
HP therefore sees the HTML5-enabled Access Catalog as their bet to tackle BYOD. “What we’re actually doing is enabling people to make different decisions,” he adds. “They can make native decisions or HTML5 and we’ll be able to support both of them.”
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