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The way in which people use technology is fundamentally changing and the impact is being felt by providers of enterprise communications solutions. This strategic analysis defines the effect of the consumerization of IT (CoIT) and software-driven unified communications platforms based on the buying habits of businesses. Furthermore, this insight identifies the app store model as an effective approach to address these new trends.
The term “app store” entered the lexicon in 2008, tied to Apple’s introduction of third-party applications for its iPhone and iPod Touch devices. For mobile devices, this was a watershed moment and represented a turning point for how applications made their way on to smartphones. Prior to Apple’s iTunes App Store discovery, the delivery of mobile applications paralleled that of desktop operating systems. Users had to scour the web to find the mobile application they wanted and download the application to their PC before finally installing the application on their device. The App Store removed these pain points in acquisition and installation, giving mobile users a single source to find and purchase applications, and in successive versions—the ability to install applications directly on their mobile devices, eliminating the desktop from the process entirely.
The success of Apple’s App Store, a model replicated by nearly all of the major competitors in the mobile market including Google, Blackberry, Microsoft and even Amazon, is also resonating throughout the broader high-tech industry. Enterprise solution providers, including unified communications vendors, developers, resellers, and the myriad of service providers are trying to capitalize on this shift in application procurement and provisioning habits. This has given rise to the enterprise app store.
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