The Apple B2B App Store is open for business. Only a week after first revealing details of the new platform, Apple has launched the service and businesses that use iOS devices can begin to take advantage of the benefits it has to offer.
There are hundreds of thousands of apps available in the Apple App Store. With so many options available, business professionals will find that there is an app for just about any business or productivity function imaginable. But, with the B2B App Store, businesses can now engage app developers to create custom apps to meet specific needs.
James Buchanan, a senior director at Sybase, says, "Apple's B2B App Store is a great step forward for businesses." Buchanan explains that the program enables Sybase and its partners--as well as other developers--to deliver custom B2B apps to enterprise customers through the Apple App Store.
Chris Kiley, Jeppesen senior manager, Web and Mobile Solutions, also sees a variety of advantages of the new B2B App Store program. Kiley lists the ability to create apps with features and capabilities not found in apps available to the general public--giving the customer a competitive advantage over its rivals.
Buchanan cautions, though, "With any mobile business solution there should be care taken to manage and secure mobile devices and applications that contain sensitive corporate data."
Because the B2B apps are distributed through the Apple App Store Volume Purchase Program, customers also have more control over which apps are approved for use, and how those apps are distributed to users.
The B2B App Store program is new, and will probably have some growing pains as it launches. Kiley points out, "The B2B App Store is limited to credit card payments at this time. This may be a challenge for many of our customers who operate on a purchase order system for enterprise-oriented procurements."
Overall, though, Apple has set out to identify what businesses need and create a system that works well for both developers and customers. Businesses that wish to take advantage of the B2B App Store program need to be registered with the Apple App Store Volume Purchase Program. If you are a developer who is enrolled in the iOS Developer program you can create custom B2B apps for sale to your customers enrolled in the Volume Purchase Program.