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Wired: Apple’s VPP Store for Business Unlocks New Opportunities for Developers

Wired: Apple’s VPP Store for Business Unlocks New Opportunities for Developers

Businesses and their employees are relying more and more on Apple devices in their work. In fact, according to a recent Forrester Report, “Apple won about 8% of global business and government spending on computers and tablets in 2012.” This is up from 1% in 2009 and will likely reach 11% in only a few years. With companies increasingly embracing “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, a new window of opportunity has emerged for both app developers and businesses to develop customized, native apps specific for their employees.

During 2013, Apple created its business-to-business app store called the VPP Store (Volume Purchase Program) for Business. Up until then, the only way that a company could have a customized app for download on Apple iOS devices was to enter into an enterprise developer agreement with Apple and then make the app available through the company’s own network and servers. While this option still exists, many companies have refrained from creating their own apps given the need to address network, IT and security issues. Moreover, once it is determined that a company’s IT, network or security departments need be involved, such new initiatives tend to stall if not fall by the waist side in their entirety. At its essence, the VPP Store for Business does away with this by allowing companies to create and distribute custom apps from outside of their firewall and with nominal IT involvement.

The creation of the VPP Store for Business creates a significant opportunity for app developers. Companies are quickly realizing the power of native apps and the need to have a mobile strategy whether it be for sales, workforce management, communications or other business purposes. Various groups or divisions, particularly within the enterprise, maintain their own budgets and have the ability to be forward thinking when it comes to using technology to further their business priorities and objectives. With the VPP Store for Business, a company can now implement a BYOD program and quickly put into place a mobile business strategy.

Apple’s primary reason for creating the VPP Store for Business certainly wasn’t to keep app developers busy. Rather, the company undoubtedly has a self interest in capturing the enterprise app and mobile market. I am a betting man but I am not one to bet against Apple. The VPP Store for Business is a win-win for Apple and app developers alike.

Jeff Corbin is the founder of theCOMMSapp, a family of communications app building solutions.

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