Welcoming Google to the AppConfig Community

May 17, 2016 @ 12:00 PM
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2 min read

Mobile applications are transforming the way enterprises engage with customers, partners and colleagues. After all, these apps help users make more informed decisions in less time, allowing them to stay on schedule to meet their commitments.

The worldwide, cross-industry demand for work apps — specifically those catered toward productivity, collaboration and enablement of individual roles, teams and entire organizations — has led to a massive increase in the development of enterprise mobile apps. Many of these apps are then deployed across organizations using enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions.

As a founding member of the AppConfig Community, IBM MaaS360 has worked alongside other EMM vendors since February 2016. These vendors strive to establish a universal approach for configuring, securing and managing enterprise mobile apps, making it easier for IT to deploy more apps in less time while still allowing app developers to write a single app for all supporting EMM platforms.

Android for Work Best Practices Available Today

Today, the AppConfig Community built on its mission by announcing its Android for Work support, which includes best practices for app developers to reference when they’re configuring and securing their Android mobile apps. As a longtime collaborator with Google, IBM is excited to announce Google’s support for the AppConfig Community.

In line with this announcement, standard configurations are now available for the following use cases:

  • Autoconfiguration of URLs, ports, email addresses and more that are normally requested by a user during an app’s initial launch;
  • Per-app VPN to provide behind-the-firewall Web service access for specific apps;
  • Single sign-on that eliminates a user’s need to re-authenticate across multiple apps; and
  • Passcode, doc sharing, copy and paste, screen capture and other app-specific security policies.

The AppConfig Community’s Android for Work support is built on the native app configuration frameworks that are made available through the Android OS. This is the same approach the community has taken with other supported mobile OSs.

Deploy, Configure, Secure and Manage Android Apps With IBM MaaS360

Following the best practices made available by the AppConfig Community will get you on the right path to meet your ultimate goal: getting the right apps to the right users on the right devices while protecting corporate data and increasing employee productivity.

By offering support for Android for Work as well as smartphones and tablets running Android, IBM MaaS360 makes it easy for businesses to configure, secure, deploy and manage Android apps to individual devices/users, groups and the entire organization.

IBM MaaS360 speeds up Android app configuration and management process in several key ways:

  • It enables application management and deployment at scale with a redesigned corporate app catalog.
    • The app catalog features banners and native-like experience to promote rapid app adoption.
    • Bundles of apps can be created for one-touch installation.
    • Users can directly rate apps and provide personal reviews that empower productivity and intercompany collaboration.
  • It remotely configures apps to save time for users, thereby avoiding the need for URLs, ports and email addresses.
    • Parameters are entered within the EMM portal and then pushed down to the app itself.
  • It enables app tunnel for devices with apps requiring behind-the-firewall Web services access.
  • It accelerates identity provider tenant discovery during single sign-on by passing SSO Login Hint.
  • It secures apps and app data by restricting copy/paste, doc sharing, screen capture and more using security policies.

We encourage you to read the official announcement on the Android Developers Blog to learn more about this exciting news, and how you can begin taking advantage of what the AppConfig Community has to offer for your app configuration, management and security needs.

Anar Taori
Senior Director of Product Management & Strategy, IBM

Anar Taori is responsible for product management, business development & strategy for IBM MaaS360, a market-leading, cloud-based Enterprise Mobility Mana...
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