Cisco is close to launching a cross-platform version of its AppHQ enterprise app storefront and managing platform.
It's currently only available on Cisco devices like the Android-powered Cius tablet, Richard Tywoniak, director of communications and collaboration for Cisco said at the Mobile Web + Developers Conference. AppHQ should be ready in a month or two for non Cisco devices, Tywoniak said, and besides plugging other Cisco products, he gave developers some tips on getting the most out of building their enterprise apps.
Security is #1 for Enterprise Apps
Security is likely the reason Cisco hasn't yet gone cross-platform with the AppHQ just yet. Tywoniak did not have many nice things to say about security in the Google Play store, for example. However, for enterprise apps, security is paramount. Tywoniak gave the example of healthcare company Baxter (he said his wife works there) who won't even let employees use Facebook on their company laptops. An extreme case perhaps, but when it comes to mobility and accessing secure documents, it's much easier to simply restrict access altogether.
In Cisco's AppHQ, this won't be an issue, Tywoniak said, because the company is more focused on business needs. That doesn't mean there are only communication and finance apps in AppHQ, but it does mean enterprise-level control and less of a glut of "me too" apps that simply ape the features of another popular app.
AppHQ is nearly ready for a public launch.
Cisco Collaboration Apps Going Mobile
Cisco's powerful web conferencing and telepresence apps are going mobile, but the problem is mobile browsers don't do plug ins. So there's no iPhone app yet for Jabber or WebEx, but the company is for sure working on it, Tywoniak said. Cisco knows there is a huge gap in its current Web SDK as there's no support for mobile browser versions of chat, presence, video or voice.
WebEx Social iPhone app? Not yet, Cisco says.
This mobile work will really come in handy for Cisco as the company rolls out the new WebEx Social. This idea is part of Cisco's ongoing shift to make its collaboration software even more social. Announced in June, WebEx Social integrates features from other apps like Microsoft Office, but also the company's own voice, video and IM technology. Let us know in the comments if you think an enterprise app store is the right move for Cisco.