Verizon courts enterprise devs with Private Applications Store for Business

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Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) highlighted its annual Verizon Developer Community Conference event by unveiling its new Verizon Wireless Private Applications Store for Business, promising enterprise customers and business app developers a secure and customizable channel for delivering software solutions directly to the mobile workforce.

Verizon Wireless enterprise customers can leverage the Private Applications Store to create and oversee private mobile app storefronts containing only solutions authorized by the company for its employees and business partners. Each Private Applications Store is set up to offer both company-created apps and third-party efforts, all optimized for use both inside and outside of corporate firewalls across any operating system, device or carrier. Verizon will announce additional details on the program in the weeks ahead.

"Workers demand to be mobile--if we don't give them the tools they want, they'll take them from the consumer world," vice president of Verizon Wireless' Business Solutions Group Janet Schijns said in an interview with FierceDeveloper. "But enterprises don't want to put their applications in a non-private app store. They want to keep their information safe and secure. Now you can download the apps you need from a branded store that offers the apps [your employer] wants you to have."

Schijns said Verizon Wireless and its sales team will work with enterprise customers to identify the apps and services best suited for their particular business and vertical segment. The operator also works with its VDC developer partners to help target the platforms, operating systems and devices that give them their best chance to gain traction in the enterprise apps marketplace.

Although the Private Applications Store concept will primarily cater to large enterprises, Schijns said small and medium-sized businesses can leverage the rebranded Verizon Apps store's new integration with mobile app search engine Chomp to more efficiently identify the workplace apps tailored for their day-to-day operations. Chomp employs search algorithms to enable users to find recommended apps via category or keywords: "We've evolved the [Verizon Apps user interface] with Chomp," Schijns said. "If you're a small business, it will help you find just what you're looking for."

Verizon's efforts to accelerate mobile enterprise growth depend on its VDC partners dedicating their energy and resources to building the next generation of business-specific applications, Schijns added. "Developers need to take another look at the business space. They need to invest here," she said. "This is a huge revenue opportunity. There are so many opportunities in this space to drive change."

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