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WSO2 Enterprise Store for the App Generation

More than a handful of people refer to the emerging generation as the app generation. The concept is simple; we are intuitively accustomed to searching for an app that would solve our day to day problems.

“I’m sure there’s an app for that,” is not just something you hear when craving pizza past bedtime anymore, it’s a familiar phrase at home, school and work. According to Statista.com, the two most popular app stores (think Google and Apple) collectively lay claim to a stunning 3.1 Million apps as of July this year. So to answer your question, yes there is an app for that, but the better question is; where do you find it?

For consumers the solution is simple enough, desktop and mobile device operating systems are more likely than not to be embedded with an app store. If you can string up a couple of keywords, finding the right app is no rocket science. The formula isn’t quite that easy for enterprise users.

To start with, enterprise app stores are void of the intuitive UX and UI of consumer-grade app stores. This is only the lesser of evils when entertaining the possibility of an app store not existing at all.

Gearing Enterprises for the Future

Gartner predicts that by the year 2017, 25% of enterprises will feature an app store. While the projections is optimistic, it isn’t by any measure timely. As of now, the workforce age bracket (18-44 years) uses an average of nearly 30 apps per user and spends an approximate 35 hours per week interacting with these apps.

These numbers reported by Neilsen encompass a wide variety of app types including entertainment, social and photography. The promise for enterprise use may be less illustrious, however the numbers clearly reflect on the currently emergent practice of using apps.

Image Source: Nielsen http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/smartphones-so-many-apps–so-much-time.html

If the benefits of adopting an app store aren’t promising enough for enterprises, there is always the flipside to consider. Duplication of enterprise apps and assets (more on that below) cost large organizations a considerable amount of time and money.

Often, business units isolated by function and/or geography tends to reinvent the proverbial wheels in their daily routines. The natural solution is an easily discoverable, centralized app and asset collection. AKA; a store!

Limitless Possibility

For enterprises and business owners now starting to see the light at the end of the store, there’s good news and good news. First,apps are just the start of the story and secondly, the light is green in a Dollar shade.

Apps are only one type of asset that may be listed in a store. As for what else can be listed in the store, the short answer is anything and the long answer is everything. Whether they are apps, APIs, adapters, services, connectors, bookmarked websites, documents, gadgets, ebooks, audio files or whatever else you might fathom, the store is fair-game for all asset types.

As to the second point, enterprises may save on the cost of duplication but that’s just one method of monetization. The second method really isn’t rocket science. All our favorite app stores have introduced price tags to their app collections. The concept is simple; you pay, you buy.

Taking the monetization aspect a step further, however, the store allows custom action types. The thinking is simple; store owners are free to determine revenue models for their premium content. These models may take the form of straight out pricing, subscription, licenses and any other clever monetization scheme that businesses can think up. Your move.

Transforming Cost Centres

The beauty of the store concept extends far beyond business process optimization and the introduction of a fresh revenue channel. Potentially, the store can transform a business or business unit from a cost center to a highly profitable one.

Take, for example, a research unit of a large organization. Let’s take out the potential confidentiality of the information gathered by this team, for elaborative purposes. Typically, the team will provide insights for other internal departments. With the introduction of a store, the research team is able to expose assets generated by them to businesses operating in the same (or related) domains who may opt to purchase (or not) these assets to avoid creating them from scratch.

Open Source, Ready to Deploy

The natural next question for most businesses is how to set up an enterprise store. There’s an easy answer to that question. Enter WSO2 Enterprise Store, the fully open source store, ready for on-premise or cloud deployment.

WSO2 Enterprise Store ships with two out of the box asset types and allows unrestricted custom asset type support. Getting started is simple enough and the product page provides the necessary documentation. Feel free to contact us for support and queries on how to transform your business into the store of the future.

Download and try the fully open source WSO2 Enterprise Store to transform your pace of innovation today!

PaaS for Business/IT Agility, Inspired by Black Eyed Peas?

The Black Eyed Peas recognize today’s business growth imperative and IT customer demands. When they sang, “Big money, give me mo’ money/Yeah,I want it now,….Cause if time can’t wait Then I sure can’t wait, I ain’t got no patience, No, I just can’t wait, not today”  they underscored how stakeholders pressured to grow the business today will be irked by misaligned delivery timeframes.

Even in 2011, Gartner presaged the ‘now generation’ sentiment and consumerized IT ownership shift we see today in their Top Predictions for 2012 and Beyond report:

In my latest blog post “Accelerating Business Agility with App Factory DevOps PaaS”, I examine how a DevOps PaaS can serve as a new IT model for today’s fast business pace, since it:

  • Enables faster execution.
  • Offers widespread accessibility.
  • Fosters grassroots innovation.
  • Increases resource availability for IT projects.

While you can read the full blog here: http://blog.cobia.net/cobiacomm/2013/03/19/accelerating-business-agility-with-app-factory-devops-paas , you can learn more about WSO2 App Factory, where we deliver a configurable DevOps PaaS that can be readily adopted by teams without extensive implementation effort, by visiting http://wso2.com/cloud/app-factory/

WSO2 App Factory presents a simplified and unified user experience to complex development tools, processes, and team hand-offs.  By integrating software promotion best practices, test automation, continuous integration, and issue tracking, App Factory raises software quality while reducing delivery timeframes.

Feel free to get in touch if you’ like to participate in the beta program.

For more pop inspiration, read the full BLACK EYED PEAS – NOW GENERATION LYRICS and watch the video.

– Chris Haddad, VP of Technology Evangelism at WSO2

Charting New Territories in Defense Systems

This is an exciting time to be involved in defense computing technology.  We are at a critical point in defense system architecture, one where the WSO2 technology stack is uniquely situated to play a pivotal role.

I was excited to join the WSO2 team as Director of Defense and Government Solutions earlier this year. I’ve spent the better part of 25 years both using and designing defense systems ranging from precision-guided munitions and unmanned aerial vehicles to those supporting amphibious warfare and humanitarian demining.

WSO2 software represents a disruptive, transformative capability that could allow the US defense and intelligence communities to both leverage legacy systems and develop new ones in an agile and sustainable manner.  This is especially relevant in an environment of contracting defense budgets.

In the next few months I will be crafting WSO2’s strategy for this new sector as well as engaging my colleagues in the defense community in an effort to introduce them to the capabilities offered by WSO2 technology.  To this end, I’ve written 2 white papers

  1. Engagements: The Role of the Middleware Vendor in the Defence Industry – outlines how the advent of open source middleware creates the conditions for a new revolution in military affairs.
  2. Integration Platforms and App Factories: The Transformation of Legacy Defense Systems – explores how service-oriented architecture (SOA) principles around granular, modular, composable and interoperable services—applied either on the platform or the cloud—can overcome infrastructural challenges within legacy defense systems.

I also presented a talk at WSO2Con 2013 in London earlier this year on the topic “Sharpening the Spearpoint: Empowering the Edge Through SOA”. A recording of this talk can be found here.

There’s lots more to come – the subject is important, relevant and timely and I believe that one of the best ways I can serve the defense and intelligence communities is to publish my thoughts in a way that will start the dialogue rolling. I’ve got a regular blog at www.adamfirestone.org for anyone who’s interested.

– Adam Firestone, Director, Defense and Government Solutions