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VDC Vendor Spotlight: Apperian


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VDC Vendor Spotlight: Apperian

  1. 1. Vendor Spotlight Founded: 2009Apperian HQ: 321 Summer Street, First Floor | Boston, MA 02210 | www.apperian.comFunding / Key Investors: $23.4M (North Bridge Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners,Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (iFund), Common Angels, and LaunchCapital)Number of Employees: ~70Solution at a GlanceApperian provides organizations with the ability to create, deploy, and manage applications via a branded enterprise-grade mobileapplication store. The company’s solutions support iOS, Android and Blackberry mobile platforms, and aim squarely at alleviating thedilemma that organizations increasingly face in “app enabling” their workforce, as it goes mobile.Apperian’s solution was one of the first to market that enabled organizations with the ability to provide their employees with a self-service enterprise-grade mobile app store for business-to-employee (b2e) mobile apps. The mobility segment that Apperian participatesin is often referred to as Mobile- Application-Management, or MAM.Primary Product or ServiceApperian’s primary solution is its Enterprise App Services Environment, or EASE Platform.The EASE platform enables organizations to empower their mobile workforce with b2e mobile applications, by enabling IT personnel tonot only securely create mobile applications (using the EASE SDK), but to also manage their provisioning. Apps can easily bedistributed, updated, and managed across an entire organization. The EASE Platform can manage user credentials as a stand-alonesolution, or Microsoft’s Active Directory can be used.The EASE Platform also contains what Apperian calls a catalog — the catalog is essentially a native container application (currently foriOS and Android platforms) which provides a self-service capability for employees to find and install corporate mobile apps that they areauthorized for (the EASE catalog can be branded with the organizations logo). EASE provides app management and analytics functionsas well, providing administrators with the ability to measure app usage and take inventory of apps/device usage on an individual userbasis. EASE can also deliver corporate content securely (e.g., video, PDFs, documents, etc.) through the container application.The EASE Platform scales well, and is suitable for both SMBs as well as large organizations with diverse mobile deployments. WithApperian’s solution, organizations can enable their employees to access their personal and corporate apps on the same device with nospecial software required — EASE also gives IT personnel the ability to manage just corporate apps without compromising the userexperience (i.e., the solution doesn’t impact an employees’ personal mobile apps).Epicenter is an advanced social corporate directory, built for mobile and the iPad from the ground up. It lets workers visually navigatethe organization, identify key players, and find people with a specific expertise or skill set. Through photo rosters, personalized profiles,and iPad built-in communication methods like FaceTime, mobile workers are able to put faces with names, and connect on a personallevel. Epicenter addresses the needs of the mobile worker and gives organizations a quick win to jump-start their mobile strategy.In May of 2012, Apperian announced several important functionality enhancements to its EASE platform. Most notable, are APIenhancements that will enable organizations to integrate and publish their in-house developed mobile applications with the EASEplatform. Apperian also added more personalization and engagement opportunities for b2e users to its platform – these “socialenhancements” will help organizations close the feedback loop on mobile application usage by capturing app ratings, while alsoproviding users with the ability to rate existing apps, and provide ideas for new ones. The company also recently secured partnershipswith several best-of-breed mobile ISVs to compliment its solution range – the partners will give Apperian the ability to offer moresophisticated mobility application management and lifecycle solutions to the market. Partners include: Mocana (for mobile applicationsecurity and policy management), Appthority (for malware detection), Mformation (for enterprise-grade device management), andCrashlytics (for mobile application crash reporting).Customer Challenges & BenefitsManaging mobile applications is quickly becoming a priority for organizations, as employees are continuing to bring their personalmobile devices into the workplace. Apperian’s solution is aimed squarely at alleviating many of the issues that have arisen with deviceproliferation in the enterprise — specifically around app management. The company is very focused on delivering a user experiencethat empowers IT (and internal developers) — Apperian has accomplished this with a solution that can not only easily integrate withexisting backend systems, but can also greatly simplify managing mobile apps in a cross-platform enterprise environment.VDC RESEARCH GROUP, INC. © Copyright 2012 |
  2. 2. Vendor Spotlight Apperian – continuedUnique Selling Points & DifferentiatorsApperian has a dedicated direct-sales team that was successful at winning large corporate accounts early in the company’s shorthistory. The company gained a significant channel partner this past January, when AT&T announced they had chosen Apperian’sEASE Platform to power their MAM solution. AT&T is increasingly being viewed as a “kingmaker”, as it is not only very selective inchoosing its partners, but can also offer its solution partners access to a significant direct-sales force (as well as its sizable customerbase). Apperian will be able to reach a broader range of (global 2,000) customers through its channel partners (in addition to AT&T,notable partners include BoxTone, Vox Mobile, and Mobiquity). Apperian has active deployments in several large organizations and astrong pipeline for new business, according to our sources. Apperian’s solution is sold on a subscription basis.Competitive PositioningApperian’s positioning in the mobile ecosystem is strong, as it was an early entrant in the MAM segment and generated significant buzzby landing several large clients as early adopters of its solutions. We have noticed that existing customers are expanding theirdeployments and usage of the EASE Platform and we believe that the firm’s solution is proven as a best-of-breed MAM solution. Thecompany’s modular architecture and recent partnerships will enable the company offer more sophisticated and complete enterprise-grade mobility solutions.The company has done well at attracting top developers and management talent that is seasoned and experienced in enterpriseapplications and deployment environments. We see the company as positioned well to expand its partnerships with important channelconstituents (particularly with vertically-oriented systems integrators). As of Q2 2012, Apperian has a strong pipeline for new business.Company References & Strategic PartnersAT&T (channel relationship / key reseller), Appthority, Crashlytics, Mformation, and MocanaKey Customers Disclosed: Cisco Systems, The Estee Lauder Companies, and The Procter & Gamble CompaniesKey ManagementApperian has been equally as successful in garnering funding as it has in attracting key personnel. Led by former executives from firmssuch as Apple, Novell, Citrix, and EMC, Apperian’s founder, Chuck Goldman – a very visible, energetic, and passionate entrepreneur -was instrumental in formulating the company’s core go-to-market strategy. David Patrick, the company’s CEO, built his reputation asCEO of Ximian (acquired by Novell), and is experienced at identifying top talent and assembling leadership teams. While Apperian isstill a relatively small player in this space, the company continues to recruit key talents to their management team. Recent additionsinclude: David Baeza, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer – a career marketing veteran formerly with Citrix; and Stephen Skidmorethe company’s Director of Product Marketing – a seasoned marketing professional formerly with EMC, who was a key strategic advisorto the company as it secured its funding.VDC OpinionApperian was one of the first to the market with an enterprise-grade app store, and helped to define the mobility segment that is nowcommonly referred to as Mobile Application Management, or MAM. Other startups emerged in the same time frame, such asAppCentral and Nukona — this segment has others taking notice, as can be evidenced by the number of new entrants, as well as thestrategic shifts of several large and established firms, such as Apple and SAP.The startups that have productized enterprise-grade solutions for managing the mobile application lifecycle did indeed find an importantgap in the market that was not being addressed by larger more established vendors. Consumerization and BYOD has created anenvironment in which IT organizations are eager to source a controlled method to serve their internal end-user customers with a self-service “internal” app store.Apperian has done well in attracting key personnel (both management and software development talent) that continue to innovate anddifferentiate their platform from more recent upstarts that have entered this space (e.g., App47, Patnerpedia, and AppBlade). However,the lines are now blurring with up-and-coming MDM players such as AirWatch, MobileIron, and Zenprise now incorporating MAMfunctionality into their platforms — additionally, ISVs such as ClickSoftware and SAP have also moved in this direction.While Apperian is a young company, it is the only enterprise-oriented vendor that has been funded by the Kleiner Perkins Caufield &Byers iFund — Apperian has also attracted other notable players to participate in funding rounds, such as Bessemer Venture Partnersand North Bridge Venture Partners. To date, the company has garnered $23M in funding, with the latest round closing in March 2012.Apperian’s tenure in the MAM segment has enabled the company to succeed in establishing important partnerships with best-of-breedmobility-oriented vendors such as Mocana, Appthority, and Mformation – we like this approach as it enables the company to focus onits core strengths (providing an IT friendly MAM platform) while providing key mobile security capabilities via its partners. Themodularity of the EASE platform is also smart, as it doesn’t lock a customer into using an Apperian approved partner – additionally,customers can use their pre-existing mobile solutions along with the EASE platform.VDC RESEARCH GROUP, INC. © Copyright 2012 |
  3. 3. Vendor Spotlight Apperian – continuedThe MAM space is indeed becoming increasingly crowded — in our view, the pace in which the mobile market is evolving will causethis segment to consolidate and morph with other important core mobility segments such as device management, security, andapplication lifecycle management. We see the channel as playing a crucial role in bundling core mobility components (e.g., MEAP,MAM, MDM, TEM, etc.) moving forward. This is just beginning to occur: for example, AT&T announced earlier this year (January, 2012)that it was offering MAM solutions to its customers; being powered by Apperian’s platform not only serves to validate the segment, butis evidence that MAM had joined the ranks of the aforementioned core mobility segments. AT&T describes the solution ascomplementary to its Mobile Enterprise Applications Platform (MEAP) and MDM solutions.Apperian has done well in incorporating enterprise-grade capabilities to its platform that make its solutions to be a good fit for a broadrange of mobile deployment environments. The company’s recent partnership announcements and functionality enhancements it hasincorporated into to its platform (May, 2012) point to Apperian’s recognition that it needed to evolve and expand its capabilities. Withoutthe aforementioned strategic partnership and functionality enhancements, we saw the firm increasingly at risk of being viewed as a“one-trick pony” – however these moves are demonstrative of the Apperian’s leadership positioning in the MAM segment.Apperian has been instrumental in establishing and validating the MAM segment – however, increasing competitiveness and newentrants into this segment has expanded the solution range for customers to deploy and manage mobile applications to their BYODworkforce. While Apperian has landed several prominent (and visible) customers, for continued success, the company must commitresources to educating the market on the availability and benefits of and end-to-end MAM platform. The company’s planned expansioninto Europe should yield new market growth, we anticipate that channel partners will be key in helping the company succeed overseas.VDC RESEARCH GROUP, INC. © Copyright 2012 |