HP Software Launches Enterprise Apps Catalog

HP Software announced HP Access Catalog, a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that makes enterprise apps available to employees.

Hewlett-Packard Feb. 13 introduced a new enterprise application catalog, the HP Access Catalog, to deliver IT applications and content to employees.

The HP Access Catalog is an on-demand mobile content catalog that allows employees to download applications and digital content across mobile and desktop devices, transforming the way enterprises deliver services to the mobile workforce.

HP officials noted that the trend toward the consumerization of IT has indelibly marked the enterprise. Employees expect access to content from their device of choice, their enterprise apps to work intuitively and their experience to be seamless. IT organizations, in turn, are facing increasing pressure to deliver a marketplace experience that makes it easy for employees to find and install applications and content that drive workforce productivity, while maintaining enterprise security and controlling costs.

"As organizations embrace mobility, they need a simple, secure and reliable mechanism to manage the delivery of apps to their employees," said Dragan Milanovich, vice president of Web Services for HP Software, in a statement. "The HP Access Catalog provides enterprises with a robust, flexible and easy-to-use solution, making it easier for users to be productive on their device of choice."

The new HP Access Catalog provides IT organizations with a secure, private "app store" for employees to browse, search and download mobile applications and digital content onto their devices of choice, including mobile devices, including tablets, as well as desktops. The catalog supports Android and iOS platforms, which comprised close to 94 percent of the mobile device market share in the third quarter of 2013, according to IDC.

The HP Access Catalog software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution is delivered via native mobile clients and a Web interface. The catalog enables companies to more easily implement and manage bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies, while reducing the cost and complexity of such programs.

In addition, HP said its new Access Catalog helps to increase employee productivity from any place, at any time, by simplifying the delivery and management of mobile applications and content—both private and public—to enterprise employees, regardless of their device. And it improves mobile efficiency with a self-service experience that makes it easy for employees to find the right applications based on their role.

"According to a Gartner Group survey, 38 percent of companies will stop providing devices to employees by 2016," wrote Rick Barron, a program manager on HP Software's user experience team, in a blog post. "The benefits of BYOD are leading companies to re-consider their initial stance on the topic. These benefits include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs. Do companies really have a choice? Not really, BYOD isn't going anywhere."

In another blog post, Barron touted an upcoming HP Webcast titled "Surfing the BYOD Wave."

BYOD is no longer simply a trend in the business marketplace—it is an entrenched reality, Barron said. "With this in mind you need to consider the BYOD challenges IT faces in delivering solutions, security and user enjoyment in the business environment. How do you establish the essential elements of a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy? What are the implications of BYOD on management tools and cost?"

These are some of the issues HP is hoping to address with the HP Access Catalog. Through the catalog's native identity management system or integration with enterprise identity systems, IT organizations can ensure that users can easily find and download the right applications for their role. In addition, the catalog allows IT organizations to drive updates to users to ensure they have the most current applications and data, increasing their mobile productivity and effectiveness without compromising security.

By leveraging open-standard technologies such as HTML5 and single-sign-on authentication and authorization capabilities with Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 integration, the HP Access Catalog delivers a secure cross-platform solution. The service is hosted in HP's PCI-compliant data center.

HP said its new Access Catalog also is offered as an integrated component of the HP Anywhere enterprise mobility platform, enabling HP Anywhere customers to manage their mobile apps. The same technology also is used to support the HP Vertica Marketplace, an online store where customers and developers will find additional downloads to benefit their HP Vertica deployments.

HP Access Catalog will be available worldwide from HP and its ecosystem of worldwide channel partners in March. Pricing will be based on a simple per-user annual subscription.