Enterprise app stores provide a central, corporate-managed repository for curated and approved enterprise mobile apps that employees can install on their smartphones and tablets. While consumer app stores like Google Play have put stricter screening measures in place in recent years, malicious apps remain a significant threat to the enterprise. The enterprise app store is a key tool for mitigating these security threats.

Until recently, however, the cost and complexity of deploying an enterprise app store has prevented widespread adoption, with Gartner predicting 25 percent of businesses would have corporate app stores by 2017. This has changed with the introduction of Google Play for Work, which can be combined with Samsung’s Knox Workspace to provide a secure and convenient enterprise app management solution.

Secure Container Meets Google Play for Work

With Google Play for Work now providing enterprise app store capabilities, your organization can take a strategic approach to provisioning app to employees, while still having the ability to tap into all the tools available on the Google Play Store. IT can even control what types of apps certain users can access. For example, field sales reps could have specific sales apps available to them, while employees in the legal department would have legal-related apps. Additionally, users don’t need to use their personal Google ID to access the enterprise app store on Google Play for Work, and can instead use the corporate login, which provides an additional layer of security.

For businesses migrating from BlackBerry devices, you can utilize Google Play for Work as your corporate app store, without having to spend additional time and resources to build your own corporate app store. While BlackBerry offered a more limited ecosystem of apps, Google Play for Work allows access to the wealth of apps available in the Android ecosystem, delivered to you and your users in a controlled manner.

Additionally, major mobile device management (MDM) vendors including BlackBerry and AirWatch support and integrate seamlessly with Knox Workspace and Google Play for Work, so when end users click on the Google Play icon inside their containers, they’ll see only the enterprise apps available to their groups. Another benefit of MDM integration is that IT administrators can use the MDM console to perform tasks such as blacklisting, whitelisting or pushing apps.

Using Google Apps for Work With Knox Workspace Versus Creating Your Own App Store

Creating your own enterprise app store can be complicated for many reasons, primarily from logistical and licensing perspectives. First, enterprises would likely need to have an agreement in place with each application vendor they intend to use in a private app store. Such deals would even extend to free apps. In comparison, once an application vendor uploads their app to Google Play, there’s no need for enterprises to procure each app individually. Google Play for Work offers enterprises a cost-effective and efficient platform for distributing Android apps to their business users, who will receive the same Google Play experience they know as consumers. Additionally, companies creating custom apps for their users can simply upload those apps to their Google Play account and publish them to their enterprise app stores for security.

Combining Google Play and Knox Workspace with an MDM provides users with secure access to the most robust app ecosystem and gives IT granular control over app management, helping to prevent security threats.

Looking to get a jump-start on your digital transformation goals? Samsung has partnered with Red Hat to offer enterprises the ability to build custom apps using the Red Hat platform.

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Will Kelly

Will Kelly is a freelance writer living in the Washington, DC area. He focuses on enterprise mobility and mobile security. Will also works as a contract technical writer for commercial clients. Follow him on Twitter: @willkelly

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