Mobile app management company Apperian announced two new features for companies looking to expand the use of iOS, Android, and BlackBerry apps as part of an overall mobile strategy. One feature aims to connect end users within a company with IT staff and developers for collaboration on new and existing apps. The other is designed to give employees an easy way to rate and comment on apps already in use.
Apperian provides app management and deployment services for business and enterprise customers. The company’s EASE platform allows IT to create internal app stores showcasing both internal apps and public apps that are available through the iOS App Store. The company also provides a range of related services including the ability to push out apps and updates to devices over the air.
The first of the new offerings, called Crowdsourcing, is an internal social media solution that offers users a path to contribute improvement suggestions to existing internal apps as well as a mechanism to suggest new apps. To encourage user involvement, the product includes gamification features like the ability to reward users for suggestions made to the company’s developers and IT teams.
In most organizations, end users typically have limited input into the development process. Even if input is solicited, most businesses don’t have mechanisms for detailed suggestions or rely on mechanisms that are unwieldy (fielding calls and noting comments through the held desk, for example). Crowdsourcing offers a way to encourage feedback and collaboration as well as a system through which user contributions can be acknowledged and appreciated.
The second new feature is called AppRatings and, as its name implies, it allows users to allows users to rate and comment on existing apps. Like Crowdsourcing, this allows users to deliver feedback to IT and developers. The service is more scaled back and less social than Crowdsourcing. It’s targeted for organizations whose corporate culture doesn’t mesh well with the idea of a more full fledged social networking model like Crowdsourcing. AppRatings offers users the ability to rate apps on a one to five star scale as well as to provide detailed comments.