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Mobile App Catalog offers one-stop shop for Emory apps

By Wade Moricle | Emory Report | June 19, 2015

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The Emory Mobile App Catalog as it appears when opened on an iPhone.

Members of the Emory community can attend a presentation June 29 to learn about the new Emory Mobile App Catalog, which functions as an internal app store for users. 

Stephen Wheat, Emory’s chief information technology architect, will host several presentations that day which will include demonstrations of the service. The sessions will be led by Emory IT Architecture and Apperian, the vendor whose mobile app distribution platform implements Emory’s Mobile App Catalog.

The general session for everyone interested in mobile applications begins at 10 a.m. in the Goizueta Business School, room 231. The session will also be available as a webinar for those who cannot attend in person.

Special sessions for Information Security and LITS support teams will follow the general presentation. If you have an interest in security and support topics and would like to attend those sessions, please contact Linda Richardson to be added to the attendee list.

The purpose of the Mobile App Catalog is to allow Emory to distribute and maintain its own mobility infrastructure without using a public marketplace. Neither Apple nor Google marketplaces are intended to support internal mobile app distribution for apps used only within an organization. Applications in those marketplaces are available to the general public, so Emory needed its own mobile infrastructure and the Mobile App Catalog serves that purpose. 

“Emory has approximately 22,000 mobile devices accessing its network, yet Emory only administers fewer than 200 of these devices. This means that the environment is 99 percent ‘bring your own device,’ which required the enterprise to adopt a mobile application management solution,” Wheat says. “The Emory Mobile App Catalog is the answer.”

Benefits to using the App Catalog

The Emory Mobile App Catalog has been in production since October 2014, but with a limited license for use by 1,000 users doing mobile app development, testing and focus groups. Now it is licensed for all Emory University and Emory Healthcare staff, faculty and students. After downloading the catalog, users are prompted to enter an Emory NetID and password for access. 

The internal app store offers several benefits. By using this catalog, Emory now knows what apps are in use. This allows teams to record data and perform analytics, an ability that is not available in the public marketplace. Also, the service gives Emory more access control to distribute apps to various groups, big or small. 

Another bonus of the Emory Mobile App Catalog is that it does not involve controlling the user’s device. Traditional mobile device management would take over a device but now users do not have to give up control of their own devices for installs. With the catalog, Emory is performing “mobile application management,” which allows the removal and/or repair of problem apps without affecting the users.

Additionally, the Emory Mobile App Catalog can be used to distribute vended apps. This prevents the community from being blind-sided by vendor updates before they have been vetted by appropriate app support teams.  

The Emory Mobile App Catalog can also store-curated entries for apps from the public market that have been deemed useful to Emory’s interests. Thus, rather than searching for an app to perform a needed task, users can choose from curated apps have already been reviewed and selected as the best for Emory’s environment.

For more information on the Emory Mobile App Catalog and Emory Mobile App Distribution, see the service Service Catalog Entry.