By Laura Noonan
The job of an enterprise app store is to give business people a convenient way to request the apps they need. But actual delivery of the apps is best handled by enterprise deployment tools. Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), which is widely used in enterprise environments, is one example. By tightly integrating your app store with a deployment tool such as SCCM, you can take advantage of software distribution, status messages, and machine inventory and collections for detailed reporting and access control without adding services or agents to your environment.
The following list focuses specifically on ways integration with SCCM can make your app store more efficient, effective and successful. Many of the capabilities in the list are also available as a result of integration with other deployment tools.
- SCCM deployment types. Support for both computer-centric deployment (the SCCM 2007 model) and user-centric deployment (the SCCM 2012 model) enables you to meet a variety of deployment and use case scenarios.
- Control and automation. Using SCCM collection membership, you can customize catalog views so users see only the apps they are authorized to request. This increases control over access to enterprise software. You can also use collection membership to trigger actions automatically, including dynamic approval routing, reclaiming unused licenses, reclaiming leased licenses after expiration and generating custom announcements and email messages.
- Flexible app delivery. The ability to request delivery of items to SCCM collections means you can deploy apps to groups based on such factors as geography or department.
- Request status. Access to real-time SCCM deployment status, including downloading, running and install success, permits users to get up-to-the-minute information when they check the status of their requests.
- Support for SCCM task sequences. You can define the installation order using SCCM task sequences to initiate a series of actions such as checking for the presence of existing software before an application is delivered.
- Inventory control. You can obtain installation counts from SCCM and compare them with manually entered counts of licenses owned. During approval processes, requests are routed automatically based on this data. You can also use this information to better utilize the software currently in place and to purchase additional licenses when they are needed.
- Software utilization data. Linking to SCCM software metering rules permits access to application utilization data, including frequency and duration of use as well as when the app was last used. This data is particularly beneficial in identifying and reclaiming unused licenses to reduce software spend.
By integrating with the enterprise deployment tool you have in place, you enable your enterprise app store to hand off applications for fast, efficient application delivery and obtain robust data for enhanced management of software requests and software assets.
Watch for the next blog in our App Store Essentials series, “Keeping Apps Ready for Intelligent, User-centric Deployment” for a close look at how tying your app store into an enterprise application readiness process helps keep store shelves stocked with apps that are ready for immediate delivery to the user’s device of choice.