An interview explores Application Packaging-as-a-service with Vincent Weberink, CEO of APPTIMZED, the provider of a new service category for solution providers...
First, Apptimized is offering Application-Packaging as a Service... so what is “application packaging” and why does it need to be a service?
[Weberink] For years, the software industry has sought to disrupt other industries by making the operations of these industries more efficient, faster, and cheaper. Yet the one industry where we have failed to improve as much as we could is our own.
Companies must manage their software estates, continuously deploying new software and updating existing software including vital security patching). The full process- - from the moment of buying (or downloading)-- up to deployment of each single software package often takes weeks. The process is complicated, takes lots of manpower and is expensive – not even taking into account the company's employees actually have to wait a long time before they may use the desired software. The bottom line is companies are buying software and updates that cannot be used out of the box or even immediately after downloading.
Once upon a time VARs would help their clients resolve these software implementation issues, but because of the growing complexity of the required service, companies now seek help elsewhere: often outsourcing (or “in-sourcing”) to a specialist to do “application packaging” which streamlines software configuration and deployment.
Application packaging is the process of creating a 'wrapper' or meta-program around the original software installer to automate the installation process. Packages must also be created to meet the installation requirements for each IT environment: corporate standards for software usage and desktop design, multiple languages, regional issues, and software-related support issues.
These packages must be prepared for all kinds of software, commercial, free and shareware-- and even any applications developed in-house.
Apptimized radically changes the application packaging process from a service intensive complicated, long-winded and expensive process into a cloud based self-service model that is fast, easy and affordable. You could call this “self-service" application packaging.
We describe this as application packaging as-a-service, a service that enables IT pros to create custom-configured packaged desktop software for worry-free installations across the company. Now the process to bring purchased software (and updates) across a company will take only a few minutes, even if the assigned person has never packaged an app in his/her life.
What is the market opportunity for this service?
[Weberink] Over the years we have seen the market share of VARs decline, more and more businesses started buying directly from the vendors.
Application Packaging is actually a service that should be provided by VARs because it doesn’t make sense if businesses buy software they can’t immediately use. Until now, many VARs have avoided offering a service due to the complexity. Apptimized changes this. It’s easy to implement in a VAR model. It’s a full service model that can be integrated into any VAR service delivery by hiding all the complexity under the hood of the system. It can be integrated into any e-commerce store as well.
This service offers VARs a unique selling proposition to sell more software and to distinguish itself against competitors. Every software product provided across the network needs to be packaged and also each update has to be packaged. By offering Apptimized as part of your service, you encourage your clients to buy all their software from you. After all, for each update its cheaper and easier for your customer to come to you than it is to deal with the application packaging themselves. That’s the type of “stickiness” you want in a service.
How do Solution Providers take advantage of this opportunity?
[Weberink] If a solution provider is already providing application packaging, Apptimized will make their life easier. If the solution provider is not offering this as a service, it creates a whole new profit category that perfectly fits the trend to managed services and cloud.
What is Apptimized's background in this segment?
[Weberink] We have over 10 years of industry leading experience in Application Packaging and today serve over 250 corporates. We've create Apptimized out of that experience, to make our own lives easier.
It's only after we created Apptimized that we realized this software service is a game-changer for the industry. Apptimized actually brings the type of innovation and transformation to the software industry that software hopes to bring to other industries.
I should also mention there's a free trial...anyone can test Apptimized. It's easy to use and a great service that solution providers can offer their end user customers.