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iOS Platform for Distribution of Customized B2B Applications

iOS Platform for Distribution of Customized B2B Applications
By Chintan Gor iOS, Mobile 54 Views

“The more you engage with customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing”

Introduction

With the uniqueness of B2B businesses, sometimes it becomes irritating when the thought of mobile app development starts haunting. The reason is due to a marketplace which is out poured by variegated mobile apps how will you make your app outshine others?

Therefore today I will suggest you few tips for developing and distributing applications exclusively tailored fit for businesses through iOS platform.
Inspite of the fact that Android has a strong grip over the market share globally, Apple makes your life simple if you are looking to build and distribute your B2B mobile app.

This is great news for you, especially if your company is in a B2B industry.

With the concept of ‘Customized Product’, iOS App development companies, are busy with building custom B2B apps need to have an insight about different processes for different apps. If you are the one, who are looking for that insight, keep going.

In this blog, we’ll discuss about

  1. Nitty Gritty of B2B
  2. Concept of Custom B2B App
  3. Why Customization in B2B app is necessary
  4. Why iOS is preferred more than Android for App distribution
    1. Enterprise Method of App Distribution
    2. Adhoc Method of App Distribution
  5. Distribution of B2B apps on iOS – The Process
    1. Why it is needed?
    2. Pros and Cons
    3. How to get Approval?
  6. Case Study
  7. Conclusion

Nitty Gritty of B2B

In present day business, mainly there are two ways to deliver the product to the end user.

  • Manufacturer to Customers
  • Manufacturer to Manufacturer

The first model where the product or service is exchanged between Businesses to Customer is called B2C and in the second model where the services are getting exchanged between Businesses to another Business is called B2B.

A good example of a traditional B2B market is automobile manufacturing. The tires, hoses, batteries and electronic essentials to the final product i.e. the vehicle are often manufactured by separate companies, and then sold directly to the automobile manufacturer.

Concept of Custom B2B App

Customized Business to Business app is simply made as per the special request or need. For example, if a country purchases defence equipments or fighter jets from another country, all the hardware needs to be customized as per the climate patterns of that country. Similarly custom B2B apps are designed to meet the needs of businesses as per their wish and requirement.

Why iOS is preferred more than Android for App distribution

With huge customer base in new and emerging world economies and growing demand for custom B2B apps, android and iOS are fighting tooth and nail to get their own share. Android is having a clear victory over iOS in terms of user base but when quality and consistency are the parameters, Apple has emerged as leader.

Its extensive range of programs that helps individuals in easily deploying their custom apps for iOS platform. Even statistics suggests that iOS users are

  • 67% iOS users are more likely to have an annual household income of $200K
  • 37% iOS users are more likely to have a graduate degree
  • iOS app users are considered as more loyal than Android Users
  • Profit wise, iOS has larger share and Android
  • iOS user are more likely to perform in – app purchase

Distribution of custom B2B apps on iOS – The Process

Let’s discuss in detail, the method of deploying apps to iOS play store. This section will extensively cover the process of distribution of custom B2B app on the play store.

There are four ways of app distribution and based upon the needs and suitability, only one way is appropriate for the distribution needs. All the methods are given below for better understanding

MethodBinary DistributionLicensing
EnterpriseManual or MDMCan be used on all devices within organisation without registration. Not permitted for out of organisation use
Ad HocManual, Test Flight or MDMUDID of each device must be registered by Developer before installation.
App StorePublic App StoreCan be used on all devices having an Apple ID
B2B VPPMDMManaged with VPP program

 

Before further exploring the processes, let’s discuss some complex terminologies used in the above table or may be used later in the blog

  • MDM :- Full form of MDM is Mobile Device Management. It is a type of security software used by IT firms to monitor, manage, and secure employees’ mobile devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets) that are deployed across multiple mobile service providers and across multiple mobile operating systems being used in the organisation.
  • VPP :- Full form of VPP is Volume Purchase Program. This service allows organizations that have registered for the Apple’s VPP to purchase iOS apps in bulk, but not at discounted prices.
  • UDID:- Unique Device Identifier or UDID is a sequence of 40 letters and numbers that is specific to an iPhone or iPod. It’s like a serial number but much harder to guess which looks something like this
  • Beta Testing:- iOS App Beta Testing is a phase of software development lifecycle where a group of external users (beta testers) test your application in real world environments to discover errors and provide you with feedback.

Enterprise Method of App Distribution

Enterprise Program is best suited for the companies which are wishing to distribute apps to its employees without getting visibility on Play store. The Enterprise Program allows the companies or firms to distribute its apps internally at the cost of $299 per year.

Pros

  • Approval is not necessary
  • Not available for public download
  • N number of users within the enterprise can be distributed the app

Cons

  • It is distributed and updated manually by email, making the app available on an intranet site through MDM.
  • Cost of $299 per year makes it expensive

Ad Hoc Method of App Distribution

Ad Hoc method of App Distribution is used for the iOS application being created for private beta or temporary distribution. In order to use ad-hoc deployment, developers need to provide the app binary to each device for using email services or downloading URL.

But, in order to make this binary code work on every iOS device, app developers need to add the UDID of each device and register each one of them in the Apple Member Centre to ensure the binary is easy to install on the registered devices. To use Ad Hoc method, developers need to export the app from Xcode with the Ad-Hoc Deployment option and once the binary is exported, it can also be distributed through MDM.

Upto 100 devices per product family per membership year for development and testing by each individual or organization 100 devices of each type can be registered per year. In this type of provisioning, 100 iPad, 100 iPhone and 100 iPod Touch devices can be registered for iOS apps.

B2B Apps Distribution

Why it is needed ?

The need for Business to Business app distribution was felt when businesses wanted to have their own private app store. This app distribution method allows you to create internal app binaries and share it with any device joining the program. The app can also be shared with others through VPP (Volume Purchase Program).

A B2B app has totally different objective than those of other apps which are used for other general purposes. It’s main purpose is on delivering an enhanced experience for the customer. In terms of money generation, B2B apps are not meant to bring millions of dollars but if an enterprise is successful in improving B2B experience through a mobile app then that means the customers will more likely to stick around.

Slack is one of the most successful B2B app having monetary value of $2.8 billion basically meant for team communications service that has proved invaluable for over two million daily users with apps for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows computer. An increase of 32 percent in productivity, 48 percent decrease in emails, and 25 percent reduction in meetings was reported because of the app.

Pros of a B2B app

  • Flexibility and freedom of doing business irrespective of time and place.
  • Apps are easy to use and more interactive than a website
  • Customised experience can be offered

Cons of a B2B app

  • Having a B2B app is costly affair. Even after the development of the app, it costs to provide updates, service enhancements plus costs on human resources.

Read also: Hottest mobile app development frameworks you need to know in 2019

How to get Approval?

The apple’s Volume Purchase Program offers a flexible approval process in this method of app distribution. Since the Apple VPP is a private store, so the entire app development task is handled by the program itself ultimately eradicating the need of manual submission. The VPP program is employed with an MDM service, allowing organisations to send VPP push invitations as well as apps to devices from single administration dashboard.

Case Study

1.Flexfire LED : – The B2B company, known for its designer LED (Light Emitting Diode) which can specially be customised for business enterprises.

2.Assurant:- The B2B company offers credit insurance which it considers as a straightforward way to help customers meet their obligations should they lose their job or become incapacitated. Assurant offers credit protection products and services that enhance the revenue, provide value to customers and strengthen brand loyalty.

3.Selini NY:- Specializing in menswear and accessories, the B2B Company carries everything from silk woven ties to gift box sets.

4.Freund :- To excel at business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce, packaging company FreundContainer & Supply (a division of Berlin Packaging) has unique site features just for B2B buyers, and lets them choose the way they want to buy.

5.Restaurantware:- The B2B company is a leading manufacturer and online distributor of wholesale restaurant supplies. They are a fast growing enterprise with a global online business and have multiple online ecommerce sites and supporting systems

Conclusion

In this blog, we thoroughly discussed the ways of distribution of Custom B2B Apps on iOS. Developing an app is not the only solution, getting it listed on right platform with right method is what matters in the last. It is often seen that developers put their whole heartedly effort in developing apps but have to suffer because of delays in getting it listed which ultimately proves a costly affair.

Having a thorough knowledge of process of getting apps according to its objective and profile is only the way possible.

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Disclaimer: We at eSparkBiz Technologies have created this blog with all the consideration and utmost care. We always strive for excellence in each of our blog posts and for that purpose, we ensure that all the information written in the blog is complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date. However, we can’t always guarantee that the information written in the blog correct, accurate or up-to-date. Therefore, we always advise our valuable readers not to take any kind of decisions based on the information as well as the views shared by our authors. The readers should always conduct an in-depth research before making the final decision. In addition to these, all the logos, 3rd part trademarks and screenshots of websites & mobile apps are the property of the individual owners. We’re not associated with any of them.

Chintan Gor

Chintan Gor

Enthusiastic for iOS app development, Chintan Gor has zeal in experimenting with his knowledge of iOS in various aspects of development. He keeps on updating his technical know-how thus pinning his name among the topmost CTO’s in India. His contribution is penned down by him through various blogs on iOS. He is associated with eSparkBiz – an iOS App Development Company from past 6 years where you can Hire iOS App Developer as per your needs.

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