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Conquer Windows App Management: Part 1 (Modern Apps + Windows Store for Business)

  • Nigitha Alugubelli By

With newly added support for Microsoft Windows Store for Business in VMware Workspace ONE and AirWatch, check out the four big ways this impacts Windows app management for business.

VMware AirWatch Microsoft Blog SeriesSince the onset of personal computers and operating systems (OS), enterprises have been trying to utilize computational capabilities to simplify and get rid of skill-less tasks. There were “programs” written for each of the jobs. From then to the last few years, where companies completely embraced mobility to increase employee productivity at every step, Windows app management has evolved.

Most enterprises have one primary goal: increase productivity.

This has two flavors:

1. Automate everyday tasks.

2. Keep up with the business needs, be it airlines trying to simplify pilot and crew operations or police departments trying to reduce response times.

AirWatch Windows Apps 2

For early tech bloomers, the programs used for task simplification have been around for decades. The challenge of migrating these over to the latest and greatest—and how VMware AirWatch helps you cross that bridge—will be covered in an upcoming post (stay tuned!).

[Related: Breaking News: Updates to VMware AirWatch 8.4, Workspace ONE & Identity Manager]

On the mobile productivity side, customers had been exploring options of web applications and modern lightweight applications to make them readily available to their employees’ and customers’ mobile devices.

When Win8 provided support for enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers to deploy these applications, it solved a significant share of administrator problems by providing the ability to silently deploy apps to desktops and phones. But Windows 10 brought a new wave, introducing the Unified Windows Platform (UWP).

A single application can now be used across device types, providing your end users with the same experience of the app on any device. Also, the administrators do not have to maintain separate applications for desktop and mobile.

1. Bulk Acquisition

Mission-critical modern applications can be sourced in one of three ways:

1. Developed in-house

2. A third-party developer

3. The Windows Store

Your app developers might email the app packages or upload to a company repository. Third-party vendors might distribute app packages and licenses through a different medium. And apps from the Windows Store have to be acquired by each individual. This consolidation and maintenance of your app packages from three different sources can be tedious. No matter what the source of your modern applications, Microsoft’s Windows Store for Business provides a single medium to bulk acquire all your applications.

2. Flexible & Silent Installation of Apps without Microsoft Identifier

AirWatch integrates with the Windows Store for Business to import all the bulk-acquired applications in one go. Once available in the AirWatch EMM admin console, all the applications can be silently distributed to users/devices as part of smart groups, which can be built to your requirements. In addition to providing granular and smart-grouping mechanisms, AirWatch facilitates deployment of apps imported from the Windows Store from Business without requiring any Microsoft user identifier on end-user devices.

3. Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

We spoke about silently deploying applications to devices and also of how it can be done. Securing the business data within these applications has become essential to enterprises in many cases to avoid direct financial losses and meet the data requirements from regulators. Enterprise DLP policies can be applied to applications to:

  • Restrict access to enterprise data to only those apps that are trusted.
  • Set corporate network boundary.
  • Clipboard enforcement
  • Selective wipe of enterprise data

4. License Management

Once the applications or enterprise information is wiped from the devices when an employee leaves the organization, the job is not all done. It is important that applications licenses that were used by the former employees be reclaimed to be provisioned to other users. AirWatch has been triumphing at license management for applications across device platforms by dynamically reclaiming licenses from users who are no longer authorized to receive the app for years.

AirWatch Windows Apps 3

Thus, customers importing apps from the Windows Store for Business into AirWatch will be able to take advantage of the same robust framework as few of the industry largest app deployments.

Learn more about Windows 10 and AirWatch:

Nigitha Alugubelli

Nigitha Alugubelli

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