A Quick Comparison of Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms

25 Jun. 2014 Mobile App

Adoption of BYOD strategy in enterprises is emerging at a rapid pace and as more mobile devices are added to the enterprise network, its essential to bring them all on the same platform. With the variety of devices, OS and networks, a Mobile Enterprise Application Platform comes to the rescue of managing this highly fragmented market for Businesses. It provides a comprehensive, long-term approach to deploying mobility in enterprises as compared to standalone business apps.

Referring to our previous blog that provides an overview to the mobile enterprise application platform, this article highlights the comparison between the available Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAP), the challenges they create and the approaches companies can take today to accelerate and simplify development and deployment.

The MEAP comparison article can be helpful to the IT managers who need to understand current Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms as part of a pivot effort aimed at reducing fragmentation between legacy applications and mobile development efforts. It can also be helpful to the developers looking to select a solution that enable cross platform mobile development solutions across iOS, Android and Windows Phone. And the MEAP comparison article can also be helpful for the development steering committees who plan in taking MEAP purchase decisions and need to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of incumbent platforms.

Which is the ideal platform for me?

To help you decide the ideal mobile enterprise application platform, we’ll be taking an example of a medium-sized company who wishes to build an internal business mobile application to support its management team: from funneling sales leads to providing customized reports and dashboards. This company has an existing web application providing this support, but it wants to include mobile web apps and native mobile apps in its portfolio. So the basic company criteria taken into consideration:

  • Enterprise Size: Medium size
  • Enterprise Vertical: Mobile application development
  • Total Number of Employees: 250
  • Total Number Developers: 10
  • Total Number of End Users Accessing App through Mobile Devices: 170
  • Operating System Environment: Windows 7

Now to reduce the costs associated with fragmentation, the company is looking to purchase a mobile enterprise application platform that can quickly compile, preview and provide output to each mobile OS. Let’s first look at the available mobile enterprise application platforms in the industry.

Available Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms

Platform Description
PhoneGap A free and open source framework that allows you to easily create apps using web technologies like: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
Antenna A mobile development player focused on the mobile platform-as-a-service space.
Appcelerator A complete, developer-focused, JavaScript-driven development platform.
Worklight IBM Worklight continues to grow and includes a deep set of features for development and management.
Kony An end-to-end platform player that offers a total integrated solution with several vertical reference templates.
Sencha A high performance JavaScript framework that abstracts much of the UI complexity from developers.
SAP End-to-end mobile platform with emphasis on agnostic toolsets and data stores.
Motorola Solutions A solid product for developers that leverages Motorola’s historic strength in the mobile space.

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Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms Comparison

MEAP Ratings
MEAP Ratings Over Various Parameters

The evaluation criteria for comparing the various Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms are:

  1. Features: Whether the solution provides basic or advanced features/functionality?
  2. Usability*: Are the end-user and administrative interfaces intuitive and offer streamlined workflow?
  3. Affordability: Is implementing and operating the solution affordable?
  4. Architecture: Are multiple deployment options and extensive integration capabilities available?

*Usability was not used as a differentiating criterion in this assessment as all products demonstrated highly usable and productive interfaces.

Mobile Enterprise Application Platform Comparison Evaluation

MEAP Vendor Landscape
MEAP Vendor Landscape

Champions receive high scores for most evaluation criteria and offer excellent value. They have a strong market presence and are usually the trendsetters for the industry.

  • IBM offers a full mobile development and management stack as well as maintains a strong presence in the open source space.
  • Sencha uses standard web languages and frameworks aimed at reducing the developer’s learning curve and leveraging existing tools.
  • SAP’s Mobile Platform provides a streamlined end-to-end process with many components compatible with third parties.

Market Pillars are established players with very strong vendor credentials, but with more average product scores.

  • Antenna’s AMPchroma is a mobile platform-as-a-service, which gives developers the ability to quickly deploy and manage apps in a flexible, hosted environment.
  • Motorola acts as a solid product for developers that leverage Motorola’s historic strength in the mobile space.
  • Adobe’s PhoneGap is a free and open source framework that allows you to easily create apps using the web technologies like: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Innovators have demonstrated innovative product strengths that act as their competitive advantage in appealing to niche segments of the market.

  • Appcelerator is a complete, developer-focused, JavaScript-driven development platform

Emerging Players balance product and vendor attributes, though score lower relative to market Champions.

  • Kony proves to be an emerging player offering an end-to-end platform, it offers a total integrated solution with several vertical reference templates.

Rishabh Software helps SMB’s deploy their mobile enterprise solutions to improve the organization’s efficiency and productivity. Our team of experts help in integrating & developing customized MEAP solutions.

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