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Symantec App Center Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Created: 28 Sep 2012 • Updated: 28 Sep 2012
Will Redfield's picture
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What is Symantec App Center?

Forward-thinking organizations are realizing that there are many more ways that mobile technology can be used to positively impact their business and are building the next generation of corporate apps with mobile in mind.

So with Symantec App Center, we believe in two fundamental premises:

  • Enterprise employees deserve (and will increasingly demand) to have consumer-like experiences when interacting with corporate systems
  • IT needs to have an easy way to take control of the mobile application landscape - including running applications on both personal and business devices

That's why Symantec has designed a unique enterprise-grade mobile application management solution that delivers an intuitive consumer-like app store user experience for employees, while also providing the level of management, control and security that IT requires to support data loss prevention and compliance.

Our simple goal is to enable our customers to gain competitive advantage by grasping the opportunities afforded by the latest advances in consumer mobile technology... without compromising their most valuable asset: their data.

Why do enterprises need Symantec App Center?

Enterprises are increasingly looking for ways in which they can take advantage of the latest technologies emerging from the mobile device marketplace to deploy their own set of apps to gain or maintain competitive advantage. Or sometimes just to catch up with the competition. Symantec App Center makes it quick and easy to align the pressing business issue of supporting these devices with the necessary security and compliance requirements.

Additionally, most (if not all) analysts are predicting a significant requirement for enterprises to support personal devices at work and to support sophisticated new devices such as tablets as they come onto the market. For example, Gartner's report "Gartner's Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2011 and Beyond" predicts that by 2013, more than 80 percent of enterprises will support the use of tablets. Furthermore, by 2014, more than 90 percent of enterprises will support corporate applications on personal devices.

For enterprise IT departments, this equates to supporting a variety of mobile platforms, especially consumer-oriented devices, while still somehow enforcing corporate IT policies.

Which roles within my organization should look at Symantec App Center?

There are three broad groups of people that typically work with Symantec App Center:

IT Administrators

  • Deploy apps through your own corporate-branded enterprise app store. Distribute both native and web apps to iOS and Android devices

Security and Compliance Officers

  • Enforce policies such as user authentication, encryption, offline access, document sharing restrictions without requiring changes to the apps
  • Support "BYOD" - apps on both personal and corporate-owned devices without compromising corporate policies or risking sensitive data loss

Software Developers

  • Corporate developers: write your apps no additional SDK's or API's required. Easily distribute your apps for testing via the App Center
  • ISV's: Enable your apps to go mobile with policy management coming as standard

How does Symantec App Center help me manage my mobile applications?

Four simple steps for you to manage your mobile corporate apps:

  • Authorize users and associate their devices with them
    • For example, Marianne has both a corporate Android phone and a personal iPad and both may be used for her apps
    • User credentials may be tied to your identity infrastructure (e.g. Active Directory)
  • Create relevant corporate policies
    • These dictate whether user authentication, encryption, offline access, etc. is required or allowed for each category of app
  • Apply the relevant policy to an app before distribution
    • Don't worry, if no specific policy is applied the corporate default will be used
  • Determine which users or groups of users will be allowed to access the app and will receive notifications of its availability

That's it. You're back in control.

We already use Mobile Device Management software. Will Symantec App Center still help me?

Yes. Mobile Device Management is definitely required but is not sufficient in itself to provide all of the support required for an enterprise mobile management strategy. Symantec App Center provides sophisticated Mobile Application Management (MAM) capabilities that enable an organization to deploy, manage and apply policy to your apps on both personal and corporate-owned devices, even without MDM being enabled.

Symantec App Center also includes the Mobile Device Management (MDM) features that most organizations require for common tasks such as setting password policies, wiping devices, remote locking of devices, etc. However, if you are already using another MDM solution, Symantec App Center MDM is not a prerequisite.

How does Symantec App Center software work?

Symantec App Center provides a cloud-based service that enables IT to quickly and easily set up the capability to secure, deploy and manage corporate apps to employees and other authorized users.

The IT administrator manages the apps, users and devices from a web-based management portal. A developer submits apps for distribution (or IT installs acquired apps) and the IT administrator then chooses which of the corporate policies to apply to the app before distribution. There may be a range of different policies depending on the sensitivity of the app or the data that it accesses. The policies are then applied with no changes required to the app. The IT administrator can then identify the category that the app should reside in and which users or groups of users will have access to it.

When a new user is enrolled, the user receives an email with a link to download the App Center client onto their device. The device can either be corporate-owned or employee-owned. The app installs just like any other mobile app. The user then logs into the App Center and can then see all of the applications that they are entitled to download and install.

If the user already has an App Center client, they will receive an email notification that there is an app available for them (or an update to an existing app).

The user runs the app like any other on their device - the fact that the corporate apps are policy-managed is transparent.

What types of apps can be deployed by Symantec App Center?

Symantec provides the infrastructure to secure, deploy and manage:

  • Native iOS (Apple) and Android apps
  • New and existing web apps (including HTML5)
  • Corporate developed apps
  • Third party-developed apps

Just login and upload your app when it's ready for publishing. That's it. Your IT admin will take care of the rest.

I'm an app developer - how can Symantec App Center help me?

As a developer, there are four things you should know about using Symantec App Center:

  • You don't need to use any SDK's or API's - in fact you don't change your code at all
  • You can use App Center to distribute native or web apps
  • You don't need to stress about mobile security or policy management - your IT Admin will take care of that at distribution time
  • We can make the normally painful process of managing your trials with mobile users become painless, including iOS ad hoc distribution management

Just login and upload your app when it's ready for publishing. That's it. Your IT admin will take care of the rest.

Will Symantec App Center work with my existing infrastructure?

Yes, Symantec App Centers are cloud-based and therefore are extremely easy to provision. Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition customers also have the option of deploying on-premise, via either a private cloud or virtual appliance.

Symantec App Centers also integrate with existing identity infrastructure. All Editions support Active Directory through LDAP and Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition support additional options such as SAML and others.

What are the benefits of Symantec App Center?

There are many reasons why enterprises are selecting Symantec App Center to provide their Mobile Application Management capability:

  • No risk of corporate data loss or compliance exceptions when:
    • Device is lost or stolen
    • Employee / Contractor leaves organization
    • Collaboration / file sharing apps (e.g. Dropbox, Box.net, Evernote) are used on the device
  • Support "BYOD" - Bring Your Own Device to work
    • Gain all the benefits of capital cost reduction and employee satisfaction without sacrificing security or compliance
  • App developers don't need to be proficient in mobile security
    • With Symantec App Center enabling post-processing of the apps with the security and policy management layer, the app developers can focus on what they do best without concerning themselves about authentication, keys management and other aspects of mobile security
  • All corporate apps are included
    • With no SDK required, third-party developed as well as corporate developed apps can be deployed
    • Apply the same policies to new and existing web apps (including HTML5) - not just native apps
  • Common workflows are delivered out-of-the-box
    • Developer handoff to IT, IT Policy Management and User Onboarding workflows are all standard
  • Users love using App Center and the self-service portal
    • Provides a modern, intuitive, consumer-like experience to interact with corporate apps
  • Co-existence with existing identity infrastructure
    • Integrate easily with Active Directory, LDAP, SAML and other enterprise identity solutions

What file types are supported for distribution with Content Center?

  • Content Center currently supports PDF's, videos and ePub documents. More filetypes will be supported shortly.
  • Can I add Content Center to my existing Symantec App Center?
  • Yes, all of the Content capabilities, including policy management, are available from the Admin Portal, End User Portal and Mobile Client. A native mobile client (not a webclip) is required to view content on the mobile device.