Mac App Store more boon than threat for channel?

Mac App Store more boon than threat for channel?

Enterprises are still going to need help with software rollouts from partners

Apple has launched its Mac App Store – bringing the app shopping experience to notebooks and desktop PCs for the first time. But the changed delivery model need not concern other software resellers just yet, according to Express Data general manager vendors, David Peach.

On the surface the Mac App Store has the potential to challenge traditional notebook (and desktop) software delivery models. Like with the iPhone or iPad, users now have the ability to log directly into an iTunes account and buy or license software. And as with those other form factors, we can expect some enterprise companies – such as Cisco, Citrix and Adobe – to develop apps for the Store.

However, Peach claimed this delivery model, while great for consumers looking for easy access to Angry Birds, won’t suit an enterprise, which would need services and support wrapped around the licence or sale.

“There’s a great difference between downloading Angry Birds vs. complex applications,” Peach said. “For that reason there’s still a role for distributors and resellers to play in software, even if the Mac App Store is successful.”

Peach pointed to the Citrix Receiver App as an example. In itself easy to download and use, Receiver then links back into the Citrix datacentre environment – itself too complex to roll out through an app store.

“For SOHO and small businesses, I see this kind of store being useful in being able to access word processing, spreadsheets and the like on an as-need basis,” Peach said.

“I don’t see banks staging rollouts though an App Store just yet.”

Additionally, the App Store may open up additional opportunities for the local channel, Peach said. ISVs traditionally thrive in this kind of environment, and those ISVs often ‘piggy back’ on the technology of a major vendor, such as Microsoft.

The interoperability required between applications, and services and support behind the major vendor’s software, should open new engagement opportunities for distributors and resellers.

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Tags Express Dataapp storeDavid Peach

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