February 19, 2013, 1:00 PM — StackMob is hoping to make it easier for enterprises to build mobile applications by opening up a marketplace where users can choose services from companies like Box, New Relic and Mulesoft, for easy integration into their apps.
StackMob offers a backend-as-a-service product designed to reduce the time and complexity involved with building mobile apps. Rather than recreate basic systems like the log-in process and push notification each time they build a new mobile app, customers simply drop StackMob’s APIs for those systems into their mobile apps.
Source: Peter Curbishley via Flickr
Early users of BaaS offerings were startups – the type of company whose entire business is a new mobile app. But enterprises, or rather individual groups within enterprises, have started to take an interest.
Enterprises, however, have more complex needs than startups, primarily since they often are dealing with legacy apps. In response, StackMob is trying to pull the types of services likely to appeal to enterprises into its new Enterprise Marketplace.
For example, AT&T is offering its APIs in the StackMob Enterprise Marketplace. That means StackMob customers can easily add AT&T’s APIs for SMS, billing, location and speech-to-text into their mobile apps.
Mashery and Rackspace are among other companies with offerings in the marketplace.
StackMob has also partnered with systems integrators who can work closely with enterprise customers to help them integrate with StackMob.
While that initial connection to StackMob takes some work, the company is finding that enterprises are recognizing that down the road it pays off, said Ty Amell, co-founder and CEO of Stackmob. Currently, large enterprises often have different business groups that are building mobile apps in different ways, he said. “The data is everywhere. AWS, Rackspace and on-premise,” he said. “The IT department gets stuck dealing with how to grow these apps. It’s a big headache.”
“Once the integration [with StackMob] is done, then making the second, third and 200th app is much easier,” he said.
Businesses are increasingly wanting to build many mobile apps. Some are for internal consumption, others may be short lived apps for customers. Enterprises can save time and money if they don’t have to reinvent the wheel by recreating the log-in system or messaging platform with each app.
StackMob isn’t alone in trying to appeal to enterprises. A number of other BaaS providers including Cloudmine, Parse and Kinvey are also targeting big businesses.
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