Small Businesses can become more productive, efficient and serve their customers better by managing their business processes in the Cloud (Web). Application (app) Marketplaces like the Apple App Store make it easy to find, try and buy the application that best suits your needs. However, with every passing month there are more and more app marketplaces popping up. How do you decide which marketplace has the right tools for you?
App marketplaces are typically built by a leading brand with access to millions of customers and more importantly around business data and processes that is core to most businesses. To use an example, the Google Apps Marketplace provides apps that apply to Google Applications like email, calendar, and document collaboration. Meanwhile, Intuit has an app store for managing financial data with integration of QuickBooks.
Identifying what business data of yours will be touched upon by these applications is as important as picking the right marketplace. Consult the following list of app stores and descriptions to find the best place for your business to shop for apps.
Google Apps Marketplace
If your company’s business processes depend heavily on Google Applications like Gmail, Google Docs, or Google Calendar, then the Google Apps Marketplace is a great place to find useful apps for your day-to-day functions. Google launched their app marketplace in March 2010, and provides applications that are designed to work in conjunction with your email and Microsoft Office like documents stored in Gmail and Google Docs.
Intuit Workplace App Center
Intuit provides an App Center that focuses on the organization of financial data with a focus on Quickbooks integration. Bookkeepers, accountants, and business owners that work closely with Quickbooks will find that the Intuit App Center offers many useful apps for leveraging financial data. Intuit is currently running a “Get Organized. Get Rewarded” campaign promoting and providing free trials of apps that help offices organize their data.
The SalesForce app exchange is designed to leverage customer and marketing data stored in the original SalesForce application. SalesForce can be used to design surveys, run email marketing campaigns, and manage leads and customers. By adding third party apps through the app exchange, you can integrate with networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Oneforty is an app marketplace for the ever-popular service, Twitter. If you use twitter for networking and marketing, oneforty is sure to carry an app to make that process easier and more effective. They even offer apps in the form of toolkits, designed for specific purposes such as entrepreneurs, and social business.
Facebook has an app store and it isn’t just about games and photo sharing. If your company markets with a Facebook page, the Facebook app store can provide you with surveys, event management tools and videos to boost interaction, and leverage your existing social network.
iPod, iPhone, and iPad app stores aren’t known for their business applications, but there are a lot of helpful tools that can be very useful in the office. Browse these app stores if you frequently use your iPhone or the new iPad for your business, or if you want to download some games and ease some stress.
Other Mobile App Stores
Besides the vastly popular Apple app stores, there are other mobile app stores specific to a brand or device. If you use a smartphone for business, find the app store for you below:
Nokia (Ovi Store)
Are there other marketplaces that you think I missed that are worth a mention?
Have a look at Getapp.com – they have a huge list of business SaaS apps.
TheSmallBusinessWeb.com is not an app store per-se, but it’s a great collection of small biz apps, many of which work together in some way.
As the owner of a Blackberry Storm, I must say I’m underwhelmed by their AppWorld. They’re falling behind IMO.
Thank you Adrian and Chris for your suggestions.
Adrian, I spent sometime on GetApp.com and it seems to a directory service for business applications. The focus of this article is to highlight marketplaces that showcase applications that actually integrate and work together with the hosted marketplace and not just a lead generation service such as GetApp.com
Chris, TheSmallBusinessWeb.com, I think is worth mentioning in this context even though it is not an App Store like you say. The mission behind TheSmallBusinessWeb is to promote deeper integration of applications. In order to be part of this service, you need to have what is called an API. An API is the first step towards integrated two SaaS or Cloud applications.
I see that OfficeDrop is listed in the Google App Marketplace. You are also welcome to join GetApp.com. You won
Just to clarify what is GetApp.com. The marketplaces you are mentioning in your post are organized around a core app, or a platform, and involve some level of integration, sometimes as shallow as a single sign-on only. At GetApp.com we do not sell apps, nor take commissions on sales. We are a “meta” app store focused on business solutions that sits on top of all the marketplaces you have mentioned in your articles. When the information is available we do indicate platforms and app to app integration points. We are agnostic and list many applications that you will find in all the marketplaces mentioned in your article. It gives more choice, transparency and neutrality to SMBs and protect them from being locked-in, which can be the downside of a proprietary marketplace. We do believe that integration between applications is key to SaaS deployments and data management, and we heavily promote it. SMBs should know all integration options when they choose an app. GetApp.com offers this possibility. Think telephone operators, they all offer a set of services but before choosing one of them you want to know and compare options ideally from a single independent site. That saves you a lot of time and gives you transparency guarantees. That is GetApp.com
Do you know about site that is listing new and cool business and productivity applications for iPhone?
I don’t think there’s only one ideal marketplace. Each marketplace has tis constraints – iPhone Appstore only lists iPhone apps, Google Apps marketplace lists only Google Apps compatible solutions and so on. The best way still remains to do Google research.
Microsoft is offering an application marketplace for Sharepoint 2010: http://tinyurl.com/34tc5hk and another: Dazzle from Citrix http://tinyurl.com/dbk8cf were both featured in this recent article: http://tinyurl.com/yhwakme
Great subject by the way, thanks for getting the conversation started.
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Bobinson K B
Nice write up. I think even though there are a large number of app distributors there is still lack of a market place which addresses both smart phones and PC/laptop users requirements alike. Probably iCloud may change the scenario.