Antenna Software – “Design, Build, Integrate, Publish, Run, Manage and Analyze”

Antennal is generally described as a mobile applications development platform company, but it is one that is heavily involved in the area of mobile apps management as well. It focuses on the very large enterprise segment of the market. The company states that it has been working in the cloud and precursor areas to the cloud since as early as 1998.

Through a series of acquisitions and ongoing product development, the company achieved the early 2012 release of it upgraded platform product, called AMPchroma, which it described as:

“the first integrated cloud based mobility suite that gives companies the ability to control, measure, adapt and future-proof all aspects of the mobility lifecycle for employees, partners and customers, all in one place.”

AMPchroma, which is built on company’s Antenna Mobility Platform (AMP), is focused on what the company refers to as the life cycle of corporate mobile strategies, which it states, includes: “Design, Build, Integrate, Publish, Run, Manage and Analyze.”

This motto indicates that the company thinks of its platform as far more than simply an apps development product suite. It emphasizes the agility, flexibility and comprehensiveness of its platform. In fact it states that the ability of clouds to enable faster deployment of business apps and to gain cost savings is really the rudimentary part of cloud implementation, “table stakes” as it were.

It emphasizes issues such as having a mobile architecture: that allows for changes, whether adding new services or other elements; that makes it as easy as possible to integrate the cloud or clouds to legacy systems; that facilitates more than simply connecting to legacy databases and systems but offers the ability to develop mashups combining features from these legacy systems to create innovative new apps.

The company has been well aware, since early on, of the BYOD phenomenon and states that while historically mobile strategies in the past were driven by decision-making of IT departments, now a “bottoms up” approach is taking hold. As slews of devices are brought into organizations the mobile systems and platforms must be tailored to addressing the user’s situation and enable developers to “write once” but then have the app run as native apps on different devices. Further the system includes various analytical tools

Among the several acquisitions in recent years, the company points to Volantis a company which specialized in accumulating a massive database of about 6,000 devices (each with up to 1,000 characteristics identified) and which Antenna has now enhanced to over 11,000 devices.

The resource blends into a key differentiating point in the company’s view. That is the ability to distribute mobile content and apps readily on multiple devices. This is one of the key strengths of its platform, in the company’s views – not only does it enable mobile app development but it enables the ability to publish from the platform tool set to a variety of clients in a variety of forms, e.g., as a website, as a packaged file or app, as a container with secure controls, as an enterprise storefront exposing apps to consumers.

Antenna finds that a good deal of the ferment that is occurring in the enterprise space is due not only to employees bringing in their own devices, but to a gap that has developed between business unit managers who are looking for solutions and see the imperative to utilize these mobile devices and IT managers who have not fully addressed the mobility issues, opportunities and urgency. One of the strengths of its AMPchroma platform is that it allows the IT department to grant access to other business areas to participate in how mobile apps get created, with the level of that participation defined and limited. Thus while a software developer might build an app using HTML5, marketing might use the system to add certain features into the app, using drag and drop templates and other (non-coding) tools included in the platform toolkit.

In 2012, the company commissioned its own study of the marketplace, surveying 1,000 businesses in the UK and U.S. with 100-500 employees and came to the conclusion that “most businesses have been reactionary in their approach to establishing a mobile presence, and to the opportunities mobile brings.” The study also found that the enterprises were beset by a vendor community that included many small specialist firms with an inability to unify and carry bigger projects to completion, which was creating difficulties for IT departments and delaying projects – in short, “too many vendors.”

Among the verticals which were moving the slowest the company noted healthcare, government and finance. In part this is due to concerns about security and also the need to fulfill heavy responsibilities of compliance to regulations.