8 June 2013, by Christian Walter, Swiss Made Software

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Mobile is surging in popularity. Driven by this trend, many companies will then disappear in the own-brand app jungle. Terria Mobile wants to bring order to the wilderness.

New technologies often bring with them old problems, which is good for those that recognize it early on and are ready with a suitable solution – like Terria Mobile. The founders and CEO Robin Wirz had already seen some years ago the challenges that would arise from the trend towards mobile and complex app landscapes. LaunchBase represented a solution for the management, control and evaluation of mobile applications.
“There are parallels between the first websites and apps today,” according to Wirz, who previously worked for CMS specialists Day. “In the 90s, every department had its own website and static HTML was the ultimate feeling. If the site was online, the idea was that you were finished with the web. Nobody thought ‘What now?’. It is exactly the same with apps now,” explains Wirz, who sees two other connected trends: a deficit of central coordination and the lack of a further strategy.

Evolution of app management

Content Management Systems (CMS) were then created in order to solve these problems with websites. With LaunchBase, Terria wanted to do the same for apps. The software allows the central management of the entire app landscape, across all versions and down to every individual device and user. This also includes usage analysis, as well as precise control of access rights, for example, using a password. In this way, the same app can be used by different departments, without the full functional scope being available to all. This functionality also allows the secure distribution of internal company apps via the public app stores. Only limited functionality is available to external downloaders without authorization.

LaunchBase was first developed in 2010 and has been on the market since 2011. In order to guarantee customer proximity and practical relevance, Terria Mobile developed their own apps for the customer business in parallel. In this way, expertise from the project business can continuously influence the development of the software. A typical example from large companies are apps for salespeople. Does everyone use the latest version? Is the current price list displayed for everyone? What content is available to which department? How many apps are in use in the company and how are they used? These are precisely the problems that LaunchBase solves. Via the user interface, one can even see when someone was last online and whether an update was declined. One can then send these employees a friendly request for an update or force the entire thing if necessary. Conveniently, these functionalities can also be integrated into existing apps. So you don’t always have to start from scratch.

Keeping the overview

However, LaunchBase is not just software for big customers who have to manage lots of apps and users. “We develop apps for organizations of all sizes, because using the software quickly pays off,” says Wirz. Regardless of the customer’s size, control is usually done via the cloud. Terria Mobile ensures that all apps have certain things in common. Data has to be accessed, managed and securely synchronized. These basic functionalities could also be called mobile infrastructure, which LaunchBase makes available for all customers. This reduces the development costs for new apps. Their individual special characteristics can easily be structured around these basic functionalities. The software sits between CMS, databases and other sources and distributes apps on common platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry. This makes development and management easier and allows seamless integration of mobile applications in a company.

In the meantime, the start-up has ten employees, and big customers at home and abroad. Among them are well-known names like KPMG, Credit Suisse, Mettler-Toledo and UPC Cablecom. Terria Mobile also achieves recognition on other levels. In 2012, the company was among the finalists for the Red Herring Top 100 Europe and the Swiss ICT Award. And in 2013, they are going to Boston with Venture Leaders, the Swiss national start-up team.

Source of original article: www.itmagazine.ch (German only)

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