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May 25, 2012updated 23 Aug 2016 9:14am

Scoop: Verivo adds HTML5 to mobile app dev platform

US firm pushes into new geographies with technology aimed at 'bring your own device' generation

By Allan Swann

Steve Levy, Verivo
Steve Levy, Verivo Software CEO

US-based Verivo Software has added HTML5 support to its enterprise mobile app development platform, enabling the company to expand its device support as part of its UK roll out.

Verivo’s enterprise mobility platform enables IT departments to build apps quickly, deploy them simultaneously across multiple device platforms, and manage and update apps instantly. This includes BYOD and enterprise security, such as encryption and remote wiping.

CEO Steve Levy told CBR that the proposition is "one of kind in the market," and that there is already significant UK interest for a platform that straddles first and third party app development. Verivo simply supplies the development platform and keeps it up to date, charging only a single yearly license fee, the apps are then developed in house as the customer sees fit.

"The market response has been huge, and our business is continuing to accelerate. We’ve struck a chord here, and I don’t just think it’s in the US, I think it’s globally," he said.

"We’ve talked about expected gains in productivity in workforces, based around tailored mobile apps. It you give sales staff apps that are tailored to exactly what they’re selling, you can see productivity gains of around 40%. In an extremely talented, but high cost workforce, these kinds of productivity gains can be enormous.

The company has seen great success in the US and already services high profile clients such as Halliburton, Deloitte and News Corp, and is beginning its expansion into the UK and Europe. The company has already set up UK offices, and another office in Amsterdam and is in the process of hiring staff.

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In 2011 the company saw an increase in license bookings of 220%, and a customer base increase of 170%. Verivo was also named to Gartner’s ‘magic quadrant’ as a visionary company this year.

Verivo currently supports iOS (iPads, iPhones), Android and Blackberry devices only, but the new Browser Control additions will enable developers to incorporate HTML5 content and Javascript into native and hybrid apps. This will see web content and output matching the app offerings on all other devices. It essentially dynamically translates the app – including all native components – into HTML or Javascript – retaining all the back end features of the platform, such as data integration, security, authentication and analytics.

This transition from LUA-based scripting to Javascript also means customers can also now start using their dedicated web developers as app developers.

Browser Control also means that older legacy devices and smartphones, such as those running Palm/WebOS, Symbian or Meego – as well as newer platforms, such as Windows 7.5 (and 8 when it launches) and BlackBerry 10 will be operational from day one.

Levy said that the company did look at dedicated Windows Phone 7.5 support following the Nokia Lumia launch, but "after the disaster that was Microsoft Kin, we are reluctant to invest too much into Windows Phone until it reaches a significant market share."

Appstudio’s IDE is built around Microsoft’s .Net framework so is extremely flexible, and utilises an easy to use GUI that can almost completely redesign an app and its functionality in minutes. Staff mobile devices will be ‘push’ updated across the network.

Levy says this means that IT teams can concentrate on catering to their staffs needs, rather than burying themselves in maintenance, app coding and testing. They don’t have to worry about the server and other runtime components. It also means they don’t have to develop a separate app for each type of mobile device OS.

It also means that IT departments can maintain a tight grip on enterprise data – vital for security.

"The reason we went with apps, in terms of representing BYOD securely, is exactly that, it’s secure. The app controls all the data that the end user is working with. It doesn’t let any of that data come out of the app. The app can delete that data, reorganise it, and if we kill the app, then no one else can get to it," said Levy.

This means the apps don’t tend to ‘mingle’ with the phone itself – such as going through phone contacts. Phone contact data in a CRM, windowed through the app, means that this stays in the company’s control. As well as remote wiping triggers, apps can be set up to ‘time out’.

So if a phone is stolen and the radio is turned off, and thus unable to be remotely wiped, the app will time out and self delete if it doesn’t receive authentication from central servers. This security is the same for any hybrid web apps.

The company utilises a single license subscription model, similar to Oracle. Rather than users being charged for app development, by download numbers or on a user/device basis, Verivo has a yearly subscription to the platform. Users are free to produce as much as they like from there – Verivo will simply run the backend, supply the runtime and do maintenance and updates.

Levy says that the Verivo’s key advantage is this ‘flexible’ add on design of the platform, which means that other third party modules, such as Paypal, or new technologies such as NFC – which is vital as some of the company’s key clients are banks and financial institutions.

The new features will be added as an update at no extra cost for current customers, starting next week.

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