Should you choose a best-of-breed cloud service or application for your small business? Or one that works really well with software that you already use extensively, like social career and recruiting website Glassdoor (which is tying many of its most important tasks right into its Salesforce.com implementation)?
Cloud travel application and service Concur is one of the latest companies to emphasize the importance of application integration made easier, with its Concur App Center. The marketplace features all sorts of software designed to streamline or ease the process of booking travel, managing schedules and submitting expenses along the way.
Two examples are CIBT, which helps you figure out if a visa is necessary for international travel and then helps deal with the process of getting one, or TripLingo, which aims to help business travelers with language and cultural barriers that they might encounter.
"The uptake of partner solutions from our client community exceeds our expectations," said Tim MacDonald, executive vice president of platform and data services for Concur, in a press release about the new marketplace. "We're thrilled with the platform adoption we're seeing from customers, suppliers, partners, and developers. More than 30 highly relevant partners already have their apps listed for our clients and their employees — a great start for what's to come."
Appreciate makes app selection personal
Application ecosystems that have already helped evaluate software for compatibility with platforms — whether it is a customer relationship management (CRM) app like Salesforce, or a marketing automation service such as Constant Contact — are one thing.
But what if you're really into buying or using standalone applications that appeal to certain needs, and you are befuddled with all your choices in mobile app marketplaces?
You might be interested in a new service called Appreciate, which makes personalized mobile app recommendations based on software and services that you or your colleagues already use.
This isn't just best sellers or apps from developers that have paid to have their software featured prominently on application marketplaces. The service uses search algorithms to look at what sorts of apps you're using (plus how frequently you are doing so), and then bounces them against what's becoming available. It will offer you competitive alternatives, add-ons to services you might be using, or (in the case of social software and networks) show you communities or services that your friends or co-workers might be adopting.
One glitch for iPhone lovers: Right now, Appreciate only works for Android applications. A version for the Apple iOS platform is due in late 2013.