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Apperian collects new funding from Intel to roll out employee app stores to more corporations

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 23, 2013 08:00 AM

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A Boston company that creates internal "app stores" for customers like Cisco and the Celtics is about to announce that Intel Capital, a division of the Silicon Valley chipmaker, is making an investment. Apperian, founded four years ago by former Apple executive Chuck Goldman, has now banked $28 million in total.

Apperian helps companies deploy mobile and tablet apps to their employees. Imagine an icon on your device that, instead of taking you to Apple's iTunes Store, brings you to a collection of apps that your company has curated for you. The featured apps may be ones that the company has developed especially for its employees, or third-party apps that the company recommends, like Kayak for trip-planning or CardMunch for digitizing business cards. Company IT staffers can also use Apperian to roll out updates to their own apps whenever necessary — without waiting for employees to do it.

"A company like Cisco today has about 80 apps, mostly for their global sales organization," says Apperian chief executive David Patrick. (Patrick is on the right in the photo, Goldman on the left.) "The apps might be sales commission calculators, or apps for expense tracking. They can host those privately in our cloud infrastructure, and new salespeople can download them to iPhones, iPads, or Android devices, and can use them as daily productivity tools," Patrick says. Apperian customers pay the company about $4 per user, per month. Patrick says that more than 100 companies use Apperian's technology.

In addition to using Apperian to deploy their own apps, customers can fill the shelves of their app store with free apps or paid apps developed by others. In the case of paid apps, if they've worked out a volume purchase deal with Apple, Apperian can help them manage the special download codes they receive.

Patrick says that Apperian has nearly 75 employees, most of them at the company headquarters in Boston's Fort Point Channel neighborhood. But the company also has offices in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The new money from Intel — nearly $5 million, according to my math — will mainly go to "growing sales and marketing," Patrick says "We'll hire a number of enterprise salespeople, and use it to fund some new marketing activity." Jeff Murphy, formerly the SVP of global sales at Endeca Technologies, joined Apperian last September.

I last wrote about Apperian in 2011. An example of an employee app store is below:

Apperian-App-Catalog.jpeg

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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