Handango updates software distribution platform


Handango has announced an update to the internal software distribution platform it uses to sell mobile applications to consumers.

The Application Management and Provisioning Platform (AMPP) will now enable Handango customers to purchase software direct from their mobile devices using a wide range of payment methods. The platform is split into three layers, one controlling the retail interface and presentation, another for processing transactions and a third containing a directory of over 20,000 applications. Developers can update the directory details of their applications in real-time using an extranet, while device manufacturers can offer customised and branded versions of the Handango storefront to their customers. The new platform also supports additional payment methods, including interactive voice response and virtual wallets. Handango is marketing the system to network operators as a fully hosted service for expanding their mobile data offerings.

“Handango AMPP is one of the pillars of our business,” said Laura Rippy, chief executive officer of Handango. “We have been developing and enhancing the proprietary software on which Handango AMPP is based for more than three years. More importantly than that, we’ve been putting this technology through the trial-by-fire of real world usage. Today, with more than 100 licensees, 10 quarters of consistent 40% quarter over quarter revenue growth, virtually flawless uptime and millions of satisfied users, it’s obviously stood that test very, very well.”

Insight

Handango’s transformation from a small portal focused primarily on listing Palm OS applications has been intriguing to watch. It has steadily increased its exposure through hosting electronic storefronts for device manufacturers and is now the first point of call for any manufacturer looking to build a third party development community around its new product.

The centralised distribution platform allows Handango to rapidly produce branded storefronts for manufacturers, while increasing its overall catalogue of titles by relying on the manufacturer to promote Handango as the e-tailer of choice for that particular device. This has worked extremely well in the handheld computing space, but Handango has recognised the trend towards selling applications direct to wireless devices. Its work with Nokia and SonyEricsson, delivering applications for the companies’ Symbian smartphones, is indicative of what’s to come.

Handango must now work with network operators and convince them that the speed with which it can implement application provisioning capabilities and its stable platform outweigh the benefits of buying in or developing their own versions. The focus on digital rights management suggests that Handango will also look to expand into selling content such as music and it will have to seek new alliances or possibly acquisitions in this area. For operators, it provides a relatively inexpensive and low risk opportunity to test the market for application download services and they will welcome Handango’s move to develop new payment methods, including operator integrated billing.


Originally published by PMN Mobile Industry Intelligence, the subscription-based analysis and insight platform founded by Marek Pawlowski.
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