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Aiming to extend its reach into the mobile and Internet of things (IoT) application arenas, AppDirect today announced it has acquired AppCarousel.

As a provider of an application management service, AppCarousel makes extensive use of APIs to make it simpler to distribute applications on any type of endpoint.

Through what will become an AppCarousel subsidiary of AppDirect, channel partners will be able to manage the deployment and billing services associated with deploying applications on endpoints while continuing to rely on AppDirect to provide provisioning and billing services for software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and other cloud services, AppDirect President and co-CEO Daniel Saks said.

Thanks to APIs and the rise of the digital economy, B2B selling is rapidly evolving, Saks said. Solution providers are now building and deploying apps on behalf of customers that are, in turn, using those apps to build their own channels. The result is an unprecedented level of complexity in how mobile and IoT apps need to be provisioned and managed, said Saks.

“B2B is changing,” said Saks. “B2B customers are now creating their own channel relationships.”

The result is a series of cascading business relationships that solution providers are going to be increasingly asked to manage. In fact, AppDirect notes that AppCarousel, which now has 80 employees, has grown 70 percent annually since its 2011 founding.

Although the continued spread of mobile and IoT applications represents a major opportunity for the channel, most solution providers don’t have ready access to a way to manage those apps or, just as importantly, bill for them.

Since emerging essentially as an alternative distribution channel in the cloud, AppDirect has been challenging traditional distributors for the hearts and minds of solution providers. AppDirect was an early pioneer in SaaS application distribution. Now, it clearly intends to extend the reach of that business model into the realms of mobile and IoT applications.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.