In the crowded mobile device management (MDM) market, AirWatch wants to stand out from the MDM crowd. "Nobody wants to be the T.J.Maxx of mobility," quipped AirWatch Chairman Alan Dabbiere. In my opinion, the 300-person AirWatch team has been among the most active MDM companies this year.
Most recently, AirWatch launched a mobile device management solution for Microsoft BPOS-D, Office 365 and Google Gmail cloud services. Also, the company released an HTML5-based MDM platform and helped Southeastrans -- a transportation management company -- get its Net InSight Mobile App off the ground.
Dabbiere says AirWatch is vertically agnostic and the company pursues customers in all different sectors. Still, it seems to me that AirWatch's bread-and-butter is the retail industry. AirWatch currently has 1,500 customers -- including five of the top 10 retailers in the United States: Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, Target and Best Buy. And AirWatch is aggressively pursuing the other five, according to Dabbiere. "We just signed Wal-Mart, we're about to sign two more of the top ten and we're talking to the other two," he said. Seventy percent of AirWatch clients have adopted the company's Software-as-a-Service model, while 30 percent remain on-premise.
So how has AirWatch managed to horde those retail giants away MDM rivals? "We've pull away from competitors in terms of capabilities of our product," Dabbiere said. "Others don't have the scalability to do what we do. And we can charge $40 per device whereas others are in the $70-80 range because we sell twice as much."
Don't expect AirWatch's sales goals to slow down anytime soon. The company plans to expand from 300 to 600 employees in the next year and is planning new updates when Apple releases iOS 5.
Still, competition looms. For instance:
- Virtela launched a white label MDM solution for VARs and MSPs in April 2011.
- SAP is planning a strategy around the Unwired Platform; the effort will target MSPs.