Gartner's Magic Quadrant (IT) mobile device management (MDM) leaders lost a member yesterday as VMware (VMW) announced its acquisition of AirWatch. What do the other leaders, Citrix, SAP, MobileIron and Good Technology think about the deal? Find out here.

CJ Arlotta, Associate Editor

January 23, 2014

4 Min Read
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (IT) mobile device management (MDM) leaders changed its lineup yesterday as VMware (VMW) announced its acquisition of MDM vendor AirWatch. While Gartner’s group of independent MDM leaders has shrunk, both independents and big vendors included in the group haven’t hesitated to comment on how VMware’s acquisition will affect the channel, the enterprise mobile device management (EMM) market and their mobile strategy going forward.

Gartner’s leaders in the MDM market (excluding the recently acquired) include: MobileIron, Good Technology, SAP (SAP) and Citrix (CTXS). Looking closer at the group, two of the companies are big vendors that have already purchased other MDM providers (SAP acquired Sybase and Citrix acquired Zenprise).

MobileIron and Good remain independent players. For now. Neither of these two companies addressed our questions about being potential acquisition targets. What they did tell us is included below.

Here’s what all the players had to say to MSPmentor.

MobileIron (on the acquisition and the channel)

MobileIron spokesperson Clarissa Horowitz told MSPmentor yesterday that this acquisition reaffirms MobileIron’s status as the “leading EMM-focused player in our category, as demonstrated in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant.”

“Today’s news is a great validation of the strategic importance of the market we lead and that we helped create but it does not change anything for MobileIron,” she said.

Horowitz noted that MobileIron has “a channel with more than 300 reseller and carrier partners globally, a strong app and technology partner eco-system, and a world-class customer success organization.”

“We will continue to deliver the best technology and world-class customer support that global enterprises need to be successful with their mobile initiative,” she said.

Good Technology (on mobile, VMware and Good’s different approach)

“Yesterday’s news of VMware acquiring AirWatch, and the associated valuation, is yet another signal of the strength and confidence in the enterprise mobility market,” Good Technology CEO Christy Wyatt said. “Clearly, the net impact for customers will not be realized for many months as the companies work through any product integration strategies. While it is exciting to see traditional desktop/enterprise vendors investing in the market, their approach of going from the desktop out to mobile is significantly different than Good, whose roots and deployments are deeply entrenched in enterprise mobility.”

Citrix (on mobile, VMware and where Citrix stands today)

Citrix recognized a year ago that “the industry is much more than MDM and introduced the concept and need for complete mobile management,” said Ahmed Datoo, vice president, product marketing, Mobile Platforms Group, Citrix.

“While VMware recognizes the need for a broader solution, they bought a company where almost all of their revenue is MDM,” Datoo said. “That was where Citrix was a year ago.” (Citrix acquired MDM provider Zenprise in December 2012.)

Today, the “vast majority vast majority of our revenue comes from our complete EMM offering that includes enterprise-ready apps, secure email, file sharing, a collaboration solution, and an ecosystem of third party app providers — all provided through an integrated platform,” he said.

“We’ve spent billions over the last several years piecing together our complete EMM solution, acquiring standalone companies who were best of breed in the industries they competed in,” Datoo added.

SAP (on mobile security, mobile strategy and welcoming VMware)

“Mobile is ubiquitous for businesses and consumers from making purchases to driving business outcomes,” an SAP spokesperson told MSPmentor, adding that SAP has been the “market leader in the mobile market for over a decade.”

The spokeperson said SAP views “mobile security as an entry point to a company’s overall mobile strategy.”

“The real value for businesses comes from providing a complete end-to-end solution starting with mobile security and includes a mobile application platform, mobile apps and analytics with access to data from anywhere to make real-time business decisions,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson concluded by welcoming VMware, “a valued partner of SAP,” to the enterprise mobile device management market and wishing them well.

Gartner also tapped privately-held MDM vendor Fiberlink Communications as a leader in this market, but the company was recently acquired by IBM (IBM).

MSPmentor speculated last year that other MDM vendors, including AirWatch, may find themselves on the sales block in 2014.

Ovum Analyst Richard Abslaom said in a statement that there will be “a surge in M&A activity in the space over the next 6-12 months as the remaining megavendors buy their way into this fast growing market.”

“If these offers don’t come in, there is potential for one or two of those niche players to become a dominant ‘mini-major’ in the space, consolidating the competition and becoming the go-to name specifically for EMM,” he said.

Two of Gartner’s MDM leaders (Fiberlink and AirWatch) have already been acquired over the past few months, leaving many channel partners wondering: Who’s next? Good? MobileIron?

Follow CJ Arlotta on Twitter @cjarlotta for further updates on the story above.

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About the Author(s)

CJ Arlotta

Associate Editor, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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