MobileIron CEO Q&A: Acquisitions, Channel and Mobile’s Future
MobileIron’s end strategy has been the emerging topic of discussion in today’s enterprise mobility management (EMM) space. Rumors have been swirling around the possibility of the EMM player selling or going public, but nothing, as of yet, has been confirmed. With all of this speculation in the channel and the market as a whole, one man has been silent — until now.
MobileIron CEO Bob Tinker briefly spoke with MSPmentor on MobileIron’s role in the EMM market, M&A activity and the channel. While he was not able to comment on speculation, Tinker did provide his insight on a few of key areas of discussion in the EMM space.
MSPm: Why has there been a burst of M&A activity in the EMM space?
Tinker: Mobile is rapidly becoming the primary computing platform in the enterprise and the legacy IT players are validating this market by buying their way in. EMM is difficult, moves at mobile speed, and requires focus. To ensure customers are successful with EMM, the leader in EMM will be focused on EMM. It can’t be the third or fourth priority on your list.
MSPm: How does mobility play a role in the enterprise?
Tinker: Mobile is shifting from being a technology that touched only a fraction of employees in an organization to being the platform used by the majority of workers. Old mobile was 2,000 BlackBerrys only for executives. New mobile is smartphones and tablets for everyone in the company.
We call this Mobile First. Mobile is substantially different from other enterprise technologies because user experience matters in a way that it never has before. For a mobile initiative to be successful, Mobile First organizations focus on building superb mobile user experiences that are available anywhere users need them. They have to move fast and adopt new technologies rapidly.
MobileIron was specifically built for this mobile world. We understand enterprise needs which means security, management, and automation. And we understand the consumer side of mobile which means a process has to feel natural and just work. The MobileIron EMM platform secures data-in-motion and data-in-rest for mobile content and applications so that companies can give employees access to every business process they need in a secure manner, on any device they want and with the native experience they love.
MSPm: What separates MobileIron from other vendors in the market space?
Tinker: At MobileIron, we are 100 percent focused on delivering the best EMM platform so that the largest organizations in the world can provide all employees with the mobile apps, content, and devices they need to be productive. First, we are always focused on making customers successful with their EMM initiatives. Our differentiated platform architecture with MDM, MAM, MCM and an in-line gateway provides the fundamentals for an end-end EMM solution.
Our global channel includes more than 300 reseller and carrier partners globally (in fact, last week Verizon announced its reseller partnership with us). Our customers and partners benefit from a strong mobile app and technology partner eco-system which, as of the end of February, includes 139 AppConnect partners and 36 Technology Alliance partners. It takes this type of drive and focus to make global companies successful with their mobile initiatives.
MSPm: How will MobileIron emerge as the industry’s leading EMM solution?
Tinker: We are already seen as a leader. MobileIron was named a Leader by Gartner, Inc. in the 2013 “Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software” for the third year in a row. And, TheInfoPro’s Information Security Study from 451 Research found that more companies are intending to buy from MobileIron than any other MDM vendor. Many of the largest, most security conscious customers in the world depend on MobileIron to deliver mobile innovation and EMM.
MSPm: What does MobileIron have in store for channel partners in 2014?
Tinker: MobileIron is focused on the channel, which means that our partners will never lose a deal because we took it direct. As a result, our channel and carrier partners see us as collaborators who are focused with them on a common goal. In 2014, we are going to continue to refine our partner programs and continue to make investments in training and enablement. We have some exciting plans for MobileIron University, our online training center for partners and customers. I’d love to tell you about them in more detail when we’re ready to take the wraps off.
As for MobileIron’s plans to sell or go public, MSPmentor will keep you updated with the latest news, insight and speculation on the topic. There’s more to come.
Follow CJ Arlotta on Twitter @cjarlotta for further updates on the story above.