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At the recent Genesys 2015 G-Force, I saw a futuristic demo in which pressing a button on a broken fridge automatically connected a person to a live agent to report an issue.
MobileIron Goes Public, Where Will It Go Next?
Recently, enterprise mobility management (EMM) provider MobileIron announced its plans to raise $100 million in its initial public offering (IPO). Considered as one of the major vendors in EMM, MobileIron hasn’t revealed its plans for the funds generated by going public, nor has revealed which stock market it will be listed on at this point (though the NASDAQ is known for technology stocks).
We’ve seen partnerships forged and acquisitions aplenty in the enterprise mobility space, but no EMM vendor of MobileIron’s status has gone public yet. This move opens new doors for MobileIron, and forges a trail for other private niche vendors in this space as well. Good Technology, for example, has been rumored to be ramping up to an IPO, and the results of MobileIron’s IPO will influence Good’s decision to go public.
Currently, MobileIron offers mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), and an extensive partner network for mobile content management (MCM). It’s quite possible that MobileIron is holding a trick up its sleeve to differentiate from competitors after going public. The vendor prides itself on R&D and its partner ecosystem rather than buying assets, and we see the company growing in various directions in light of going public.
With its focus on global enterprises and large organizations, the added resources from the IPO could fuel a push into the SMB market. Approximately 50% of small and midsize companies are evaluating MDM. A new product catering to SMBs would go a long way in mining new clientele from a market that needs an established solution for mobile security.
Outside of pure mobility, larger vendors are merging mobile and desktop app portals, giving IT administrators a single portal for managing apps. MobileIron could benefit from integrating desktop management into its portfolio, though it would take significant efforts and goes against the company’s core philosophy of enabling “Mobile First” IT. A more likely addition to MobileIron’s capabilities is security in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) space. Citrix and AirWatch each established partnerships with Intel for its Device Protection Technology (DPT), which allows chip-based securities. Reaching into this space is logical, as IoT will see growth in the next few years.
Buyers should pay attention to MobileIron’s roadmap announcements in the coming months. With strong leadership and a track record as a top mobility vendor despite being surrounded by large, highly funded competitors, MobileIron isn’t going public as an exit strategy.