VMware Beefs-Up Mobile Management Portfolio with AirWatch Acquisition

By John Arkontaky
On Jan 22, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On January 22, 2014, VMware acquired AirWatch, perpetuating the speed at which the enterprise mobility management (EMM) market is evolving. This move strengthens VMware’s mobility management platform, Horizon Workspace, by complimenting its security, file sync and share, and virtualization tools with AirWatch’s mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), and mobile content management (MCM) offerings.

Horizon Workspace deviates from the majority of EMM vendors who shy away from virtualization. VMware offers a unified console for managing mobile and fixed devices, but the security profiles and user experience for Android and iOS diverge. For Android endpoints, a dual-persona hypervisor allows administrators to manage devices and gives users access to apps and files. On iOS devices, a containerized workspace app gives users desktop virtualization and data access privileges. By acquiring AirWatch, VMware now has the resources to create a more unified experience for security managers and potentially users regardless of the operating system.

As a prominent VDI/virtualization vendor, VMware bolsters its position in EMM through this acquisition. While virtualization is a competitive differentiator, our research shows a declining need for this capability. Virtualization is a good solution for utilizing legacy apps and data on mobile devices, however VDI app adoption has slowed from 53% to 33% from 2012 to 2013 thanks to improvements in HTML and development of native mobile apps.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen titans collide. Back in November, IBM acquired Fiberlink and Oracle snatched up Bitzer Mobile. Moves like this signify a shrinking competitive market along with further integration of the mobile enterprise application ecosystem,; expect continued vendor development of partnership ecosystems and product portfolios through acquisitions and in-house developments as enterprises invest more in EMM.

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