Virtual computing solutions provider Citrix is acquiring mobile device management (MDM) technology vendor Zenprise. Citrix intends to integrate Zenprise into its existing CloudGateway and Me@Work solutions for mobile app and data management.
Enterprise Scale MDM, BYOD
According to Citrix, the integration of Zenprise functionality into its mobile management applications suite will create the first enterprise-scale offering for managing mobile devices, apps and data. Citrix intends to use Zenprise MDM capabilities, such as mobile device administration dashboards, director integration and compliance and security provision, to bolster its CloudGateway multiplatform app delivery service and Me@Work array of virtual computing apps.
In addition, Citrix says it is targeting BYOD (bring your own device) users by offering a single solution that can manage all disparate mobile devices and platforms on a corporate network, including governance and security.
Citrix Moves beyond IBM BYOD Partnership
By directly offering BYOD management and security functionality, Citrix is moving beyond a BYOD partnership it entered with IBM in June 2012. At that time, IBM released SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure solutions designed to enable enterprises to manage desktops centrally, while unspecified “large numbers” of users can access them from any location, or device, including personal computers, tablets, smart phones, laptops and thin clients.
IBM partnered with a number of virtual desktop providers to deliver this functionality, including Citrix XenDesktop and VDI-in-a-Box comprehensive desktop virtualization solutions with multiple delivery models optimized for flexibility and cost-efficiency. There is no indication the IBM partnership will end or otherwise be affected by the Citrix Zenprise acquisition, but clearly Citrix sees BYOD as a big enough space to warrant its own enterprise-level offering.
Providing a Mobile ‘Universal Remote,’ Challenging Blackberry
The New York Times reports Citrix is in position to offer a “universal remote” for CIOs who want to manage corporate security, mobility and storage. Zenprise had been preparing for a round of venture capital financing, according to the Times, but instead began discussions with Citrix about a purchase.
In addition, the Times sees the enterprise mobile solution that Citrix intends to provide as a potentially serious threat to Research In Motion (RIM), makers of the beleaguered Blackberry mobile device platform. “One major selling point for the BlackBerry has long been that it is more secure than other mobile devices,” said the Times. “A combined Citrix-Zenprise offering may make that point moot.” Zenprise officials said the company currently supports Blackberry devices and plans to support the upcoming Blackberry10 provided RIM does not launch its own new mobile security solution.
Citrix expects to close the Zenprise acquisition during Q1 2013. Terms were not disclosed.