AirWatch co-founder and General Manager John Marshall won't say anything negative about his competitors in the Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) space — even off the record.  He won’t even comment why Secure Content Locker, AirWatch’s Mobile Content Management solution, might give any one of the 100 plus other vendors competing for the same customers a run for their money.

“We’re very respectful of other players. They’ll be better at some things. We’ll be better at others,” he said.

Ask Marshall about Dropbox, and instead of saying, “When it comes to security, we blow them away” —which he could certainly make an argument for — he noted, “We’re a bit like apples and oranges.” And it doesn’t change even after it’s pointed out that both Dropbox and AirWatch showed up in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for EFSS.

Marshall explains that providers like Dropbox have their roots in storing and sharing personal files, like pictures in the cloud, whereas AirWatch has its roots in enterprise mobility management and security.

“Mobile is our heritage. It’s our DNA” Marshall said, and it’s unlikely that you’ll find anyone who disagrees with that. Consider that AirWatch has led the market in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) for the past four years and that they’ve even won enough awards in to warrant a separate page on their website.

Closing Box’s Gap

Though some EFSS providers like Box offer solutions around Enterprise Mobility Management, they (with the exception of Citrix) don’t show up in Gartner’s associated MQ at all. This may explain why Box needed to partner with AirWatch to close the gap between what it provided and, what its much heralded customer, General Electric, needed.

It will likely be hard for smaller players in EFSS and EMM to build out the ever growing call for capabilities that Enterprise users increasingly demand, especially now that technology giants like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, IBM, EMC, and maybe even Apple are going after the same customers.

That may be why, earlier this year, Marshall sold AirWatch to VMWare. “The world is looking for a holistic platform, not point solutions,” he says. And with VMWare’s deep pockets, huge salesforce and 75,000 partners, AirWatch will be able to fill in any gaps in short order.

Not only that, but they’re also bringing first to market capabilities to the game.

Today AirWatch announces that it has won two watermarking patents which provide an added layer of security to Enterprise content. It is available today for files viewed in AirWatch Secure Content Locker (video, PDF, Microsoft, etc.), and is being implemented in other applications such as AirWatch Inbox and AirWatch Browser.

New Level of Security

Though the AirWatch platform already protects content through features like granular data loss prevention capabilities, which include the ability to restrict the camera, prevent copy/paste, prevent screenshots and limit content from opening in third-party apps, “This is yet another level of security,” Marshall said. He points out that most content is stolen by people taking pictures of it, and that the watermarking serves as a deterrent.

It’s worth noting too, that these patents took time to win. “A patent doesn’t come over night,” he noted, and then revealed that there will be yet another one approved in August.

For enterprises — frankly, for companies of any size — looking for highly secure EMM and EFSS solutions that have been built to work together, AirWatch by VMWare needs to be on the review list. It’s as simple as that.