by Alex Williams
Citrix (CTXS) has acquired mobile device management company Zenprise for an undisclosed amount. Citrix said the deal will help the company in its effort to develop a complete mobile suite that includes GoToMeeting, Podio and ShareFile.
Customers now face a different reality than they did a year ago. In particular, they have employees who bring their own devices to work. Citrix sees an opportunity to use Zenprise to connect those employees through one common platform that customers can leverage to keep all their devices, apps and data in one central place.
The deal also complements Citrix Receiver, the desktop virtualization technology that has become an enterprise favorite for its capability to make enterprise applications available on a wide range of devices such as Windows, Windows Phone, iPhone, and iPad.
I caught up with Zenprise CEO Amit Pandey who said this about the deal:
From our perspective the deal makes a lot of sense because both companies are focused on enabling end users. Citrix has been doing it for years with products such as the Receiver which enables you to access all of your desktop apps on your mobile devices. We have been managing devices, data and making bigger moves into applications so the two fit together very well.
Security issues play a part in why this deal is so strategic for Citrix. No one single suite can manage all the applications, their data, and the security required to make the package work together. As a result, customers are left with a hodgepodge of choices.
The Zenprise acquisition helps bring these disparate pieces together in one single package.
Expect the competition to take notice. VMware's Horizon Suite has five VMware-branded tools that include Project Octopus, Project AppBlast, ThinApp, VMware Horizon Application Manager and VMware Horizon Mobile. A mobile device management company would complement the suite. It's a good bet that they will make an acquisition. SAP's Sybase unit also has an MDM solution with its Afaria technology.
The MDM market has a value north of $7 billion with dozens of vendors. A consolidation is due.