Citrix yesterday announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zenprise,  a leading innovator in mobile device management (MDM).

A majority of CIOs have or will have a BYO policy for smartphones and tablets in the next 12 months, according to Forrester.  This is because users increasingly want the freedom to use any device they choose and access to any application they need. Still, there is a valid concern about mobile device and app security in a world where users can readily lose or leak sensitive corporate data through device loss or insecure cloud-based data services. In the run-up to Christmas, this is all the more so as extensive Christmas cheer brings both goodwill and forget-fullness. The need for mobile governance and security is paramount. This presents organisations with the twin challenges of giving users the choice and freedom they want, while maintaining control over corporate apps and data.

Citrix has been focused on delivering high quality end-user experiences, helping people be productive on any device, anywhere. We’ve spoken in the past about Citrix’s Project Avalon bringing its Windows-based apps delivery technologies together and combining them with a service orchestration and automation platform, but there the mobile application delivery space increasingly needs more than a remote client solution.

Zenprise has been building on its secure device life-cycle management platform for over a decade to help organizations secure and manage mobile apps and data, and do so in a way that harmonizes an organisation’s security and compliance needs with the end-user experience. Zenprise is seen as a leader by analyst firms Forrester and Gartner. Last year Zenprise was the first MDM vendor to introduce Mobile DLP with secure access to Microsoft SharePoint.

Following the close of the acquisition, Citrix intends to integrate the Zenprise solution for mobile device management with its Citrix CloudGateway and Me@Work solutions for managing mobile apps and data. When CloudGateway was announced, it was described it as a tool to manage and securely distribute mobile apps in addition to managing PCs, web, and software as a service (SaaS) apps. Integration efforts will likely appear in the first half of 2013, with Zenprise tools integrated with CloudGateway. Once complete, this integration could give Citrix the first solution in the industry for managing mobile devices, apps, and data from a single, integrated enterprise mobility product line which Fortune suggests costs approximately $355 million.

It will be interesting to see where the development of an MDM solution fits into a BYO initiative. MDM is undoubtedly useful for corporate owned devices, but will a service focused around Mobile Application Management (MAM) be more acceptable to users and revised HR policies? Simon Bramfitt has discussed BYOD & MDM; given that the acquisition still has a very “new car” smell, we’ve time to mull that over for now.

You can read more on the Citrix/Zenprise announcement at citrix.com

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Andrew Wood (144 Posts)

Andrew is a Director of Gilwood CS Ltd, based in the North East of England, which specialises in delivering and optimising server and application virtualisation solutions. With 12 years of experience in developing architectures that deliver server based computing implementations from small-medium size business to global enterprise solutions, his role involves examining emerging technology trends, vendor strategies, development and integration issues, and management best practices.

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