Posted by Tyler Shields on January 23, 2014
After reading this blog post, if you would like more detail, fellow Forrester analyst Christian Kane and I have collaborated on two short reports describing the acquisition of AirWatch through the lens of mobile workforce enablement and a second report through the lens of mobile security. Enjoy the reports, and as always... we love to read your comments!
On January 22, 2014, a new mobile security player was born. This is the date that VMware announced its intention to purchase the mobile device management (MDM) firm AirWatch. With a price tag of $1.5 billion, this acquisition confirms that the mobile security market is scorchingly hot. This news comes on the heels of the November acquisition of Fiberlink by IBM. I expect additional mobile security market consolidation to occur throughout the remainder of 2014. This acquisition is a shot across the bow of any other major vendor looking to play in the mobile security market. If you don't step up and spend now, you might just be left holding the bag.
I previously blogged about a three-dog race for the wallets of the enterprise mobile security market. In this post I stated that MDM vendors are in the clear lead with mobile AV in second place. Bringing up the rear, in a distant third place, were the entrenched companies that focus on management of the endpoint or other non-mobile technologies. I even wrote a TechRadar report on the subject. I wouldn't necessarily have thought to lump VMware in this third group, but after sitting on acquisition calls and updates from them in the last 24 hours, I feel they are much closer to this arena than the other two options. With the acquisition of AirWatch, VMware has instantly made themselves a top tier mobile security player. If they continue acquiring technologies that round out their product portfolio, that third place long shot dog might just win the race!