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Thursday, 06 December 2012 09:37

Citrix enters MDM market with acquisition of Zenprise


The fast growing mobile device management (MDM) market just got a whole lot hotter. The market has been dominated by small startups, but now one of them has been acquired by major virtualisation and thin client vendor Citrix.

Zenprise has only recently set up in Australia, where it competes against the likes of Good Technology, Mobileiron and Airwatch. Recently hired local managing director John Martens says he think the acquisition is a good thing.

“I’m not surprised,” he told iTWire. “I’ve been through acquisitions before, and it’s a natural thing in the industry. The MDM market is ripe for rationalisation. Someone like Citrix was always going to come along and add some strength and depth to the market.

“It does mean our customers will now have a much bigger organisation to look after their needs better. It’s also good for Citrix, which now becomes a major MDM player. Combined with Citrix’s other products it gives us a very strong BYOD and MDM message. It’s a kind of reverse takeover by Zenprise of Citrix’s mobile product space.”

Zenprise is a privately held company, and the terms of the deal were not disclosed. It was founded in 2003, and industry sources say it was on the verge of seeking another round of venture capital funding. Citrix is a $2 billion company that has been a serial acquirer in recent years. Citrix says all Zenprise employees will move over as part of the deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

In an email to clients and business partners, Zenprise said: “We are pleased to announce that Citrix has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zenprise. Together, the two companies will deliver the first user-centric, secure mobility offering that integrates mobile email, mobile productivity and collaboration apps, mobile application management, and mobile device management.

“Following the closing of the acquisition, Citrix intends to combine Zenprise with its CloudGateway family of products, forming a new Mobile Platforms business unit focused on enterprises and SMBs. The acquisition will further Zenprise’s MDM 2.0 strategy of going beyond devices to securing and managing apps and data, while bringing critical device and data management functionality to Citrix. Subject to closing conditions including regulatory approval, we anticipate closing this acquisition in early Q1 2013.”

Citrix says that Zenprise is a very good fit with Citrix’s product line. “Consumerisation and BYO have given rise to very difficult challenges for businesses,” said Sumit Dhawan, Citrix’s VP and for Mobile Solutions. “They need to enable a productive, mobile workforce while still maintaining tight controls over company information.

”Zenprise was a clear choice for Citrix, with its leading MDM product, an experienced team, a history of innovation, and a footprint on more than one million devices. With a complete Citrix enterprise mobility solution, customers have all the necessary pieces to manage and secure mobile apps, content and devices.”

The MDM market was always going to rationalise. It is a young market, but growing very quickly, and one of the major vendors was going to pounce some time soon. Expect some of Zenprises’s competitors to be acquired sooner rather than later. It is a classic phenomenon we see in most new IT markets. Startups define it, a few float to the top, then they dies or get acquired by one of the big boys. Who will be next? Good Technology seems a likely candidate, as does Mobileiron. Whatever happens, this important new market already looks very different.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson sadly passed away in Jan 2021 and a much valued senior associate editor at iTWire. He was one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is the author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’He was in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism. Graeme will be sadly missed by the iTWire Family, Readers, Customers and PR firms.

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