The EMM market heated up this month with new offerings from popular IT vendors and the addition of some important enterprise capabilities.
VMware and AirWatch let slip new details about their deal, while Citrix vied for BlackBerry customers with XenMobile. Enterprise IT customers also got increased administrative features in Dropbox for Business, while IBM offered new tools for organizations developing mobile apps. Read more about the latest news and reactions from IT pros and analysts.
VMware-AirWatch comes into focus
In early April, AirWatch CEO John Marshall assured customers that the company would continue to support its products as standalone offerings. In addition, he hinted at integration with VMware's Horizon Suite, and sources suggested that VMware could fold AirWatch mobile device management into Horizon desktop as a service and Mirage. VMware also said customers who use Horizon Data to sync corporate data to desktops will move to AirWatch Secure Content Locker.
Things could have been very different, as Microsoft had been in talks to acquire AirWatch before VMware made its successful $1.5 billion bid. With large vendors scrambling to provide mobile services, the enterprise mobility management (EMM) market is certainly heating up. Who can compete?
BlackBerry keeps chugging
At the BlackBerry Experience event in New York, John Sims, president of Global Enterprise Services, sought to convince customers that BlackBerry isn't going anywhere. He pledged to make support of Apple iOS and Google Android devices a top priority for its EMM business going forward. The event also shed some light on the upcoming BES 12, which will support Windows Phones.
Meanwhile, other EMM providers jumped at the chance to snipe BlackBerry customers, with Citrix tweeting during BlackBerry Experience:
Dropbox links business and personal
Dropbox officially released its "two Dropboxes" feature, where Dropbox for Business users can link personal and business accounts together to access them at once. IT admins have control over the business side, and Dropbox added some enticing new features for the enterprise. IT can now remote wipe Dropbox data, transfer data automatically from exiting employees to new hires, and keep audit logs on who's sharing what.
Dropbox: There is no consumer. There is no enterprise. Only users. http://t.co/AF7puL2Pkb— Matt Rosoff (@MattRosoff) April 23, 2014
The company also teased Project Harmony, a collaboration feature that would allow users to edit documents in other native applications, starting with integration with Microsoft Office. Still, it remains to be seen whether Dropbox can truly take advantage of the enterprise market. It has taken the first steps, but IT pros will be waiting for more administrative features:
Will you get the full Office for iPad?
After the dust settled around Microsoft's Office for iPad release, IT pros began to evaluate the product to determine whether it's worth buying an Office 365 subscription to get the full benefits of the app. A subscription is needed to create and edit Office documents. But for many users, Office on mobile works fine enough. Some on Twitter raved:
I know I've been skeptical of the Office apps for iPad, but they're so much better than the Mac versions it's not even funny.— Jason Snell (@jsnell) April 3, 2014
In fact, Word, Excel and other Office apps were the top downloads from the App Store in the week following the release. Individual users who love the app might convince IT to spring for the Office 365 subscription. Still, organizations that require high productivity and deep functionality from Office may not turn away from the full-blown suite. And the viewing capability is already available on an iPhone or iPad without downloading the new apps:
@TheMobileBorg You can view Office files in iOS without *any* app — that's built in to the Quick Look feature in iPhone and iPad (and Mac).— Galen Gruman (@MobileGalen) March 31, 2014
IBM offers helping hand to mobile app developers
At IBM Impact in Las Vegas this week, the company launched new services to aid customers in mobile application development and deployment. The standardized, customized IBM Ready Apps will be available in major verticals to organizations, who can buy the source code and develop their own app based on IBM's Worklight mobile app platform. This adds to the growing line of "starter apps" that can assist IT in mobile app development when they can't go it alone.