In a further sign that virtualisation vendor VMware is expanding outwards from its core territory of the data centre, the firm announced today that it is buying US mobile device management (MDM) vendor AirWatch for $1.17bn (£710m).
Its intentions to move out of the server room were signalled last October when VMware purchased desktop-as-a-service provider Desktone. The Airwatch purchase marks another step in this direction.
"The acquisition will provide customers with the most complete solution to manage users, devices and applications across desktop and mobile environments," VMware said in a press release.
According to the release, founder and CEO John Marshall will remain in place with the AirWatch team reporting to him as part of VMware's End-User Computing group. AirWatch Chairman Alan Dabbiere will head a new AirWatch operating board reporting to VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger.
AirWatch will bring VMware more than 10,000 global customers. The firm currently employs 1,600 staff across nine global offices.
"Our vision is to provide a secure virtual workspace that allows end users to work at the speed of life," said Sanjay Poonen, EVP and GM of VMware's End-User Computing group. "The combination of AirWatch and VMware will enable us to deliver unprecedented value to our customers and partners across their desktop and mobile environments."
Interestingly, this time last year Joe Baguley, chief technologist for EMEA told Computing that MDM solutions that focus on management via application or individual data silos are "stop-gap technologies", criticising current device management practice across the board.
"If you want to use your device, I'm going to own and manage your device. Which doesn't work, and isn't working, and we've seen several failed projects because everyone wants to own and manage devices," Baguley said in January 2013.
"So there's various stop-gap technologies stepping in to help people as their understanding evolves as to what they need to do. It's the data you need to secure, and the access to that data."