Good Technology Unwraps it’s BoxTone Acquisition at MWC14

On the eve of the start of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona Spain, Good Technology made headlines with its announcement of a definitive agreement to acquire BoxTone. BoxTone is a privately held company based in Columbia, Maryland, that has been an innovator within the mobile service management space. Adding to this news, Good also announced a new cloud-based secure messaging solution, Mobile Service Management (MSM) offering, as well as some leading carrier partnerships in Japan where BoxTone has a significant presence.

Now the newest of such announcements, this Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) acquisition comes in less than 30 days after AirWatch announced it was signing a definitive agreement to be acquired by VMware for $1.54 billion dollars. Blue Hill previously blogged about the impacts of this acquisition throughout the technology world in our piece entitled VMware pans for AirWatch Gold.

According to Good Technology President and CEO, Christy Wyatt, the “BoxTone mobility management platform, which powers wide-scale, mission critical enterprise mobility, will be integrated into Good’s portfolio to deliver a comprehensive end-to-end secure mobility solution.” She also added that, “The acquisition of BoxTone by Good brings together the industry’s leading provider of secure mobility solutions for data, devices and apps with the industry innovator in mobile service management, enabling IT to confidently build, deploy, support and manage mobility at scale.”

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) has been a hot pocket of notable acquisitions.  Besides VMWare acquiring AirWatch, IBM acquired MaaS360 by Fiberlink Communications and HTML5 App Development Company WorkLight to extend their IBM MobileFirst Management and Security offerings. Citrix and SAP also got in the game with their acquisitions of Zenprise and Sybase, respectively. The lone soldier steadily staying its course and winning deals in EMM is MobileIron.  One peek at the largest software companies in the world, specifically the Top 10 SaaS by revenue shows that it’s easy to imagine who would benefit from scooping up MobileIron.

What does this announcement really mean to CxOs globally who are watching this wild ride of EMM & MDM market leaders shake out?  Let’s start with the 4 components in play here across the leading mobile platforms of Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Mobile coupled with Samsung KNOX, BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and Exchange ActiveSync:

– Mobile device management (MDM)
– Mobile application management and analytics (MAM)
– Mobile content management (MCM)
– Mobile service management including BlackBerry migration tools (MSM)

The key above is about “P” for platform.  To be a leading player you must be a platform play, which can handle all 4 components above.  That said the Good-BoxTone combo brings a capital “S” in focus for SECURITY alongside Service.  One look at their press release and related news shows how they are throwing down the proverbial gauntlet to focus CxOs on their complete ‘Security Focused’ EMM offering:

– Secure email, contacts, calendar both on premise as well as in the cloud
– Secure browsing
– Secure instant messaging and presence,
– Secure Sharepoint, network file and cloud storage access
– Secure app development tools (customized): wrapping, SDK and hybrid support
– Only secure mobility provider to achieve Common Criteria EAL-4+ certification for iOS and Android

Unlike Samsung Knox, who with great fanfare, announced their mobile security offering last year at Mobile World Congress (MWC13), Good Technology and BoxTone are for real. As we previously profiled in our December Samsung Knox blog, Samsung’s offering subsequently flopped “big time.” This is largely because of the high stakes nature of security deployments and the need to know that solutions have been tested and certified to industry standards, meaning that they are hardened and truly ready for the enterprise. Global enterprises are now treating EMM as a mission critical user platform to deliver applications, content, services and support.  As with any mission-critical global application, security is paramount.  Sitting at the top of this EMM security pyramid is Good Technology-BoxTone and BlackBerry.  Good Technology alone has over 150 patents in secure mobility.

Recently Blue Hill has seen a lot of security focused messaging and marketing coming out of other leading EMM players, most recently MobileIron. While the spirit of the education for the enterprise is welcome we see a lot of noise and slight of hand nuance that can get easily missed if you don’t exactly know what you are looking for. Or, better yet, you don’t know the rules and guidelines that the Feds follow.

On March 31st Blue Hill Research will release its Q1/Q2 2014 report on Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Security for industries such as Financial Services, Healthcare, and Government.  In this competitive analysis report of EMM players we will provide an objective analysis of NIST and DISA requirements for the adoption of enterprise mobility platforms by government agencies and security minded enterprises.

What are your thoughts on Good Technology’s acquisition?

About Ralph Rodriguez

Ralph Rodriguez is the CEO and Research Fellow of Blue Hill Research and an industry expert across cloud, mobile and security technologies. Ralph brings over 25 years of experience spanning IT management, research and entrepreneurship in a variety of executive CxO roles. Previously Rodriguez served as COO of Nucleus Research, Inc., SVP and Research Director at Aberdeen Group (NYSE:HHS), CTO of Brooks Automation (NASDAQ:BRKS), EVP-CIO of Excelon Corporation (NASDAQ:EXLN) and EVP-CIO of C-bridge Internet Solutions (NASDAQ:CBIS). Rodriguez is currently a Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and holds a Sc.D. in information systems and a graduate of the management program GPMD-MBA at IESE Business School, Barcelona Spain. Rodriguez is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War.
Posted on by Ralph Rodriguez

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