Citrix to buy mobile device management firm Zenprise

The buyout is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Citrix over the past two years

Citrix today announced it has entered into an agreement to buy Zenprise, a mobile device management (MDM) software vendor.

This year, Citrix expanded its mobile capabilities with its CloudGateway application, which offers a secure way to deliver mobile, web and Windows apps and data to any corporate mobile device.

After the acquisition, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, Citrix intends to integrate the Zenprise MDM software with its Citrix CloudGateway and Me@Work software for managing mobile apps and data.

Citrix said the integration of Zenprise's software will enable it to manage mobile devices, applications and data from a single, integrated enterprise product line.

"Zenprise was a clear choice" for the company because of its leading MDM product, which is being used on one million devices, said Sumit Dhawan, general manager of Mobile Solutions at Citrix. "With a complete Citrix enterprise mobility solution, customers have all the necessary pieces to manage and secure mobile apps, content and devices."

The Zenprise buyout is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Citrix over the past two years. It bought mobile optimization company ByteMobile earlier this year, and data sharing and synchronization vendor ShareFile and SaaS provider Cloud.com in 2011.

Jack Gold, president and principal Analyst of J.Gold Associates, said the Citrix acquisition of Zenprise marks "the beginning of the end for stand alone MDM vendors. More acquisitions will come and those left behind will fade away longer term."

Most of the MDM players, Gold said, are relatively small and even the biggest are probably only in the $50M range in terms of revenue. Along with MobileIron and Air Watch, Zenprise was in the leading pack of MDM vendors, he said. "What Citrix wanted was to extend their mobile presence, and Zenprise gives them that. Citrix also has a mobile management offering, bit it was not a leadership product compared with the MDM vendors," Gold said.

Additionally, Zenprise will provide Citrix with application security and management, which is something Citrix is known for in the PC arena, but that it has not been successful with the mobile device space, Gold added.

Citrix and Zenprise did not disclose the terms of the planned merger.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at  @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com.

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