Today, another EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) vendor has given up the ghost. Not really, but as I predicted in the first post, more consolidation is on the way in the EMM sector. Good Technology, a long time rival to Blackberry and an EMM vendor in its own right, has announced that they will be acquiring Boxtone, another player in the EMM arena.
This acquisition isn’t much of a surprise to many who follow the goings on in EMM. Good Technology and Boxtone have been partnering recently on a few different projects and the synergies from this acquisition make a lot of sense.
Good Technology has been around for quite awhile, I remember playing with their software in 1999 when you would take a Blackberry Brick (for those that remember them) and you would flash it with Good’s software. They even supplied a sticker that went over the Blackberry name on the back of the brick. Ironically, that caused the most issues for them. Good grew up in the years following and brought secure messaging to many other handset OSes, from Windows Mobile to Symbian. It gave you choice if Blackberry wasn’t for you. They expanded out from there in the last few years to include Good Dymanics that was a MAM (Mobile App Management) service that used many of the same pieces and strategy that their secure messaging did.
Boxtone has its history as a great partner to Blackberry where they did many things that Blackberry itself didn’t including reporting and monitoring of Blackberry enterprise installations. From there, they expanded out into MDM and more recently into MAM. Their biggest expansion though has been as a managed service provider partnering with many telecom carriers especially in the AsiaPac region where they have been highly successful. They scored a coup last year when they acquired the remains of 3LM from Google that had purchased Motorola, which, in turn, owned 3LM. This has allowed them to leverage their EMM solution to make Android handsets more secure regardless of the manufacturer.
The synergies between these two companies fill many of the gaps that they had as lone players. Good Technology had recently completed another round funding and while heavily a secure messaging and MAM company, didn’t have as much in the MDM or managed services areas. They also see Boxtone as a great way to generate more value/business in Japan and the rest of the AsiaPac region. Boxtone, while seen as a visionary in the magic quadrant, does not have the same level of funding to compete as consolidation continues in the EMM sector nor did they have the same name recognition that Good does.
This acquisition also plays well into Good Technology’s drive to oust Blackberry from more customers. Boxtone, with their deep Blackberry expertise, helps provide Good with some great Blackberry migration tools and the ability to leverage accounts where companies are using Boxtone to monitor their Blackberry deployments.
This acquisition is a great move by both companies and will result in a stronger entrant in the EMM sector. It is by no means the last deal we will see this year as consolidation will continue and I am sure there will be a part three to this series.