Yesterday mobility management company Good Technology announced that they acquired AppCentral, expanding their mobile app management capabilities.
What is each company bringing to the table? Good is well established, and their current offerings include sandboxed email, mobile device management, an SDK for mobile app management, publically available apps that can plug into their management system, and most recently mobile file syncing. AppCentral offers mobile app management through app wrapping and custom corporate app stores. No financial numbers were given, but all of the AppCentral people will be staying on with Good.
And now, here are six things about the acquisition to add to the conversation:
1. This is Good’s second acquisition in less than a month. In September, Good acquired Copiun, giving them much stronger mobile file syncing capabilities. Good has been around for a long time, and they’ve supported Android and iOS since 2009, but in the last year they’ve gained a ton of new competitors. But now, not only do these acquisitions give them new technical capabilities, they also send a big message to the rest of the industry.
2. Good can now offer all types of mobile app management. On the day that this acquisition was announced, I happened to write an article called “App wrapping or SDK for mobile application management? I’ll take both, please!” It’s like they read my mind! But essentially, the point is that while app wrapping and SDKs achieve the same end result, they have different use cases. An ideal MAM solution should have both, as well as publically available apps that can be integrated into the management system.
3. Good’s “ecosystem” is complete. With real mobile file syncing, an email client, MDM, and MAM through an SDK, app wrapping, and publically available apps, Good now has just about every piece of the mobility puzzle you can imagine. The different components give flexibility to market to many different use cases.
4. Good could de-emphasize MDM. Right now, implementations of Good still have device management at their core. With the sandboxed email client, file syncing, and again, the three different options for managing apps, who needs to worry about devices? Certainly there are still use cases for that, but it would be cool to see Good emphasize the use case of unmanaged devices, too.
5. AppCentral’s app wrapping for iOS just came out in June. AppCentral app wrapping for Android has been around longer, but app wrapping for iOS was released quite recently. That means it could potentially be easier to adapt to Good’s management platform than if it were a more established solution.
6. MAM consolidation is good for customers that are worried about which management platform to choose. In 2011 and early 2012, with new mobile device management solutions being announced all the time, many people were expecting a lot of industry consolidation to take place. That never really happened, and what we should really care about is mobile application management vendor consolidation. Why is that? While MDM is now being offered by 80 different companies, we don’t have to worry about interoperability. Chances are that one of the existing vendors your company uses already offers it as an add on to some other product, or if MDM is especially important, you’re using one of the major best of breed solutions. Migrating from one MDM vendor to another would be a pain, but not nearly as much as if you had to redevelop or rewrap apps, like with MAM. MAM consolidation means that there will be more chances for interoperability, and less chances to get stuck in a particular management silo.
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